The Top 10 Things I Miss About Being In High School Band

The Top 10 Things I Miss About Being In High School Band

Last time, best time.
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No matter how old you get, it's always good to reminisce on all the experiences you've had in your life and see how much your perspective on them has changed. For me, one particular experience that I will always cherish is being in the band. This was my second home and it was a safe place I could retreat to during some of the most impressionable years of my adolescence. Those six years of my life were filled with friendship, success, discovery, happiness, and of course, endless marching. I still remember the day I first picked up my flute and not having any idea of the impact this organization would have on me. It was because of the many friendships and lessons that, I would later discover how hard it was to let go and why I continue to miss it today. Looking back, I definitely am so thankful for everything band gave me and I am so happy to have been part of something so amazing. There are definitely quite a few things that I will always miss and look back to as what makes band so special.


1. The sacredness of the band room

Some people escape to art studios and others have dance studios or the theater. For me, it was the band room. This was the place everyone would go to hang out at. Whether you had already graduated or were still in high school, this was the first place you went to. You'd get into the school through the band hall. You didn't wait in the cafeteria until the bell rang like everyone else. You waited in the band hall until class started. This place was where you caught up with friends in the morning, where you'd spend the morning trying to finish homework for class that day, or actually be practicing your music for band class. As an alumni, you'd just enter the building through the band hall. Who needs a visitor's pass when hundreds of kids know who you are already?



2. Being able to joke around and poke fun at your band director

My band director was literally one of the most hardworking and caring people I came to know during my high school career. But he was also the one everyone loved to mess around with them most. People took his name, Mr. Felice, and started a funny joke out of it. Felice Navidad!!

I will never forget what'd he'd always tell us to ask ourselves, "Why be good when you can be great?" Or at least, that's how I remember it. (Sorry if it isn't the right wording Mr. Felice!) Seriously though, for all you band kids out there, you probably understand when I say that band directors are some of the greatest teachers you will ever have and learn from.




3. The bus rides

Yes, these were torture. Yes, there's probably nothing worse than having to cram into a yellow bus with seventy-something other sweaty band kids after a game or competition. Everyone is tired and just wants to get home and sleep in their own beds. But when everyone wasn't exhausted, this was the time where everyone just bonded. I can't tell you how many inside jokes were created on these bus rides. The annual band trip bus rides were ALWAYS the best because even though you were stuck on a bus for 10+ hours and you could not fall asleep to save your life, it didn't matter in the end. This was when you got to spend real time with your friends, make fun of how other people sleep, and stay up to talk about real life and your thoughts on the future.




4. The fact that at the end of the day, we were all just creating music together.

Although we may see band as a place to spend time with friends and create memories, music was the foundation to all that. We all decided to pick up an instrument and learn it. We all decided to stick with it no matter how hard the All-Region music was or how exhausted we were after Monday night rehearsal. In the end, we all really did love playing in the band. We would all geek out if a chord sounded perfectly in tune at the end of a piece or if we got high marks for how beautifully we playing our marching music. There has always been something really powerful about working together as a whole and producing this wonderful piece of art. It really is amazing to think that music brought us all together and to think where we would be if it hadn't.


5. Marching together as one

There was nothing better than the high that came from giving it all you got and having an amazing performance. There'd be a moment at the end of the marching show where everyone would just know that they left it all on the field and that was powerful. I can't quite describe it, but there was definitely a prominent sense of accomplishment in the air after coming off. My senior year, I remember looking around at everyone after we walked off the field at State and just tearing up because I knew that even though this was one of my last performances, no title could beat how much work and passion we put into what we did. Nothing could beat how amazing it was to march alongside so many talented people.



6. The traditions that come with being part of band

These are the things that are unique to each band program. Traditions are what brings everyone together across generations and grades. It's exciting to introduce a tradition to someone new because it makes them feel part of the family. This is the thing that helps interconnect every band kid to each other because it becomes second nature. Whether it was dressing up in a costume for the football game closest to Halloween or getting hosed down by the Fire Department on the last day of band camp, traditions are the best. No matter how many years go by and no matter how many students graduate, traditions remain constant and they help embed a little part of each year into the next.




7. It was okay to spend all your time with the band because most your best friends were in it with you.

You may not stay friends with every single person in band after you graduate, but you will meet some pretty awesome people who you never want to disappear from your life. These are the people you grew up with for four years and in that time, they get to know everything about you. These friends are not only in band with you. They are your study buddies, your coffee dates, your second family. .



8. Friday Night Games

Let's face it. You're at the game to perform, not watch football. Half of you love to watch football and actually understand it, but if you aren't one those people, at least you can be confused with your friends and have a good time just hanging out. I definitely do miss all the band cheers we had and getting to meet band members from the other school. Also, thank you band, because without you, I would've never gone out to a football game and at least tried to understand when we were supposed to be upset and when we were supposed be cheering.





9. You were a part of something bigger than yourself.

What more could I say? If you were in band, you know how special it is. You learn the meaning of teamwork and how to accept success, as well as failure. You learn discipline and what it means to be a vital part of an organization. You are a part of what keeps the band going and your contribution matters just as much as the next person. I miss the feeling of family that came with band and how over time, it just became second nature. I looked forward to performing, spending time with all my friends in band, and seeing how much everyone grew up because of band.




10. The FEELS

There was definitely nothing better than being able to hug someone at the end of the day and know that you could confide in them. I've never quite felt as passionate about something as I did with band and that's because it was my whole life. I lived and breathed band in the way that it was part of my everyday routine and it's where my time was invested in. I still talk to some of my band friends and we always talk about how much we miss competing together.We visit the band hall and our directors together and we try to get together as much as possible when we come home from college. I've never felt as much love between people than I did in band and it's honestly one of the most unique things it has to offer.



Photo credit: John Gowling, Carmelita Ong, Ryan Ong, Mark Frizzell, Celestino Sosa, and Traci Gregg.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

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While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.

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I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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