Trinket Tuesday: Awards of Yesteryear

I don’t know about you, but I have this absolute plethora of awards from high school that have been sitting and gathering dust for years in the bedroom of mine at my parents’ house.

Most of them are an accumulation of various accomplishments I was honored with throughout my four years of high school band (shout out to all my fellow flutists out there!), though there are also some from my two years of high school speech, academic achievements such as National Honor Society, and the like.

Part of me doesn’t know why I keep these awards…though they were meaningful at the time, they really do take up a lot of space and don’t have a whole lot of value to me anymore. Yes, receiving marcher of the year in tenth grade marching band was a dream come true–after my entire freshman year of marching funny, or so people told me, I worked extra hard sophomore year with the goal to receive this award at the end of the season and was estatic when I, in fact, did. Much to my surprise, I won it again in my senior year. Yet, despite my excitement then, I no longer desire to be a world class flutist…and my time in marching band, though I loved it, was certainly over with the end of high school.

As a dedicated, bonafide band geek, though, these accomplishments were important to me. I was always striving to become a better musician, a better marcher, throughout high school…and those awards meant that I had proven myself in the music program. Likewise, as someone who entered speech my junior year of high school completely terrified of public speaking, the few awards I did get at speech tournaments were also meaningful. To me, they meant I had not only conquered my fear of public speaking, but could speak with enough confidence, grace, and style to be recognized by a panel of judges. To me, a girl that could barely breathe in the midst of giving speeches before joining the speech team, that was an absolutely amazing accomplishment.

I proudly displayed these awards at my high school graduation party…but now? High school seems so far away in my past–though, I guess it was only four years ago that I was celebrating my high school graduation–and it will only get farther away as time goes on.

These awards don’t have much use or value to me anymore.

Yet, I still keep them. It just seems a shame to throw away these pieces of plastic that used to make me so proud. After all, they aren’t meaningful to me anymore…but they once were.

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Trinket Found: My Bedroom
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13 Replies to “Trinket Tuesday: Awards of Yesteryear”

  1. Put them in a box. When you open the box in 20 years all of those memories will pour out again. From a fellow band nerd, though back in the dark ages these types of awards didn’t exist, just a plaque received at graduation that told the years i was in band, marching band, pep band, jazz band, choir and the yearly musical production. I’m sure that plaque is considered an antique now… So someday when your little trophies are antiques, they may mean something on those rare occasions when you take a peek.

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    1. Something I’ll have to keep in mind, for sure. I really don’t want to get rid of them because they are a part of my past and they did use to be important to me. Perhaps I will have to box them up. I know I will appreciate saving them one day.

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  2. Photograph them, then put them in a scrapbook and include snippets about each award. You could even make one of those bound books you can order on line. A book will take up far less space, and will be easier to take with you as you move from place to place. When you get older, the memories attached to your awards will fade. It will be nice to be able to refer to your notes.

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    1. True, a book WILL take up much less space. I don’t know, though. I hate giving up the things that are important to me. I think it comes from my love of history and my great appreciation for the past, but I always feel like the real object is so much more significant than a picture of it. This is one of the reasons I’m so interested in museum work. A picture IS worth a thousand words, but every object has a story, too.

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  3. Britta, this post has me questioning how weird it is that we didn’t know each other better while at Morris. We were in pretty much ALL the same high school activities. Marching band remains one of my favorite high school memories–I’m a fellow flutist and appreciate the shout-out! I was in speech as well–and loved it so much I judged all four years of college. You’re so right about all the awards they give out in high school–they lose their meaning so quickly. But the thing about them is that they remind us who we used to be. The ribbons and trophies don’t mean anything to us NOW, but they remind us of who we used to be, what we used to strive for, and how we have grown and changed since then. I think that’s why we can’t seem to throw them away.

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    1. Goodness, we do have a lot in common! I have some of my best high school memories from marching band, for sure. I really wish I would have been in speech all four years, too. I felt like I was finally figuring out what it took to be a truly good speaker at the end of my senior year…and by then, it was time to graduate. It was a great experience, though, and I’m so glad I joined the team at the beginning of junior year.
      So well said, Amelia. They do remind of us of who we used to be. They remind me of how much I’ve changed for the better but how, in some ways, I’m still very much the same. I wouldn’t change my time in marching band or speech for the world.

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  4. I love Amy’s idea….but then I am a gal who has basically shed herself of possession to go sailing. Pretty much all I have fits into a (very large) roller bag suit case, a computer case, a camera bag and a dry bag. If you travel light you will travel far.

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    1. Ah, such wise words, Lisa. I just hate throwing things away, especially things that have had value to me. I don’t like being so materialistic, but there are some things that are just hard to think of getting rid of.

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      1. It isn’t materialism, it is cherishing the moments. Some people do that with objects, others with photos and others just with memories. I think it is fine if you want to hold onto ‘things of value’

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  5. You raise good questions and this is good for you to develop the habit now…I kept a scrapbook of my high school swimming and track medals, ribbons and news clippings. I ended up keeping one giant trophy that I still proudly display in my bedroom. Boomers RARELY got trophies or awards, so perhaps they mean more. Millennials got lots of awards, so I suppose you could keep the most meaningful and photograph others…or toss. We all could learn a lesson from @LisaDorenfest 🙂

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    1. I completely agree…there was an award for everything in high school. We got awards just for BEING in band. There were first year awards all the way up to fourth year awards. Kind of dumb, if you think about it…thanks for sticking with us, here’s a medal. Awards do lose their meaning when you get so many of them. Still, there are those few–like my marcher of the year awards–that were really meaningful to me and it’s so hard for me to think of getting rid of them. Perhaps I should just keep the most meaningful. My fourth year band award is hardly much to write home about, but there are a few that I’d like to keep for sure.

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