The Best Years of My Life

Jeffrey - Cridersville, Ohio
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I have honestly always had trouble making friends. My personality has never really stood out from the ordinary. Looking back, I think I perceived myself as one of the biggest losers in middle school because I was quiet, extremely shy, and uninvolved. I believe that I made the best decision of my young life when I signed up to be in my school’s band. I also believe that being involved with things such as sports and activities can only be beneficial.

Ok, so I was just a little weird and kind of smart and as a result, I was often made fun of by my peers. I hated school because I didn’t feel like I belonged or fit in anywhere. Band is family and I quickly learned that. When I first joined, I realized that it was full of people just like me, students just trying to fit in and become involved. It was where I met my first real girlfriend and, more importantly, it was where I also met my eventual best friends, who I ended up spending memories and experiences of a lifetime with.

Growing up into high school, I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. I was no longer the quiet, shy, weird kid. I participated in marching band, pep band, and regular concert band. I was involved, happy, and outgoing, all different from my years in middle school. My incredible friends and I have so many funny “you had to be there” band camp stories, memories from the always interesting band bus, and so many other good things that brought us together forever. This one time at band camp, all 19 seniors, including me, crammed into a minivan before our showcase on the final night and the minivan drove on the field to the fifty-yard line and all the seniors jumped out of the side door, one after another, and posed for a senior group picture. All the parents and directors were shocked, but they were laughing the whole time. That minivan ride literally brought all the seniors together and we stayed close all the way until graduation and even after. Yeah, participating in band while maintaining perfect grades, a job, social life, and being involved with many other things was definitely a challenge and stressful at times, but looking back, I only see the positives because my involvement changed me for the better in more ways than I can even express.

I don’t even know how lucky I am to have participated in band for around seven years because I ended up making unbelievable friends that I was, by no means, shy around, I also had so many downright positive experiences and memories with those friends, all while I was passionate about marching and playing music on my saxophone. Anyone who has been involved with band should definitely know what I mean and can relate when I say, “Band is family,” because it is. It’s a group of friends who are always there for you and have your back through thick and thin. But I imagine that’s true for everything, isn’t it? Sports, clubs, and other activities? How can being involved in something not be beneficial? I don’t think that it can be because you will always meet new people, experience new things, and learn from each other, and those are all positives from being involved. I believe that I made one of the best decisions that I will ever make in my life by joining band because it has truly shaped who I am today and there would be absolutely no circumstance where I would ever take any of it back. I guess you could stereotype and call me a typical band geek, but I don’t care because honestly, those were the best years of my life.