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High School

Home for Halloweekend: Experiences and Nostalgia

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, in a large school district with two distinct high schools. Every year, during the last week of October, we geared up for the big rivalry football game. Granted, my team was not the best during any of the four seasons I spent there, but the games were fun nonetheless. 

I was a member of the band all four years as well, as at my school, we weren’t the stereotypical “band geeks” shown in media. We were loved and appreciated by the school and its members, and we were also nationally (and slightly internationally) known.

This past weekend, while everyone was celebrating Halloween, I returned home to the city I grew up in, in preparation for the big game, the first in two years due to the pandemic. I met up with some friends who now go to school all over the country, and got to enjoy the weekend. The football game was Saturday, and on Sunday the city celebrated Halloween with its annual parade. This year was extra special, as it was a big anniversary for the parade.

As the weekend progressed, I realized that while I was enjoying myself, I was also longing for the feeling I had when I was involved in the band. This week was the most tiring and craziest of the entire year, but it was also one of the most fun. It’s a no sleep, exhausted, excited type of week full of anticipation. 

I have some of my best memories of my life at these weekends. From beating our rival when they were coming in 9-0 junior year, to running around decorating houses with signs and glitter, to those early morning seven A.M. rehearsals, every minute and memory was worth it.

I felt nostalgic as I spent the weekend at home, and honestly, a little jealous as I watched my sister get to experience these moments I wish I could get back. I am so excited for her to get these experiences, especially since she lost sophomore year to the pandemic. I hope she takes in every minute.

I’m a sophomore now, which means I was as senior when COVID hit. I remember crying on the field during our last halftime performance, at that very same annual game I’ve been discussing, but knowing I had the concert and the rest of the year to look forward to. Little did I know, that March 12th was going to be my last band rehearsal, March 13th my last day at high school. I never completely got the closure I needed to say goodbye to something that had been such a huge part of my life for so long.

I spent a lot of time reminiscing this weekend. A tear or two formed when I watched the band play the alma mater. I’d give anything to play that again, wearing the uniform, with the people who turned out to be some of my best friends. I hope I find that feeling again, but I know that I will be grateful for the times I had in the band and the relationships I gained during my time in the organization. I’ll continue to cheer the team and band on, just this time it will be from the stands.



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Katherine McLaughlin

Millersville '24

My name is Katherine McLaughlin, but I go by Katie! I am a sophomore at Millersville University, and I am a Speech Communication major with a minor in Creative Writing and Publishing. I love listening to music (mainly Taylor Swift and Broadway showtunes), hanging out with friends, family, and my dog, as well as writing for fun!
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