The Awards Ceremony: The Pros and Cons
May 19, 2015 • 1,395 views
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By: Ankita Bhanot
The time-honored Presentation Awards Ceremony takes place at the end of every school year to recognize students who have excelled in different areas of academics and extracurriculars. An awards ceremony is a special day for many students receiving awards, and it gives an opportunity for the students to be recognized by their peers, teachers and family members that have supported them throughout the years. This year’s award ceremony, coming up on May 19, will mark one of the many years this tradition has been at Presentation, and should definitely be continued for years to come.
Students who receive awards feel a sense of pride and joy at their achievements, and keep the memory of their recognition for years after. Students who have excelled in an area deserve to be lauded by their fellow students. Lauren Colvin, a recipient of the esteemed “Nano Nagle Award” in 2013 said, “Receiving the Nano Nagle Award was such an honor, and I will always look back on my high school years with pride, knowing I made an impactful difference in my school. I think this applies to many of the awards. The feeling of recognition after all your years of hard work is very important, and will help you look back on high school with pride, a sense of achievement and accomplishment!”
It can be argued that the awards ceremony creates unrealistic ideals for students to over achieve. But the awards ceremony is just one day out of the whole year that these achievements are being displayed, and it is designed for the community of Pres girls to feel happiness for the Pres seniors, not jealousy. If anything, seeing another student receive an award would motivate a Pres girl to push herself or improve.
Some might say another downfall could be that the ceremony makes some who don’t receive awards feel left out. However, the administration does its best to make the categories all-inclusive, covering every subject and after-school activity, from theater to dance to speech and debate. This gives opportunities for many students to be recognized for things other than grades.
But perhaps the most convincing argument is that frankly, it is unrealistic to expect that every senior will be receiving an award. The point of the awards ceremony is not to to give out awards to over 200 girls. As every year’s seniors graduate to go off into the real world, it is important to realize that out there, not everyone is going to get an award, whether in the form of a good grade or promotion. A person’s success up until now in high school, or even later in life, is not necessarily defined by some tangible reward.
Senior Minna Nguyen said, “I believe that students need to know that the amount of effort they have given to the school is not determined by the number of awards they receive. In a perfect world, everyone should receive recognition for their contributions, but that’s not always possible. I hope that people know in their hearts how much of themselves they have given to the school and can still celebrate those that do happen to be awarded.”
By: Shelby Tindall
Everybody loves being rewarded for their hard work. But nobody loves their failures and what seems like everybody else’s successes rubbed in their face. And that’s exactly what the awards ceremony does.
The awards ceremony primarily honors students who have excelled in academics and service. The problem with the awards ceremony is primarily when it comes to awarding academic achievement.
The awards ceremony is rewarding people who are innately smart, rather than those who actually work hard. For some, academics comes naturally. Learning is as easy as one-two-three, and it doesn’t require much effort to a learn a new concept. For most others, that’s not the case; mastering new material is a struggle. And sometimes even if someone is trying their best and going the extra mile, their best is still just a B. Not to say that a B is not good, but the academic awards only honor those who have achieved an A-letter grade in the class, regardless of how hard that particular student worked.
The awards ceremony also encourages unhealthy standards. For example, is a perfect attendance award really necessary? Life isn’t perfect. People get sick and events come up. The school handbook even says we should stay home if we’re sick. So, are we supposed to come to school then, no matter the circumstances to have a perfect attendance? Is that something that should be encouraged? Because let’s be honest, in four years people are bound to get sick at least once.
The whole award ceremony seems a little hypocritical anyway. The school is telling students to take care of themselves, to get sleep and take care of their mental health. Yet the award ceremony is honoring students for their ridiculously high 4.5 GPA. You can’t really have one without the other, so what does Pres really want?
One of the biggest negatives surrounding the entire awards ceremony is clear to any onlooker — it leaves people out. Most students know the awards are primarily focused around the senior class, so freshmen, sophomores and juniors don’t get too hurt. But even while most seniors receive an award, there’s still a good majority who don’t. And it’s sad. Nobody likes feeling left out, and the awards ceremony isolates girls who didn’t qualify for one.
At the end of the day, the awards ceremony is just unnecessary. While it’s nice to commended for a job well done, you shouldn’t need recognition or praise for doing so. Just knowing you did well should be confirmation enough. Besides, is your praise really necessary when it comes at the cost of leaving others out? Is it really necessary to slave over homework and stay up all hours of the night to get an A? Really it isn’t, and neither is the awards ceremony.