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What you can expect from winning an award

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What is it that makes all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into writing an awards entry worthwhile? Jenni Middleton reveals why it’s so great to vie for a place on the rostrum.

In our youth we were all compelled to be competitive. From those early school sports day races spent gingerly carrying a product that woulda-shoulda-coulda been an omelette on a piece of cutlery, to those days when exams results envelopes had to be opened in front of our families, we were trained to want to aspire to be the best. Winning or doing well has been a public occasion - the roar of the crowd as you storm in first over the finishing line, the celebratory pats on the back as you clinched an A in your GCSEs. Doing well is a very public affair. And rightly so. If you’re brilliant, you want people to know it, don’t you?

Awards are the adult continuation of that public adulation for your skills. I’ve worked on magazines that have been shortlisted for awards eight times, and we’ve won once and been highly commended twice. That moment when you are waiting for the shortlist to be announced is agony - you keep checking the website and your emails over and over, unable to focus on anything else. And when you finally realise that your name is among the chosen few, it’s impossible to prevent yourself from doing an air punch and imagining how the trophy will look on your mantlepiece. I don’t actually have a mantelpiece but in my dreams I always imagine I’ll build one, just to display said award - or maybe get my own trophy cabinet…

There’s something magical about awards - everyone loves them and everyone wants to get their hands on one. Anyone who tells you any different is lying. If you follow the gaze of the camera around the Golden Globes, Academy Awards or BAFTAs this awards season, you’ll notice one thing on the newly Botoxed faces - envy of those who win and a desire to be the one standing on stage making a tearful speech this time next year. Yes, the actors, actresses and directors will have practised their “I’m-so-pleased-for-you-you-really-do-deserve-it” faces, but what they’re really thinking is “Why isn’t it me? When will it be my turn?”

And the reason they want it so bad? Winning feels great. It feels fantastic to get that recognition, to be told you are the best. There’s nothing quite like the buzz you get when you find out you’ve been shortlisted for or won an award. There’s something so life-affirming about having your peers and those whom you respect judge you to be one of the best in the country at doing something. It makes all those long, hard nights spent writing your entry and proofreading it over and over, before nagging friends to read it for you and fretting over whether it’s got there in time all worthwhile.

Don’t you deserve to feel that way? What are you waiting for? Enter The Student Nursing Times Awards today. The deadline for receipt of your entries is 2 March.

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