Awards Fuel Passion

As adolescents, awards are essential to motivate us toward continuing our passions and set the curve got out careers and hobbies. Additionally, the gratifications we receive help boost our confidence in these passions.


Graphic by Ezruh Hacker.

The Viking Vanguard is the Puyallup School District’s oldest news outlet. Puyallup High School was established in 1890, and just 21 years later, The Vanguard was born. In our 111 years, The Vanguard has earned many awards, pushing us to always be better as a publication.  

Awards motivate us to continue our passions. In basic human psychology, we respond more to external stimuli, being rewarded for our good work rather than internally motivating ourselves to improve our lives and passions. Awards make our work, and therefore us, feel valued and seen, leading us to want to continue our hard work. Our feeling of success will stick with us in our awarded area, increasing our confidence for competing in our field.  

We are honoring the students at Puyallup High School who have won awards in their passions through competing, nominations and serving others in the community. No matter what you did to win an award, your work is appreciated by judges and evaluators who believe you’ve earned that certificate, trophy, medal or title.  

Awards overall help us to achieve a sense of self-worth, something adolescents need. In the days of social media, it’s so easy to believe we aren’t as pretty, athletic or good as our peers who post about their successes. In light of these thoughts, we can reflect on our personal achievements received and feel worthy. We won’t need to compare ourselves to anyone on our Instagram feed when we feel recognized and loved.  

Awards don’t always come in the typical forms mentioned. Sometimes, personal wins, such as meeting your goals, can feel just as motivating and fulfilling. Maybe you finally finished your crochet blanket, that’s a win. Did you pass all your classes this semester? Also a win. Meeting your goals are accomplishments we should be proud of, regardless of what others have done.  

Some believe that awards aren’t worth celebrating. They are miniscule accomplishments that amount to nothing in the long run. However, this misconception shouldn’t prevent you from building your own standpoint and choosing to believe you are worth being proud of. The belief that awards are meaningless is not true.  

To put this into perspective, when you look back at your high school years, you will remember the recognition you got at the pep assembly. When they said the name of your group, club or organization and you got to stand up on the wooden bleachers and everyone clapped for you. This memory will stick with you and make an impact on your life. Enjoy the time you get to spend being recognized and look back being proud of yourself.