I have exactly 1,476 trophies, and I adore every single one of them.
I have participation awards from every sports team I’ve been on since kindergarten, eighth-place trophies for speech and debate tournaments, and my well-loved third-place medal for a watermelon-eating competition from third grade.
These trophies are accolades of achievement, representing who I am and all that I’ve done in life.
Now that I’m an adult at the ripe age of 22, I’m starting to run out of room on my many shelves for the hundreds of trophies I’ve won in my lifetime. More important, I’ve also stopped receiving as many trophies, and I see that as a real problem in today’s society.
The traditional “pat on the back for attending class” that I’ve earned every day in college is nice, but it doesn’t bring quite the same pride as a well-earned trophy for participation or “Best Attitude!”
The trophy I received instead of my diploma was lovely, but it seemed like a lot of effort to go through four years of college for just the one measly trophy. Lord knows, when I’m a parent I won’t cut off my own children so quickly. Kids deserve a good start to life, and praising their basic tasks with awards just shows them the value of their work.
When I got my first job out of college, I felt a burst of pride. But my new employer didn’t give me a trophy for winning the job, so my joy immediately turned into sadness and confusion. Didn’t I do well?
I turned to the internet, my favorite babysitter, for help. To my surprise, I found out that, supposedly, most activities are not rewarded with trophies. Some even say it’s a “Millennial thing” to desire this kind of validation!
I find this offensive. My special snowflake feelings were incredibly hurt, and I needed something to heal them.
Don’t you dare say Millennials are not motivated: I went to the nearest trophy shop in town and asked them to stamp my name on the biggest trophy they had. I blew my entire first paycheck on a trophy titled “You got a job! Yay!”
I didn’t have to worry about rent since my parents are still paying it, but once I pay my first rent check I’ll certainly get a shiny new trophy in the mail from them.
Best. Parents. Ever.
I fully believe that I and every Millennial I know would not be the shining examples of humanity we are today if it weren’t for these trophies, and I suggest that every new parent commit a substantial budget to buying these kinds of awards. It’s just good parenting, and if you do it, you deserve a medal for #adulting.
I’ve bought myself many more trophies since then. Now that this viewpoint is being published, I think I’ll order a beautiful little statue with a pen and paper that says “Published!” I deserve it.
It may seem self-indulgent, but my walls and walls of trophies serve as a sparkling distraction from my low wages, the looming threat of global warming and the horrifying politics controlling my country courtesy of older generations.
I don’t need mental health, affordable healthcare or the possibility of ever owning a house. I have my trophies.
Kelly Kenoyer is a recent University of Oregon graduate who is trying her hand at #adulting.