What Color Guard Taught Me
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What Color Guard Taught Me

Because you never forget the moments in which you live vicariously through your flag.

What Color Guard Taught Me

Throughout high school, I had the pleasure of participating in an activity that not only gave me an amazing friend group, but a family. An activity that to this day, does not receive the credit that it deserves. An activity that required me to be at all football games, whether it rained or snowed (occasionally a combination of the two), throughout my team's heart-pounding victories and devastating losses. What activity, you may ask? Why, color guard of course!

When I was going to start my freshman year of high school, color guard was probably the last thing I imagined myself doing. I was considering sports, theater and choir, but never color guard. However, my friend from elementary school convinced me to join at the last possible minute, and my life changed for the better as a result of it.

When I first joined color guard, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I remember returning home after my first day of band camp, badly sunburned, sore and covered with bruises, but also excited to return for the next day.

Color guard taught me more than most of my classes did. It taught me resilience and to use personal losses as a time for growth and opportunity.

My sophomore year, it was time to pick the new rifle captain. The rifle captain would later act as color guard captain her senior year, and would be in charge of the guard. The only two sophomores on the team at the time were me and my friend Alexandria. Alexandria got the position over me for a variety of reasons, and naturally, I was crushed. I felt defeated, because for the entirety of my life, I felt that I was mediocre in everything I did, and that color guard was the one thing that I excelled in. To lose an opportunity that I had spent half of high school working for was difficult, to say the least.

However, I was taught to see it as a time for personal growth, and that this decision wasn't the end of the line. My junior year, I worked hard just as I always had, and focused on the positives rather than the negatives. My hard work paid off when at the end of the season, my music director announced that for the first time, the title of rifle captain would go to a senior, and that I would serve as rifle captain and lead the team alongside Alexandria! To work for something and have my hard work pay off was such a rewarding experience. To this day, I'm so grateful to have learned this important lesson.

Color guard gave me more than awkward tan lines and bruises all over my body. It gave me a group of people that I truly loved. We were all a little weird and awkward, but we were a great family that celebrated the good times and got each other through the bad. It wasn't always easy, but it was always worth it.

I'm now entering my sophomore year, and I'm attending a college that doesn't even have a color guard. I miss the warm evening practices and the cool Friday night football games more than I could ever describe. I miss getting ready in the girls locker room before games and doing everyone's makeup, and I miss having the support system of a small, dysfunctional little family. Despite this, I'm still so proud of the remarkable strides that my school's marching band and color guard have made since I graduated. The marching band and color guard are more widely appreciated, and it's always a pleasure visiting and seeing all of the hard work that they put in.

Color guard wasn't easy. It was brutal during the hot summer days and freezing November nights, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It gave me memories, experiences and friendships that will last me a lifetime. I can only hope that the color guard members that will fill the new positions will come to enjoy it and appreciate it as much as I do.

So, to the activity that has given me a home, thank you. Thank you for turning an awkward high school freshman into the young woman and leader that I am today. Everything I achieved and participated in throughout high school, I owe to the activity that started it all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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