American Pie Jokes Aside, There Is So Much I Didn't Expect About College Band Camp

American Pie Jokes Aside, There Is So Much I Didn't Expect About College Band Camp

"This one time, at band camp..."

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Let me preface this entire article by saying my transition from college band to high school was a full 180. My high school band was about a hundred people strong, and we were a competition band, so every Saturday we'd load a trailer and traverse across central Ohio to compete against other bands and receive a rating. My college band is almost 250 people, and in college, there isn't really competitions because Saturdays are for football games.

I walked in on the first day of band camp with my roommate and was immediately overwhelmed by just how many people were in a fairly small space. I had spent not even five minutes there, and I just wanted my mom back so she could take me home and I could go pretend I wasn't an adult and I didn't have to make all these decisions for myself. Every person who introduced themselves was a blur in the crowd, and I know I wouldn't have remembered anyone if we didn't all have name tags on.

The first day was... rough, to say the least. I was the only person from my high school there, and I'm painfully shy and awkward, so I didn't really talk to anyone besides my roommate, and that was only the second time I'd ever met her in person. I was in a new town, I'd moved in less than a day ago, and it was my first day really on my own. We went and got lunch, and then had our first rehearsal, and it was so much more intense than I remembered band camp being.

Right off the bat, we started playing music at what felt like a fast pace to me, because I hadn't had much time to practice all summer. I went to dinner feeling frustrated because I wanted to make friends, but I felt so awkward and out of place that I didn't even know where to start. After a day or two, I did befriend a lot of really awesome people, and I'm certain we'll have a lot of memories by the end of our season in three months.

College is scary, I'll be upfront about that. The week before I left, just thinking about college made me sick. I spent my last summer before "becoming a real adult" worried I was missing out on being a kid for the last time because I worked so much, and mine was about two weeks shorter than most people's because of camp. I've had some solid cries in the past month; some are legit and some are just because school is hard when you're over two hours away from your mom and sometimes all you want is a hug from her.

To anyone who worries about fitting in because your high school band was a different style than the college band you just joined, stylistically there will probably be some differences, but at the end of the day, you're still in a group of amazing musicians who are big enough nerds that they chose to keep doing band after getting those fine arts credit hours. Your section stereotypes if anything become more accurate (frightening, I know), and you'll make some of the closest friends you can have going into the next chapter of your life.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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Hey ECU, We Really Need Some More Parking, But Sure, Go Ahead And Spend The Money On ANOTHER Student Center

Seriously, who decides what our tuition should be spent on?

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I get the "I'm here" text, and I bound down the stairs and plop myself into my friend's car. "Where can I park?" Craning my neck to search for an empty spot, I reply, "Wherever you see an open spot. This is war." We spend the first 15 minutes of our visit together driving around, waiting for those blessed white lights to signal someone leaving.

Later on that night, my friend mentions they're hungry. I hype them up to go to the new student center, given all the options. "Should we drive to it?"

I laugh, "And give up our spot?" We pull up the bus schedule and wait for the next one.

While munching on Canes' chicken, we sit and talk. "This place is HUGE." I shrug, and then they ask, "You don't like it?" I sigh and proceed to tell them what I'm about to tell you.

I love the student center. It's cool. A nice place to do homework, and it does give more options for food. But I remind my friend about our parking ordeal. "We need more parking but… Did they spend our money to build this instead? We didn't NEED this."

This may not seem like a big deal, but this isn't the only problem students have on campus.

We are shocked when we have hot showers. We are paying literal thousands to be here, and yet hot showers is a treat. Isn't that kind of a basic expectation?

There are about 400 students living in my residence hall, but we only have about 16 clothes washers and dryers. People won't move their stuff in a timely manner, so we have to wait (or some people just take your clothes out).

My friend is having to go on the "Elimination Diet", due to the fact that she constantly breaks out into heat rashes all the time, which may actually be allergic reactions to some food she's eating. But how can she even maintain this when the dining halls really offer no healthy food options?

Buses are continuously overcrowded. But we will see buses continuing routes, with the words "NOT IN SERVICE". People stand around and wait for the next one.

When walking to the library from my dorm (because the bus is overcrowded), I can spot an unfinished, unnecessary sidewalk that ends in the middle of… nowhere. They took the time and resources to build a sidewalk with no purpose.

I'm not trying to complain. I'm trying to bring attention. We have a new student center, but we can't have hot showers?

I feel like things need to be re-prioritized.

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