In 2003, our club was able to award 2 scholarships to local Tall Teens! We awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Rebecca Magee at a brunch at Mary and Gary’s house in June. And, in July at Brunch Business meeting, we measured Jonathan Pritchard in at 6’5″ and gave him a $500 scholarship. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in Modesto and his college plans are to attend CSU, Monterey Bay, and major in business, law or sports broadcasting. Congratulations to both Rebecca and Jonathon!
Rebecca’s Essay: My height: a blessing or a curse?
Since I entered this world as a baby, I’ve been labeled as “tall for my age”. The way I see it, my taller-than-average height can be looked at as either a blessing or a curse. I personally have always enjoyed being tall, except for on occasion when I hit my head on low tree branches or when I can’t find pants that are long enough. I look upon it as a blessing, as the benefits have most often outweighed the drawbacks, and very seldom do I curse being tall.
I’ve enjoyed many benefits of being a tall young woman and plan to continue enjoying them for the rest of my life. Since I was little, being tall allowed me to ride almost any roller coaster that I desired. I grew to be able to see over people in crowds, in theatres, at concerts, etc. People shorter than me, however, couldn’t see over my head in those situations and they often grew upset that I was blocking their view. Like many other tall people, I’ve grown accustomed to having both strangers and friends ask me to reach things for them that are out of their reach.
Another reason I enjoy being tall is because it makes me more noticeable. I tend to stand out in a group of people because of my height, especially as a tall young woman. Sometimes this extra attention isn’t always embraced, but I’ve grown accustomed to it. Many people “look up to me” both literally and figuratively because of my height, and marvel at the self-esteem I have due to my height and my other blessings in life. Many come to me and ask if I play sports such as basketball or volleyball, which humors me because most assume that with height comes the ability to play such sports. Truth is, just because I’m tall doesn’t necessarily make me an outstanding athlete, but it does often give me a slight advantage.
I have always loved being tall and have had many people tell me how envious they are of my height. I am very thankful that I am as tall as I am, even though it can be a hindrance at times, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. No matter what height though, I feel it is important for individuals to be happy with the way they are, and be thankful for their height no matter what it may be. We just have to adapt to our circumstances and enjoy life at any height.
Jonathan’s Essay: What Being Tall Means To Me
Yet another tall joke! Ouch! I hit my head on my aunt’s chandelier again. I can’t ride back there, I don’t fit! These are just a few of the everyday events that I could laugh or cry about.
So is being tall a fortunate or unfortunate thing? Do I want to be known as “Big Jon” or would I rather people see the other qualities that I have? I have come to the conclusion that being tall is just like any other inherited trait; you have to take the good with the bad and make the best of it. My philosophy is to always focus on the positive aspects of being tall. My experiences have helped me grow into a compassionate person that can relate to others who don’t fit the mold. I have learned to be confident in my height, to stand tall and accept myself for who I am. Yea, I’m Big Jon, but I am so much more than that. When people get to know me they don’t really see me as “the tall guy” anymore, but they see Jon, and all the other qualities that make me who I am.
Would I trade being tall for being a “normal” height? Not on your life! My height has given me confidence to excel on the basketball court. I have accomplished many things playing basketball at school. More important that the awards I received, I have developed into a better person. I have learned how to accept winning and losing. I know the joy of accomplishment and the agony of defeat. I have learned the value of being a team player and how to work with others. I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime.
Being tall can’t define who I am, but it has definitely had a role in who I have become. I know that someday I will stop growing taller, but I will always challenge myself to grow in other ways and become all the person that I can be.