Summer?

What is that.
No, really.
School got out last Thursday for me, but I’ve been at the school from 9-6 everyday this past week. I don’t feel like I’m on summer vacation.
It’s for colorguard. We have June camp this week, July camp one week in July, and band camp all of August. And these aren’t casual fun camps either. We are on our feet, working, from the moment we get there until the moment we leave. Summer is spent prepping for the next marching season. It can be pretty intense.
So that’s why I haven’t been posting as much lately. I’ve been at camp. Also, I was made captain (!!!) along with one of my good friends in guard, Taylor. So the two of us have more responsibilities than normal.
Junior year just ended last week but it feels like senior year has already begun. In guard, the freshmen are there at the camps and they’re looking to the older girls, us, to know what to do. There’s no one older than me I can turn to, no one that can be in charge of things except for me and Taylor.
I’m not going to lie, being captain stresses me out. I tend to have high, often unattainable, expectations for myself anyway, and those expectations have only gotten higher with the title. These past couple of days I’ve felt it, the resentment I feel when I make mistakes, the slight humiliation I feel when someone else messes up because I’m captain of this guard, they’re my responsibility. Their mistake is my mistake.
Of course, this pressure I feel is unrealistic. Colorguard is an extracurricular. We’re here to have fun. We pay be here. I try to remind myself of these things, but it’s just ridiculous. It isn’t just an extracurricular. Colorguard is work. Colorguard is stress. I won’t quit, but I certainly have considered it. I’ve always felt pressure in guard, even before I became a leader. Pressure to do well, to be better than the girl next to be. Pressure to meet the standards the director sets. At the end of the day, this time next year, when I’m finished with guard forever, I’ll have nothing but warm memories of my experience in this extracurricular. The bad parts aren’t memories exactly. They’re feelings, certain moments. The feeling of sweat on every inch of my skin as I bake in the sun. The aching of muscles that have been overworked and under-stretched. The boredom mixed with fear when the day oscillates between easy and impossible. The realization that my summer is spent slaving away to this activity. The bad parts of colorguard aren’t as definable as the good parts. Good parts like winning first place at a BOA super regional for the first time in school history. Like successfully throwing a toss that I had been working on forever. Like making lifelong friends that are closer than friends, sisters really. Like counting the number of monarch butterflies that pass by during a practice when the weather cools down and you have to wear a jacket. Like the sound of the applause at the end of the last show of the season and the triumphant feeling that comes with.
I don’t regret joining colorguard. I don’t know if I’m the best choice for captain. But I’m glad that it’s my senior year and it’s my last year to do guard. I’m ready to reminisce over the good times instead of living through the bad.

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