A Note For Band Kids

A Note For Band Kids

We Aren't (all) Nerds
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You were always still at practice by the time it was dark outside, you showcased your skills at every Friday night football game, and you made a ton of new friends along the way. No, you weren’t on the school’s football team: You were part of the band.

Day in and day out you practiced marching and playing. You tested every note over and over again to make sure you got it just right. You tossed your flag and rifle repeatedly until your catches became solid and consistent. You spent hours running around in the blazing heat working from set to set, just to hear “One more time!” being yelled by the directors. Your captains and section leaders scolded you for slacking (which made you want to be even better). The band director never seemed to notice when you did something right, only when you screwed something up, and sometimes it got so bad that you wanted to quit.

Be better. Keep your feet in time. Spin together. Play louder. Make your sets. These are the things you heard a million times, and you wondered if the show was ever going to look decent. But you persisted. And you pushed others to be their best as well as yourself. And the goals for the group were set out from the very start: be the best. And the idea of winning at the end of the season made your heart race and nudged you to work harder.

After being in band for a few years, I’ve come to learn that all of these things were worth the pain and trouble. Being in band made me a better performer. More importantly, it made me be a better person. And this was only due to the amazing people I met along the way.

Thank your band director. Thank them for pushing you. Thank them for goofing off and telling jokes that didn’t make any sense. Thank them for yelling at you when you were wrong and for congratulating you when you were right. Thank your band director for all the times he asked, “How are you?” when you seemed a little down. Thank them for all the opportunities he gave you, whether you knew it or not.

Thank your instructor. Thank them for teaching you everything you know. Thank them for realizing your potential and pushing you to be your best. Thank them for the advice they gave you when you needed it and the advice they gave you when you didn’t. Thank them for laughing at your silly jokes and for understanding when you had a bad day. Thank them for being your friend as well as your teacher.

Thank your section leader. Be grateful for all the times they made you redo the work or replay the song just so the entire group could be better. Thank them for guiding you and for picking you up when you were down. Thank them for taking responsibility (even when it wasn’t their fault), and thank them for the knowledge they passed on to you.

Thank your entire section. Thank your section for all the bus rides and football games. Thank them for working as a unit instead of as individuals and for always allowing a little friendly competition. Thank them for being your friends when you needed them most.

Thank your mom and dad. Thank them for coming to your performances, even if it meant sitting on the hard bleachers, rain or shine. Thank them for buying your instrument and equipment and sacrificing their own needs to suit yours. Thank them for crying every time you caught your toss and thank them for crying with you when you didn’t. Thank your parents for being your number one supporters.

Thank yourself. Thank yourself for not giving up. Thank yourself for pushing harder with each run through. Thank yourself for never handing out blame, but instead taking responsibility. Thank yourself for joining such a great organization.

Band has taught me many things. I learned how to be a leader, a friend, a perfectionist, a jokester, a therapist, a performer, and much more. I learned that working as a group to become better was more important than telling others what to do. I learned to take criticism and to give it. I learned to cry and to laugh and that making mistakes is not the end of the world. I realized “One more time” never actually means “one more time” and how a singular person can make a difference.

No matter how hard you were pushed or how many losses you faced, you loved every minute of being in band, and you wouldn’t change a thing.

P.S. I am sending a personal thanks to my high school band director and guard instructor. Both of whom have made me the person I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you for being my mentors and my friends.

Cover Image Credit: Mike Caswell

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I Am A Happy Plant Mom

Plants are actually quite fun!
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Two weeks ago, I welcomed two beautiful additions to my dorm room.

A beautiful aloe vera and a hearty mint plant.

Before you click off of this article because I seem like a crazy person, these plants have really helped add a layer of responsibility to my life as I transcend from a young adult to someone who can finally take care of herself.

The plants currently sit on my windowsill in my otherwise depressive dorm and give a splash of color to my black and grey color scheme.

If you are looking at what to decorate your dorm with next year, definitely consider a small plant, especially if you want a little piece of home away from home.

I find that watching my plants thrive makes me feel good. It allows me to take time away from my school work to just appreciate something that I put effort and love into.

Now if you are someone who can't take care of plants, please don't get a plant that is difficult to take care of. A cactus or a succulent is the best choice for you because they are pretty hard to kill. The only way you could kill them is if you completely forget about them.

Aloe is always a good choice to start out with, but just be prepared for your aloe to have many little babies that have to be taken care of because the little baby aloe that comes off can really damage the main plant.

I personally started my adventure with just a bamboo I got from a Rowan After Hours event, but I am happy to say my little bamboo is alive and well!

If you are going to get a plant, don't just do it for the aesthetic. Plants, even though they are not the same as an animal, are still living creatures.

Yeah, you don't have to play with your plants and take them for walks or anything, but just make sure that if you are getting yourself a plant, you are willing to take care of it.

Enjoy your new additions!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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21 Spontaneous Things To Do While Evading Death

The bucket list to end all other bucket lists.
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Everyone should take the opportunity to do these 21 things before they die. If you aren’t considering everything on this list, does YOLO not mean anything to you?


1. Go on an exciting vacation that puts you out of your comfort zone.

No, not another Napa Valley wine tour.

2. Keep a dog.

Or a cat. But just know dogs are better. They’ll teach you so many of life’s abundant lessons. Like not to have nice furniture.

3. Experience nature to its fullest extent.

Hint: this likely can’t be done in an area where you have cell service. Unplug, people.

4. Stargaze at night in an area where you can actually see stars and not smog.

Stars do exist, and they're pretty to look at.

5. Volunteer your time to a charitable cause.

Don’t just write a check to a nonprofit; get out in the world and help!

6. Name a star

C’mon, it’s cool.

7. Learn an instrument.

How fun will it be to show off to all your friends that you can play Hot Cross Buns?

8. Splurge on something.

Save money and then blow it on something that will probably be out of style or out of date within a year. Spending money really makes you feel alive, especially when your checking account balance plummets.

9. Spend a whole day in bed.

Some people claim sleep is for the weak. They must not have good mattresses.

10. Do something out of the blue.

If you have a desire to do something, do it. Your gut is always right, right? Life can't always go according to plan, and it's important to be spontaneous.

11. Be given a standing ovation.

“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcome the world” – Auggie Pullman, Wonder

12. Fall in love.

As cliché as this may seem, everyone deserves to be loved. Even the Grinch.

13. Jump off a cliff.

Make sure there’s water at the bottom of where your jumping, though. No premature deaths, please.

14. Pay for someone else’s meal.

Unless they ordered more than $40 worth of food, because you probably aren’t made out of money.

15. Vote.

You can’t complain about the current state of government unless you had some input in it.

16. Do something on a stage in front of people.

Everyone needs to have the opportunity to get over their fear of public speaking. Do that thing where you're supposed to imagine the audience in their underwear. It'll be more awkward and more fun.

17. Go to a big deal sporting event.

Pay big bucks for those nosebleed seats. You may barely be able to see what's happening, but at least you can say you were there.

18. Learn how to cook something where the name is not the recipe.

Branch out from things like macaroni and cheese and buttered toast.

19. Try a weird diet.

See if it has all those health benefits that it claims to have. Avoiding swamp diet, anyone?

20. Do something your parents explicitly told you NOT to do.

Find out why they said that. Live and learn people.

21. Delete your social media and replace it with actual human interaction.

Pick up the phone, use that expensive phone plan and call someone instead of stalking them on Facebook.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Mazurik

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