Its the beginning of June and that means award ceremonies at schools across the country. It’s been a long year of ridiculous standardized testing, learning things you’ll never use again and listening to peers make fun of your interests. Now to top it off you’re required to sit ever so quietly for 90+ minutes of a presentation that is just a painful reminder that you don’t exactly fit in.
You weren’t upset all that much. You sat there through the whole thing and clapped and congratulated your classmates even though your name wasn’t called this time. It was disappointing to see that a little bit of that sparkle in your eye dimmed ever so slightly. You have so many things to be proud of.
Perfect attendance would have meant you would have missed that great trip up north where you spent some glorious days outside learning things that can NEVER be taught in a classroom. Yeah, you didn’t get a math class award but that didn’t mean you didn’t work hard. HECK, you spent 2 hours in math class a day and that’s double what the other kids did. No, the honor roll wasn’t in the cards for you this year but that doesn’t mean you aren’t smart or amazing in so many things. With an awards ceremony that gives out the “Talks Too Much Award” how seriously can you take it anyway?
There are a ton of things you did that were award worthy. Remember when you saved up all your birthday money for a soup kitchen donation because you couldn’t imagine what it was like for kids to not have dinner? Don’t forget about the time you made sure someone’s lost iPhone got turned into the office right away. I’m sad to say not all kids would deem that a priority. What about the numerous times you’ve changed a tire or jumped a dead battery because you can get done in 5 minutes what even other ADULTS can’t do? You’ve cultivated, tilled and planted a large garden on your own. You’ve built and paid for an entire chicken coop. You’ve already secured a summer job. These are things they don’t teach in school but they will come in pretty handy in life.
My hope for you is that someday you’ll be thankful that you don’t fit in. I know it’s hard to imagine right now but not following the status quo is going to get you so far when REAL LIFE comes along. Stay weird, my friend, stay weird.
Keep the applause coming, loudly as you possibly can because for more than you might imagine this is the highlight of their life. You’ve got a few more years of award ceremonies to sit through but now you’ll do it with the thought that you are SO MUCH MORE than a piece of paper.