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.