Column: Who needs diplomas? Uni has senior lanyards
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 2:49pm
AS I WAS walking past the second-floor stairwell on the south side of the school last Friday, I did a double take. I saw a cardboard box sitting there with the words "senior lanyards" written on the sides. I could not believe my eyes, but when I looked again I saw that the box was indeed full of lanyards.
For those of you who do not know, lanyards are those ribbon-like cords people use to carry their keys and other small objects. At large events they are often given to people with name tags attached, and the guests are supposed to wear them around their necks. Some Uni students have been known to wear lanyards around their necks that they keep their prox cards on.
The lanyards in the box were blue and had the word "Uni" repeatedly emblazoned on them in orange letters. There was a keyring on the end of each of them so that students from the Class of 2012 can keep their keys on this lanyard.
I investigated the matter and found that the lanyards will be given to this year's seniors as part of a goodie bag that will be handed out at the senior supper. I was struck with the absurdity of this situation.
These young men and women have spent the past five years of their lives at this school, and as they are leaving they are given a lanyard? A piece of junk. How anticlimactic can you get?
Is this supposed to be how the graduating seniors will remember Uni? With an instrument used to carry keys? Some high schools have class rings, but here at Uni we have class lanyards. I can just imagine a member of the Class of 2012 pulling out their lanyard from some trophy shelf fifty years from now and telling their grandchildren, "Look, this is what I received for graduating high school."
As I was writing this article, I did a quick survey of the lanyards I own, or at least the ones I could find. I have one that says "Go Army" that was stuffed in my goodie bag for running a half-marathon. I have one from a summer camp I attended. I have two lanyards that I got from field trips. I have one from the goodie bag I got during my subbie orientation. And I have one from being on a college visit with my sister. I would hope that my five years at Uni is a more meaningful experience than any of those.
In addition to the meaninglessness of lanyards, they are not even very practical. The only people I know who use lanyards regularly are college students who think it is cool to have the lanyard hanging out of their pocket. And I guarantee you that those college students would not wear a lanyard that has their high school on it.
It could be that I am wrong about this entire thing. Maybe lanyards are becoming a fad. In that case, I should get one that says "mother" on it for my mom since Mother's Day is fast approaching. Because nothing says, "I care about you," more than giving someone a piece of string.