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Confessions of a Former Guardie

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

Many people enter college being a former member of a flagline/danceline. There are many names for them such as color guard, a form of their school mascot, or another common one like silkie. We all feel a tinge of nostalgia when we see a marching band performing or a football game.

Things We Miss:

Getting to Perform:

Getting to perform with my guard at every parade, pep rally, and football game was one of the many highlights of my high school career. You can even go back for alumni night, but it is still not the same feeling that you got when you performed during high school. The feeling of all of the lights and eyes from people in the audience being on you was always one of the best feelings.


I loved going on the trips that we had during band camp whether it was going to perform at the county band festival, going to Kennywood Park, or when we went to Tennessee to perform at Dollywood. Band festivals were always great because you would see what shows other schools did even if you didn’t play their team in football, plus it was always a bonus if you had friends in other bands so. Kennywood is an amazing amusent park with plenty of rides, food, and games for everyone. It is a beautiful park and allows for a great day without you having a headache from all of the roller coasters. During my junior year of high school, I had the opportunity to go to I Tennessee with my band and I absolutely loved it. We got to go to a dinner show, visit Dollywood, Bristol caverns, Bristol speedway, enjoy Gatlinburg, go to Wonderworks, and enjoy some awesome food along the way. It was a wonderful trip and is still truly one of the best trips that I have ever gone on.

Great Band Food:

There is something about marching bands and good food being around. My marching band had a concession stand at my home football games and that food was incredible. They had amazing root beer floats, French fries, mozzarella sticks, and many other food items that made me never want to have third quarter taken away. The boosters also always had snacks for us after we got done with our show like cookies and Rice Krispy Treats.

Strength from Flags/stronger arm:

I’m not sure about you, but my throwing arm was always stronger than my left. You needed that arm to be strong in order to toss your flag higher so it was easier to catch on the field. My arms get so tired now after a routine, but they used to just shake it off because band camp is truly a boot camp for your arms especially when you need to pose during halftime with homecoming court or during pregame.

Being so fit during the season:

I was always in the best shape during marching band especially during band camp because you are outside moving for 8 hours a day on top of practicing during school and perfoming. You had to run across the field, do kickline, repeat routines over because an instrumentalist screwed up, and run drill. Marching band is an insane work out. Parades are also long, forcing you to walk and perform for miles upon miles.

Having a lot of friends/Connections:

Since your typical marching band is 50 plus members, you get to know a lot of people that you might not have known if you were not involved in the organization. It expands your network a lot and this network can also help you out in many areas of your life.

The Uniforms:

This could honestly be a benefit or something you miss depending on your uniform. My uniform was very cute and looked great on, so I do miss wearing it. I also liked my shoes because they were so comfy. Uniforms are something that can definitely go both ways though. Regardless of how your uniform looks, there seems to never be one that everyone loves.

Benefits from not being involved in it anymore:

Free Time:

In college, some people do not rejoin marching band because they honestly just want more time to dedicate to their studies or working.College takes a lot out of you and you might study for hours upon hours and still fail a test. In high school, there are many times that you might not have to study for a test and still be okay.

Trying out different passions you have:

There are many people who honestly just want to try doing other things when they go to college such as being a resistant assistant, joining Greek life, becoming involved in their major or even having a part time job to have spending money. It is okay to go this route because there are weeks in college that you will be swamped with homework for a month and become a hermit due to the workload. There are schools though that do pay you to be in the marching band, so it is definitely smart to weigh your options.

Dealing with the weather during the games and practices:

I honestly do not miss the days during games or practices that I was rained on, performed in cold snowy weather or felt like I was in a wind tunnel. It can become very cold in the Fall and Winter and performing in your warm up suit is usually a no, so you are freezing on the field while still having to look professional.

Making sure to have good hair:

I have very fine hair that gets greasy easily so it can be harder than most to have great performance hair. My hair almost never looked great after 8 hours of school, so you can imagine what it looked like after games.


I still miss my days on the field but love what I am involved in now which includes Her Campus! College is a wonderful place so it is okay to feel nostalgic. Props to those who are still involved in marching band and loving every second of it!




Hi everyone! My name is Bonnie and I am a junior fashion merchandising major at IUP. My hobbies include watching scandal and gossip girl,eating popcorn, spending time in coffee shops,and going shopping at TJ Maxx.I love to write and talk about interesting topics.