children aren’t dumb. we knew that trophies meant nothing when everyone in the fucking class got one
Also who was giving out those fucking trophies? SPOILER ALERT IT WASN’T US. IT WAS YOU.
Who the fuck got trophies?? I got a piece of paper saying Participation on it with a cheap-ass shiny sticker in the corner!
Sometimes they were ribbons.
Sometimes they were just the gnawing awareness that you could never trust any praise an adult gave you.
When I was in 7th grade, the administration at my middle school decided to make a bunch of changes to pep rallies, including changing the spirit award to the grade that showed the most school spirit to three spirit awards SO THAT EACH GRADE COULD HAVE ONE.
We decided in about 2.5 seconds that this was fucking stupid and that it was pointless to have a school-wide spirit contest IF NO ONE WAS ACTUALLY ABLE TO WIN. Our entire grade organized ourselves and boycotted the pep rally in protest. We still went to the pep rally, but the entire 7th grade sat quietly in the bleachers and refused to cheer or otherwise participate.
AND IT INFURIATED THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION. INFURIATED THEM.
They ended up giving one spirit award to the 8th grade and two spirit awards to the 6th grade. At which point, our entire grade stood up and cheered, and the principal screamed into her microphone that we needed to sit down and stop cheering.
Because we hadn’t broken any school rules, the administration realized they couldn’t punish us, and they changed back to one spirit award and got rid of the other unpopular pep rally changes. But they never forgave us. The principal saved up all of her anger for a year and a half and then called a special “promotion ceremony rehearsal” for our grade right before we graduated from middle school specifically so that she could spend an hour yelling at us about how THIS WAS NOT FOR US, THIS WAS FOR OUR PARENTS AND OUR TEACHERS AND THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE SCHOOL, AND IF WE FUCKED THE CEREMONY UP IN ANY WAY, SO HELP HER, SHE WOULD MAKE OUR LIVES A LIVING HELL.
So, yeah, tell me again about how my generation expects trophies for participating. I dare you.
Someone somewhere has a great post about how all Millennials learned from this “everybody gets a trophy” culture foisted on us was to distrust conventional feedback methods (if everybody gets one, the system must be wrong and someone who tells me I’m good at something is probably lying). So the fact that we’re a generation filled with insecure overachievers with a well-documented lack of interest in conventional life markers is partly due to all those stupid participation trophies.
Ruined a perfectly good kid that’s what you did. Look at it. It’s got anxiety