15 Reasons Why I Love Color Guard

15 Reasons Why I Love Color Guard

If you don't know what that is, that's about to change.

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.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Barnett

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10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

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Profit Over The People

Diversity comes in various forms; whether it be culturally or fiscally, there are several ways to identify people as similar or different. The city of Miami, FL loves to advertise its diversity when it comes to attracting tourists, yet it is choosing profit over its people.


The google definition for gentrification is "the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste." Which seems extremely palatable, but the gross and harsh reality is that gentrification is the destruction of housing in impoverished areas to then construct neighborhoods of higher value. And in that process, the homes, memories, and culture of those areas are erased off the face of the earth as if they never existed.

The residents of these homes do receive compensation for giving up their homes, but not nearly enough to find an alternative housing solution. This has been the case for the city of Miami for quite some time now; placing shopping malls and luxury condominiums on top of the memories and homes of families that have resided in the same area for decades on end.

According to the 2015 and 2016 census, Miami ranks second worst in the nation for income and poverty levels, yet officials deem it appropriate to further the expansion of luxury living and attraction by ridding of the low-income communities. The homeless population in the city of Miami has been a major concern for years; but instead of addressing said issue, they are simply contributing to it by further permitting these expansions to occur.

These construction projects not only contribute to pre-existing traffic problem in the city of Miami due to overpopulation but leaves those who once had a home, out on the streets. There is a total of 179,200 households in Miami-Dade County, 44% of those house children under the age of 18 years old and the household poverty rate in Miami- Dade County was 21.3%, according to the 2013 ACS.

What are the odds of there being households that fall under both of those categories; not only is gentrification putting paying citizens out on the streets, but their children as well.

Allowing the private agendas of public officials affect our neighbors in such a manner is merciless. A large part of Miami consists of low-income areas, yet they have been falling off the map little by little over time. They are starting from the bottom up, and what once was considered a middle-class community will soon be deemed a low-income area in comparison to new structures.

When will it stop? The living expenses in Miami are already unmanageable, but if this continues Miami will soon lose all of its original residences and cultures. Left in the remains of a once culturally thriving and accepting community will be a playground for the wealthy, built on the soil of what used to be home to a culturally, economically and experientially diverse community.

The unfortunate matter is that this isn't only happening in the city of Miami, but in various large cities across the country. Pushing low-income housing off the map, contributing to the homeless population, to then drive initiatives to relocate the homeless if they are found in affluent neighborhoods.

How can one rise to the occasion in hopes of creating a better life, if they are constantly being pushed down by institutionalized prevention? Gentrification is a national issue; a country that prides itself on opportunity and progress is slowly evolving into a country for the wealthy.

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