Shalom Obisie-Orlu. Scroll.
Tonight at the academic awards evening at my school, that was what was called out before I walked onto stage and received my certificate. A scroll for academic achievement. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Let me fill you in on what has been going on in the swell of tears and banging in my brain for the past hour since the event ended:
At the school I was at from 2012-June 2014, academic awards can be achieved in grade ten, eleven and twelve, under half colours or full colours. With the report I achieved last year, I would have qualified for half colours. I’m confident I would have also managed to get full colours for netball, and been a councillor, or senior leader.
Does it matter? No.
In June/July of 2014 I made a decision to transfer schools in an attempt to save myself. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s the truth. I didn’t, contrary to popular belief, get bored and move to a school where I would have (a) nothing to my name, (b) no academic reputation in the most important year of high school, and (c) an extremely tough time fitting in to school in the middle of the year.
Nobody does that because they’re bored. Nobody uproots his or her life for attention. Nobody goes through extremely depressive cycles and ridiculous application processes just for fun.
It’s NOT fun.
Today, I was presented with a scroll. A scroll is the most basic academic achievement award presentable at my new school. It’s the award that anyone can get. You get a scroll for your first year of doing well.
It’s not my first year.
I’m not smart at school but I try really hard. I used to be brilliant. It was all I had. I worked so, so hard in the most difficult school year I have ever had to endure and then, this.
I meet the criteria for half colours. I meet the criteria at two schools, for goodness’s sake! I just so happened to make a decision and I now don’t get the award I deserve in every manner of speaking,because I haven’t been at the school long enough.
Look, tonight I’ve managed to offend one of my closest friends, almost swear at my mother, cry so hard my eyes are struggling to open, held back so many outbursts, fake smiled at so many people and said so many “thank you”s that I honestly wish I meant.
Grow up, Shalom. Get a hold of yourself. You got an award! Some people didn’t get anything. Be grateful. High school isn’t everything. You’ll be done with this in ten months.
I’ve been trying to get myself to understand these things, but how can I when they so clearly contradict everything I’ve been told?
- this is the most important most important year of your life
- matric stays with you forever
- you get what you work for
Not the case here. I’m also really, really angry at myself; at the fact that I can’t be 100 per cent hapy for my lovely friends who did so well. About the fact that I snapped about not getting a good enough award when my lovely friend didn’t get an award at all.
I sound like an arrogant, unsatisfied brat. I know. And I hate it when people are like this. But these are my feelings and I would never act on them for fear of hurting another person (sorry Chy). I just needed somewhere to put them.
That’s all I have o say for now. That’s all the stupid, overprivelleged, arrogant and annoying ranting you’ll have to tolerate for today. I’m terribly sorry.
In truth, well done to all of the award winners tonight. You deserve it. (no cynicism intended)