I didn't peak in high school. I wasn't the most popular girl in school, I wasn't the prom queen, I didn't date the quarterback, and I wasn't the valedictorian. However, I did make genuine and lasting friendships, gained experience and guidance that will help me for a lifetime, and I made memories that I will look back on for years to come. As I enter my last year of college I can say that I have accomplished similar things, and much more, in these past three years. As I enter the next stage of my life, not only will I hold onto the memories of college, but I will continue to hold onto the memories from high school as well.
This brings me to my next point. I wear my high school class ring every day. To me, my high school ring reminds me of the times I had in high school, which got me to where I am today, while also simply being a cute accessory. I am most certainly not stuck in my past, I am just proud of it. However, believe it or not, sometimes I am judged for wearing my high school ring. People have a negative connotation towards my ring because they feel it indicated that I haven’t severed the connection between high school and me, yet. Classmates have said to me, “You still wear your high school ring? I’m so past those immature days so I never wear mine anymore.” Yes, I still wear my high school ring but, yes, I am past those immature days. My ring should not symbolize immaturity and refusal to change and grow up, but instead, pride of my past, and even more, pride of where I am today thanks to my past.
There are two meanings behind almost every word, and in the case of my ring -- objects: one connotative and one
denotative. Both the connotative and denotative meanings fall under the
content meaning of the word. A word's denotative meaning is its literal
dictionary meaning. A connotative meaning employs context clues and
tone to decipher a words meaning and what images the word evokes in your
mind. People can also assign meaning to things (words and
objects) that don’t have a definite meaning. As you can see,
communicative meanings can get very complicated. In order for successful
communication to occur, all communicating parties must be mutually
aware of context, setting, and tone.
Today, people often assign meanings and labels to things that don’t have a definite meaning or label, causing them to decode the meanings of things in different ways. The way others decode the meaning of me wearing my high school ring, for example, puts a negative label or connotation on an object with no real negative meaning. Communication starts with a mutual awareness and then a transaction is established. In order or the correct transaction to be established, especially regarding my ring, there needs to be a mutual awareness that I am not stuck in my past, but ready to approach my future in a “grab the bull by the horns” sort of matter. At the end of the day my ring is just a ring, a piece of decorative jewelry, but it’s crazy how content meaning in communication can make it much more than that.