In Which Ella’s Name Will Not Be Affixed to the Wall

The Senior Awards ceremony is tonight. You know, the one where the winners get their names stuck to the plaques outside the Main Office to forever live in glory (and have their names ridiculed by petty teenagers). Ever since freshman year, I have wanted one of those awards. I got the big academic award in middle school and was voted most scholarly (The picture in the yearbook is hilarious. I’m wearing a green shirt with a clashing green scarf, golden brown wire framed glasses and have the nerdiest expression on my face.), which was a huge deal to me at the time. Being smart was how I defined myself and how other people seemed to defined me. It felt good to be that person.

Tonight when I walk into the Auditorium to sit on the springy green fake-velvet seats and watch the proceedings, it will not be to receive one of those big fancy awards. I’ll get my gold pin for four years of community service, and that’ll be it. My friends and many of my classmates will win awards, and I’ll enthusiastically clap and take their picture, but it won’t be the same as walking up to the stage myself, shaking someone’s hand, and getting whatever they give you to commemorate it. I know that I’m being selfish. I know that all I should feel is happiness for others, but I can’t I really, really can’t. I am far too sad over my insufficiencies and how much my emotional problems have messed up how I wanted and want to live my life.

2 thoughts on “In Which Ella’s Name Will Not Be Affixed to the Wall

  1. You can still live your life the way you want to. You’ll get there. You are such a strong young woman, I have no doubt that you will succeed at what you want. I have faith in you!

  2. I totally know what you mean, Ella. There were so many people who deserved awards that just didn’t get them. And it’s frustrating, too, to see the same people go up to the stage over and over again. Sometimes it’s because there are four awards for one subject and apparently only one person stands out in that subject; sometimes it’s because that person has excelled in many subjects. But do you want to know a secret? It basically all comes down to the relationships you have with your teachers. You may get straight A’s and get along fine with all your teachers, but if you don’t form a close bond with them, they don’t think to nominate you even if you’re more than qualified. Some kids get B’s and C’s, but A’s in one particular class and that teacher appreciates their work and dedication in that subject, so they get the award. It doesn’t always seem fair, but you just have to know that you’re no worse than anyone else just because you’re name isn’t on a plaque.

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