Color guard: what is it and why is it so awesome? Even the dictionary does not know the kind of color guard I am talking about. No, I am not talking about the military affiliated Color Guard. I am talking about the wonderful people in the marching band who every fall look forward to getting drenched in glitter and drowned in makeup, splits, sashays, jazz runs, pom poms, tight uniforms, cute candids, new accessories, lots of laughter, lots of love, tossing flags, trying not hit your head with a weapon, exhibitions/competitions, hearing the former band geeks in the stand cheer your name annnnnd most people having no idea who you are. I think it is time for that to change. So here are my top 15 reasons why I love color guard:

1. The feeling you get when you march onto the field (especially your 1st game)

I started color guard my junior year of high school, and now I could not imagine starting off football season without that feeling in my gut of nerves and excitement all in one. Aside from my first game ever, my first college game was one of the most nerve wracking and exciting experiences I've ever had.

2. Losing your voice from screaming in the stands

I get WAY too hype at the games, and end up losing my voice at some point in every season.

3. All of the dress up days

Dress up days are the best! Although it is a little challenging to twirl a flag and march on those days, depending on your costume....

4. Unbreakable bonds

This was my team (and our instructor) my senior year of high school. We became so close, like a little family, and even today I still keep in touch with all of their wonderful souls.

5. Always having someone there to lift you up when you are feeling down

Once you've made that bond, no matter where life takes you or how often you talk, you will always have a friend to count on.

6. All the award banquets

Award banquets are tons of fun. You may get a totally silly paper plate award that just so happens to describe you perfectly (Instagram queen speaking), or you may get something that you worked hard for and feel honored to receive (most outstanding color guard).

7. The rest of the band

I always love meeting the people in the band! But despite how awesome all of the sections are, everyone knows that drum line is to color guard as Mary is to Poppins.

8. Team bonding

I have always been all about the team bonding, in everything I have ever been involved with, despite how cheesy it may feel sometimes. It gets to the point where you laugh like friends and love like family.

9. Rainy days

So, this one time at band camp... Yeah, I had eight counts to run across the field and my spot happened to be surrounded by mud thanks to rain the day before... Yeah, that was fun.

10. The squad (old & new)

You will be very pleasantly surprised to see that the bonds you make are always there, even if you go off to college and have to leave some of your squad behind. They will still greet you with open arms and silly faces just like old times.

11. Always being there for each other

This is me (left) and one of my closest friends, through color guard, at my senior night (2014) and her senior night (2015). Love you Jenna Bear! <3

12. Cute pictures

Who doesn't love pictures with their mascot? I am a die hard Wolfie fan!

13. The excitement of the upcoming season

As soon as the last game is over I start planning for the next season. My favorite part? Making new friends! :)

14. All the cute accessories

Hi, I'm Hannah, and I have a bow addiction.

15. Never wanting to know a life without it

This was taken my senior night in high school, which now feels like ages ago! Luckily I was fortunate enough to continue the color guard experience in college.

Being a part of the Color Guard team is a very unique experience. Although it has been very underrated and not appreciated enough for its art form, the whole world of color guard IS growing and becoming more well known across the nation. Although this upcoming fall is only my fourth season doing color guard, I cannot remember a life without it. Not everyone has a passion for it, but I know I speak for everyone that does when I say I would not want to be doing anything else with my time.