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U Musings: Time management needed to juggle band, engineering

A big part of being a member of the Band of the Hour is recruiting for the band. The band has around 120 members, which is very small for a collegiate marching band. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; having a small number of dedicated, extraordinary members is better than a large amount of wishy-washy, okay members, but we’re always trying to grow and expand. Every band member, whether he or she is aware of it or not, acts as a living recruitment advertisement. I love the band and I want to do my best to improve it, but I have trouble recruiting new members because all my friends outside of band are engineers.

Engineers are busy, stressed people. They already feel that their current course load is going to destroy them if they don’t focus and study all the time. So, you can imagine what responses I got when I try to recruit an engineer: “I’m too busy,” “That’s a lot of work,” “I’ll think about it, but I don’t think it will work out,” “I can’t play an instrument,” etc. The list goes on and on, but I don’t want you to think that I don’t respect and understand the struggle, because I do. I’m right here with everyone else pulling all-nighters, stressing out about all the things due and wondering if I’m going to survive the semester. However, since I know everyone’s struggles, I also know how to get around them.

Band, just like a lab, takes up much more time than one credit suggests. We have practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, not including game days. It’s a huge time commitment, which is the biggest problem most engineers have with joining the band. The thought of not having that extra time to study, do homework and relax frightens them. They need that time to succeed without pulling their hair out. Or, at least, that’s what they think.

The key to being in the band, no matter what major you are, is time management. No matter how many assignments you have due or tests you have, two hours of band every other day won’t stop anyone from succeeding if they plan their time effectively. People do it all the time with clubs and greek life. Band is no different, except for the fact that you get paid and an extra GPA-boosting credit.

Band allows you to embody school spirit in a way that you haven’t before. All the amazing people you meet across the different schools at the U are irreplaceable. Were it not for the commitment I have to the band, I wouldn’t have loved my school so much.

People can do anything they set their minds to, and adding band to the schedule should be seen as a challenge. So, how hard are you willing to work to be the best you can be, both academically and recreationally?

September 28, 2015

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Virginia Colkley


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