Taylor Swift didn’t exactly do us marching band lovers any favors when she released her “You Belong With Me” music video. You know, the one where she laments about how her crush doesn’t notice her because she is on the bleachers with her clarinet while his girlfriend is on the cheerleading team? Yeah, that one.
As it turns out, the bleachers are a pretty cool place to be. Being involved in marching band in high school as a member of the color guard completely changed my life. The activity shaped my outlook on life, gave me so many amazing opportunities and literally made me the person I am now, so much so that I still participate in color guard to this day.
It’s not all choreography, clean flag features, and throwing a rifle high in the air. In fact, most of what I took away from color guard were things that I learned off the floor. Now, as I’m applying for jobs and internships, I’m starting to see how much those lessons have helped me out in the professional world as well.
Here are nine reasons why you should hire a color guard girl.
They are not quitters
Every color guard girl knows that her sport is a team activity. If she decided to quit, she wouldn’t just be letting herself down, but the other thirty girls who depended on her to be at every rehearsal pulling her weight. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Color guard girls are living, breathing proof of that expression.
They are tough
Some guard girls go on to participate in drum corps. Basically, it’s like professional marching band with drum majors, a horn line, drum line, and color guard. Corps from all over the country put together shows to compete with all summer before coming together for the World Championships in August. Drum Corps is incredibly rewarding, memorable, and fun, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.
It’s long, grueling days in the scalding sun. It’s hours out on an asphalt parking lot making sure that everyone’s arm looks the same at a certain part. It’s spraining your ankle, twisting your knee, or breaking your finger that morning and still performing a show in the evening.
Color guard girls know that no matter how tough something seems at the time, there’s always a way for them to push through and get stronger. They never forget the lessons they learned while they marched and that knowledge makes them powerful, confident individuals.
They take corrections well
The culture we live in today values individuality. We’re encouraged in school, at work, and at home to think for ourselves, find the answer on our own, and to use our resources instead of asking for help. While those are great life skills to have, there’s nothing wrong with needing help, or being offered corrections.
Girls who did color guard know this. Instead of being offended or feeling embarrassed that they needed assistance, they know that the people offering to make them better genuinely want to help them and see them succeed. They understand that the best way to learn and grow is to take the guidance of their mentors, bosses, and coaches and apply it to their everyday life.
Don’t ever tell a guard girl that she can’t do something. She’ll take that as a challenge and make it happen for herself. Whether it’s going home and practicing a certain flag toss or rifle trick countless times or making sure that her speech and PowerPoint presentations are on fleek, that girl will show you over and over again that the word “can’t” is not in her vocabulary.
They know how to “sell it”
“Oh you want me to be a computer virus that’s infecting the rest of the marching band? Sure OK!”
No matter how ridiculous or crazy their show concepts seem, the color guard is not given a chance to say “no” or question the product that they’re putting out on the field or floor. So what if they’ve never been a spider, or a wild horse, or an astronaut? When performing, it’s the color guard’s job to convince the audience, without a doubt, that they are what they say they are.
It’s the same thing in the office. No matter how insane the business venture or product seems, leave it up to a guard girl to make it sound appealing to anyone.
When there are nine flags to tape before that night’s football game, a freshman girl who still can’t throw the feature toss, and their own hair and makeup to do, wasting time is not an option for anyone in the color guard. So what if they have to shove half of a Jimmy John’s sandwich in their mouth while demonstrating the mechanics of the toss to the poor girl? Who cares if they’re simultaneously straightening hair and making equipment look nice?
Always count on a someone who’s done color guard when it feels like the world is falling apart. They’ll take a look at the mess, point out five useless things that don’t actually need to be done and divide the responsibilities of the rest. The point is that they know how to get things done, and get them done right.
Learning how to handle morning rehearsals, afternoon rehearsals, being gone on Saturdays for competitions and school is a big lesson all guard girls had to learn. As a result, they are much better than the typical person at managing time and getting things done.
Maybe they don’t spend that hour before bed scrolling through Instagram or Tumblr, but instead finish writing an essay and get to sleep. After all, they have to be awake and at rehearsal at six thirty the next morning.
They handle pressure well
Big speech in front of their boss, the company CEO, President Obama, and Oprah? No problem. In her color guard career, this girl has performed in packed football stadiums, gyms, and arenas. This year’s Drum Corps International World Finals was attended by more than 24,000 people.
Those record-setting numbers mean nothing once the music starts and the production gets going. No matter the odds or the situation, you can always count on a color guard girl to be smart, calm, and level-headed.
Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. That’s how sports work. It doesn’t matter how good an individual is if she blazes ahead and leaves the rest of her team in the dust. A color guard girl knows that she’s only as good as the weakest member of her team and, instead of putting them down or flaunting her skills, she helps them and makes sure that they feel comfortable.
There’s no room for cattiness or competition when trying to accomplish a goal, whether it be in the gym working on a show, or in the office putting together a project.