6 Things I Learned From Being In Marching Band

6 Things I Learned From Being In Marching Band

Being a band geek isn't all that bad.
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With marching band season coming into full swing, I cannot help but think back on my high school years. In high school I was one of the band geeks. There was marching band to musical pit band to jazz band to pep band to show choir band to concert band... If it had something to do with the band program, chances are pretty good that I was involved with it at some point. But that is something that I was definitely not ashamed of then and I am still not ashamed of now. Band taught me so many lessons in life, but marching band taught me the most.

1. Hard work.

One thing marching band teaches you is hard work. Everyone thinks it must be easy to walk around a field and hold an instrument. Why wouldn't it be easy, right? Wrong. Marching band is tough. It is trying. And at times, trust me, you feel like giving up. To those who think it is easy- try learning 60 sets (that is what those forms that we move to are called), the music for four songs (can I add that your music has to be memorized?), and move halfway across the field in 16 counts. However, learning hard work through marching band can help set the tone for your work ethic for the rest of your life.

2. Dedication.

To be in marching band, you have to be dedicated. You give up a week of your summer for band camp. For one week, you are on the field at 8 a.m. sharp learning the basics of marching. There are also early morning or late night rehearsals. There are times when you are at the school until 9:30 or 10 at night just to fit in those last sets; that takes dedication. You also commit to giving up at least four weekends of your fall and miss out on sitting with your non-band friends at Friday night football games. There is a lot of time and dedication that goes into being a part of the marching band.

3. Positivity

Positivity is another lesson that marching band teaches you. During those early morning or late night rehearsals, the last thing you probably want to be is positive. You are exhausted, you are stressed, and you are about ready to yell at the person next to you for forgetting their spot for the fifth time that rehearsal. You can't do that though, because yelling would only make matters worse. Marching band teaches you to constantly encourage those around you and to be positive in all situations, even if you are in the worst of moods.

4. Respect

That is a small word that holds a lot of meaning for me when it comes to marching band. There are many times that you do not agree with the director, the drum majors or the section leader. However, out of respect for them you do not fight it. Those people are in charge of you and in order for things to run smoothly and for you to be the best you can be, you have to respect them. And if you are lucky, they will return the same respect back to you.

5. Pride

Nothing brings more pride than representing your school and your community all over the state and the country. Many directors push this on their bands- pride in what you are doing and pride in where you come from. Being proud of where you come from and what you are doing is essential to participating in marching band- the pride you have really does show when you are out on the field performing.

6. Family

Family is by far the best part of marching band. Marching band connects you with so many people who you might have not otherwise found. It is easy to find your best friends in marching band, and you know that you are part of an organization that will always have your back. Whether it be a rough day at school or a serious problem at home, the family that is formed within the marching band will always be there to listen to your struggles and be your shoulder to cry on.

Hard work. Dedication. Positivity. Respect. Pride. Family. Those are all lessons that I learned in just four short years of marching band. So you see, being a band geek is not really that bad. Sometimes being a band geek can teach you the best lessons you will ever learn.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Wells

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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