The summer before my freshman year of high school, my mom forced me to join my high school's color guard team as a way for me to make friends and keep busy. For those who aren’t aware, a color-guard is a section of the marching band that spins flags, rifles, sabers, and also dances. I thought it was ridiculous at first, even kind of embarrassing. Every movie ever about high school warned me about the repercussions of joining a marching band, and I did not want to start off my high school career as a band geek.
After my very first real competition, I realized just how much I loved performing. Absolutely nothing beat the feeling of finishing an eight-minute-long performance that consisted of running across a football field, dancing, and spinning a silk flag that helped to tell a story to an audience of parents, supporters, and other students. Those eight minutes made all of the hard work, long practices, hateful comments from coaches, and sunburns worth it. I never imagined being so passionate about something. I do feel it is worth mentioning that my experience at band camp was absolutely nothing like American Pie had taught me. It honestly is just two long weeks of lots of yelling and sweating out every ounce of water in your body. Not super enjoyable.
The best part of competitions was not the actual performance, but what came after it. We would all rush back to the bus and awkwardly change in between the seats, praying that eyes from outside weren't peeking. Peeling a spandex uniform off skin sticky with sweat in a humid bus should seriously be considered a sport. After changing into black leggings and matching show shirts and navy Adidas jackets, all the girls fixed their hair and makeup before leaving the bus and going their own separate ways. Some would go get food from the concession stand and others would make their way to the stadium to critique the other schools. Heidi, Baylee, and I could always be found in the stands with endless amounts of cheeseburgers, funnel cakes, and Powerade. When nightfall came, we would all regroup with the marching band and wait with rapid heartbeats to hear our placements. The night ended with the bus ride home in the middle of the night, half the bus rowdy and the other on the verge of passing out.
My senior year of high school approached rapidly, and I was drowning in college applications and had decided to start working a part-time job. This led to the very difficult decision of quitting the color guard team. It was hard, but I really do believe it was what was best for me at the time. I continued to support the Pride of Clover Marching Band, forcing my friends to cheer them on at football games and trying my best to attend weekend competitions when I could. It was honestly such a cool feeling to watch from the outside. I would feel so much pride watching them perform.
While my time on the team was cut short, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I made countless friends and several memories that will stick with me. Being a high school band geek wasn’t so bad, after all.