Chapman Student Saves Class from Final by Beating Professor’s TikTok Challenge

Sylvie Bastardo quickly rose to the task of getting 1 million views on the platform, achieving it within just two days

It’s nearing the end of the academic year and now Sylvie Bastardo, a 20-year-old sophomore at Chapman University, is being celebrated for getting her entire class out of a final exam after rising to her marketing professor’s social media challenge.

Professor Matthew Prince was the one to set the task, posing earlier in the semester that if anyone in his 80-student Influencer Marketing class could post a TikTok and receive a minimum of 1 million views, the final exam would be canceled.

Bastardo was up to it, quickly posting a simple video on a loop of Prince’s announcement, which read “First to reach viral status on TikTok wins (Me vs. the entire class)” and “If you win, the Final is canceled.” She captioned the post, “My professor said if our class got a TikTok to 1 million likes he would cancel the final!! Please like!!!” and the rest is history.



My professor said if our class got a tiktok to 1 million likes he would cancel the final!! Please like!!! #communicationsclass #influencermarketing #finalexam #college


Within two days, the video hit a million views and the challenge was fulfilled. But it didn’t stop there—since it was first posted on February 1, it’s now reached nearly five million views.

“I couldn’t believe it had actually hit 1 million views at the time. It had just all happened so fast and I was honestly just shocked,” Basterdo told LAMag on Monday. “I thought once it hit a million that’s as far as it would get. I didn’t think people would have much of an interest in it after.”

Seeing as it was an Influencer Marketing class, Prince noted he thought it was befitting and was a method to differentiate their learning experience in an impactful way.

“We saw that it was up to a million views after about 48 hours, which was insane,” Prince told CBS News. “They saw the challenge as motivation for them to try something new, to get out of their comfort zone, to do stuff that was in their wheelhouse — and hopefully get out of a final in the process.”

Bastardo was brought up in front of the class during its next session and Prince then informed the room that the final was, indeed, canceled.

As far as the new following Bastardo amassed, she says she now wants to try and build it up further. After all, it’s not every day that thousands of followers appear on your page in a matter of hours.

“I am unsure what to post,” she says. “I am posting day-in-my-life type videos but am not sure that is the niche I want to stick with.”

It seems being an influencer is actually not as easy as they make it look!

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.