10 Amazing Things That Marching Band Will Give You Other Than A Farmer's Tan

10 Amazing Things That Marching Band Will Give You Other Than A Farmer's Tan

Marching band will change your life forever.

Participating in marching band can do many things for you. Ultimately, it will end up changing your life forever. I have been in a marching band for six (going on seven) years and it has been the thing I have grown to love the most. It has become who I am and what people know me as. Continuing to participate in marching band throughout college has been the best decision I have ever made. Marching band can provide many things for you, but here are examples of just 10:

1. Lifelong Friends

Marching band will give you a group of friends who will be there for the rest of your life. The bond you create with these people is something so unique. It is hard to explain why, but they end up being the people you hang out with and who you stay up texting late at night. I am always passing friends around campus and it always makes my day better when I'm able to just stop and talk to a person for five minutes, even when I'm late to class.

2. Endless opportunities

Many of the best experiences of my college career have been because of band. I was able to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, a trip to Disney World, and a trip to a March Madness tournament in San Diego, California, all because I am able to march and play an instrument. Marching band, especially in college, will provide you many opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on.

3. Great leadership skills

Through my years in a marching band, I've learned that it's hard not to have leadership skills when you're on the field learning a show with over 350 other people. You have to know what you are doing and how to help those around you to get the performance ready for an audience. These leadership skills will benefit you in all aspects of your life.

4. Time management skills

Especially in college, signing up to be in marching band means that you're also signing up to be busy and to have no free time. At WVU, the band rehearses four days a week for two hours each day. You're never free on the weekends. Even some weeknights, you're completely booked up. You have to be able to get homework done, attend all practices and performances, maintain friendships, and still get a good education. Marching band teaches you how to juggle everything at once and to still love what you are doing.

5. Reasons to attend sporting events

If it wasn't for marching band, I would not attend the sporting events that I do now. I would have no interest in attending every home football game if I wasn't a part of the band. It's not that I don't have school spirit, that environment just isn't for me. Being a part of the marching band gives me the opportunity to experience football games in a different, more friendly environment and I absolutely love that.

6. Support

If you're going through a hard time or just having a bad day, don't you worry. Just go to band practice and you'll be around plenty of other people who care and want you to be happy. The people in the marching band are either going through the same things as you or have been through them already. They are there to support you through everything and it couldn't get any better than that.

7. Therapy sessions

For me, going to band practice lets me relax and let go of my problems. It's hard to explain, but when I'm at practice, I am immediately happy, ready to learn drill, and ready to perfect the show that we're about to perform. I love being with the people who I love the most. In conclusion, if you are having a bad day — do not skip band. Go and get the free therapy session you need.

8. Happiness

It doesn't matter what I have to do or how my day is going — when I'm at band practice, I am automatically a happier and different person. I am able to let go of my problems outside of band. I can be with the people there and accomplish our goal of getting performances ready. It's a huge source of happiness because I love to march, I love to be around the people, and I love the feeling of our hard work coming to life.

9. Great exercise

I don't know about you, but I always feel and look healthier when it's marching band season. I'm forced to be on my feet and walk a lot. I'm getting out of my room and getting a break from homework. Marching band is my workout and when marching season is not in, neither is my exercise. At WVU, we run onto the field for our pregame show, and I can promise that you need to be in shape to run at a tempo of 220 beats per minute and then continue to play your instrument and march.

10. A family

Last but not least, marching band provides you with a FAMILY. The people in marching band are the people that you spend most of your time with. You practice with them, you attend games with them, and you travel with them. After a few weeks of knowing these people, they become your family away from family. They are the ones you bring home on your free weekends, the ones who are always there for a late night adventure, and the ones who are always right by your side through everything.

Marching band is a life-changing opportunity that I would recommend to everyone. It has provided me with a support system, lifelong friends, and a purpose in life.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Petitto

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.

College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.

There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.


2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 

I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.

What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?

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