An Open Letter About Participation Trophies From A Millennial
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An Open Letter About Participation Trophies From A Millennial

We like them less than you think

An Open Letter About Participation Trophies From A Millennial
A.F. Branco

Dear Baby Boomers and Generation X,

It's no secret that you like to complain about how participation trophies give millennials an unnecessary sense of entitlement. But, as a millennial, I'm here to tell you a secret that my generation has:

We hate those stupid trophies too.

Maybe not all of us, but a majority of us fail to see the point in them. If you didn't win, then you don't deserve a trophy. Not once as a child do I remember crying about not getting a trophy or a medal after losing. It's almost as if those little-leaguers you like to laugh at actually understand the concept of only being rewarded for success rather than failure. Nevertheless, coaches continue to give out participation trophies, and the rest of you continue to mock those receiving them.

But never mind the fact you, the Baby Boomers and Generation X, created participation trophies, you're literally laughing at the young children receiving them. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think you guys would be old and mature enough to realize how shameful you must look for laughing at children. Think about that - you think it's okay to give a seven year old something you created and brought into this world and then laugh at them for it.

And you can't even try to tell me I'm wrong and that participation trophies have always plagued this nation. When I was in the fifth grade, I entered my very first science fair. Do you know how many winners there were? Three. Do you know what I placed? First. Do you know what I received because of that? A trophy. Do you know what all the other people who didn't win received? Nothing. That's right, folks, at my science fair, if you didn't win then you didn't get a prize. And nobody cried about walking away empty-handed.

Now that I (hopefully) have you realizing that whichever one of you created participation trophies made a horrendous mistake and that we like them even less than you do, let me try to relate to you on a personal level. I think participation trophies are one of the most ridiculous things to ever grace the Earth (second only to reality TV). I wholeheartedly believe that the team that loses a soccer tournament deserves nothing more than a meeting with the coach about how to improve for next year. No one needs to be rewarded for losing. The only reason children have begun to expect those gold-painted plastic pillars of lies is because you've conditioned them that way. This is a monster you've created it, therefore, you have to destroy it.

This isn't like the ruined economy and housing market that you passed on to us, your successors. No, this is a problem you have to fix yourselves; don't expect millennials to swoop in like Superman and clean up your mess. We're not here to play janitor and mop up your mistake. We never asked for this, so it's not on us to deal with the repercussions. Next time, think before you create something else stupid.

But hey, if you guys clean this up fast enough, maybe we'll give you a trophy for putting in the effort.


A millennial who earned all her trophies and medals

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