BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — “You look like Congresswoman Barbie,” my classmates told me as I entered our school’s cafeteria last Monday in a charcoal suit with my hair down and full make-up on.
My close friends can testify to the fact that they’ve only seen me get that dressed up about four times since we started high school three years ago.
It’s a rarity that we see each other in anything but our school uniforms, but when we do “dress down,” accessorizing isn’t really my thing. I’m more of the athletic type and tend to prefer ponytails and track pants over heels and polo shirts, so naturally my classmates were surprised to see me so dressed up.
That night was special for our junior class. We assembled in the cafeteria and waited to go over to St. Gregory’s Church to get our high school rings. Several of us had customized our rings at the end of sophomore year and had been anticipating the ring ceremony ever since.
After lining up in alphabetical order, we made the two-minute journey over to the church. The festivities commenced when the class officers led the rest of us down the center aisle to the front of the church.
After taking our designated seats in the front three pews, we listened to a Bible reading and a few short speeches, but the real excitement was when the rings were blessed with holy water and each student was called up individually to receive his or her ring.
The night concluded with a reception that was held in the cafeteria, courtesy of the sophomores.
As members of the Saint Paul Catholic High School class of 2008, my friends and I proudly sported our rings; each one was as unique as its wearer and each one told its own story.
Although most of the girls in my class opted for the more elegant rings, I selected one of the more traditional styles.
On the right side of the ring there’s the color guard symbol with my year of graduation, 2008, above it. My school’s initials are on the left side, accompanied with a soccer and track icon.
I decided on aquamarine as the center stone color because not only is blue one of our school colors, but aquamarine is also the birthstone for March and several of my family members, who are important to me, were born in that month.
The aquamarine stone has my name, Beth, written across the center and the stone is surrounded by several tiny diamonds, which happen to be my birthstone. My autograph is engraved on the inside.
At our school we have a legend that goes along with ring night. If you get 100 people to turn your ring, you will have good luck.
The ring must be spun all the way around and the person who spins it is supposed to make a wish.
Although there is no time limit for how long you have to get 100 people to spin your ring, there is a catch. Each person can only spin it one time and the last person should be the most important person in your life. That much is certain.
The direction the ring is supposed to be spun is rather unclear. Some say it’s clockwise, others say that it’s towards your pinky, and a third group says the ring should be spun towards your heart. I guess it just depends on the hand the ring is on.
In the years to come, I think my ring will serve as a reminder of who I was in high school. After all, you can tell a lot about a person based on a class ring.
Beth Pond is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International. YJI’s Becca McIntire took a photograph.