To say I was nervous to start high school would be a bit of an understatement. I’m a junior now but then I had so many questions. What was the campus like? What does “D lunch” mean? Are freshmen Fridays real?
I auditioned to be in the Germantown High School varsity band the summer before my freshmen year and was accepted. I remember dancing around my house as I read my admittance letter– that is until I got to the last line: “All new and returning members of the varsity band are REQUIRED to attend two weeks of summer band rehearsal.” Summer band rehearsal! My anxiety surfaced again. I hadn’t even started high school yet and still I was expected to spend two weeks with sophomores, juniors and seniors who were elderly compared to myself. They’ve probably already formed friend groups, I thought, I won’t know anyone.
On the first day of band camp all the new comers (we call them rookies) had to go around the room and tell the group our names, what instrument we played, and give one fact about ourselves. I stood up. “Hi. My name is Morgan. I play the trumpet and my favorite TV show is The Office.” I felt blood rushing to my cheeks; I sounded so awkward everyone probably thinks I’m weird now. To my surprise, there was a surge of applause from the band, some shouts from kids who looked to be seniors that said they loved The Office too. Above everything was a collection of screams from the corner of the room– other trumpet players, my section, welcoming me into the family. I’d never felt more at home.
Every day before rehearsals started we gathered into our instrument groups and I got to ask the older, veteran trumpet players what high school life was really like, and they were more than happy to answer my questions. They explained to me how the lunch schedule works, the fastest routes to all my classes and why only seniors can wear camouflage on Fridays. As for the first day of school, there was no question as to where I would sit at lunch: in the band room, with all my new friends.
Being a member of the band softened the blow of my transition into high school. I got a chance to visit the campus and make friends before the school year even started. The band kids are pretty close and it wasn’t hard to fit in. Even though my days as a freshmen are over and I no longer need band to smooth over the start of ninth grade, I’m still left with a great outlet to express myself musically and a great group of people to do it with.