Celebrating accomplishments is an interesting thing. I have had quite the internal debate (between the many voices in my head… I hear there is medicine for this but then who would I talk to?) about when it is appropriate to celebrate and when it is seen as just plain bragging.
So a bunch of people I know decided to celebrate when they got into graduate school. I think this is great (I really do… In fact, I attended these celebrations with no qualms whatsoever), but when I got into graduate (law) school, I decided not to celebrate. Why you ask? Because I expected to get in. I know what you are thinking: “You’re going to celebrate after graduation right? Didn’t you expect to graduate?” The answer, of course, for both questions in yes. But after graduation, I plan on celebrating the past four years and the unexpected surprises and great times I had–not the fact that I am a college graduate (in fact, this is depressing and not worth celebrating whatsoever–this is just the first of many steps getting closer to the real world).
In the past couple days, I have received the pleasant news that I am receiving some honors at graduation. This was a complete surprise and I would love to celebrate these accomplishments. However, let’s look at this situation:
Mike: Hey friends, come with me to celebrate the fact that I got these honors and you may not have.
Friends: You are a conceited egomaniac.
I guess because I am in direct comparison with my friends in this situation, if I want to celebrate over this, there is the potential that I offend them because I received these honors and they may not have. Therefore, I really don’t want to celebrate (I celebrated this accomplishment by playing a spectacular game of Madden for Playstation 2. I won big in case you were wondering).
So, when is appropriate to celebrate? Do you celebrate when everyone expects something? Or do you celebrate when something is completely unexpected? It seems that the safest, most politically correct way to do it is to celebrate the former. However, in my opinion, what is the point of celebrating something you expected to happen? Derek Jeter expects to hit over .300 and when he does it’s no big deal. It’s quite the conundrum. I don’t know if there is a right answer.
Sidenote: This post was not a ploy to get people to ask me what honors I am receiving. They will find out when I walk around on graduation and tell them how much better I am than them.
Postscript: After writing a draft of this yesterday, a bunch of friends and I went to the bar. I was reluctant to bring up my honor that I was receiving, but I was really happy about it (and slightly buzzed) and brought it up. People said congratulations and moved on.