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A Short Memoir on Never Giving Up

Resilience means always looking forward.

Resilience means always looking forward.

Resilience means always looking forward.

Callie Rogers, Staff Writer

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This year, I’ve learned the importance of never giving up.

Drumming has been a major part of my life for four years now. I joined the marching band freshman year on bass drum, and quickly discovered a huge passion for drumming, even just during the first week of band camp in the summer.

At the end of band camp, I went with the marching band to see the local drum corps competition. Drum corps is essentially band, but it’s at a level so much more intense and involved than any high school marching band could even dream of. Drum corps is the “real stuff,” known as “the major leagues of marching.” And as a drummer who just discovered a love for the art, it was absolutely amazing.

The first drum corps that came on the field was Music City Drum Corps. When they started their show, it was like nothing I’d ever heard or seen before. It was amazing. This was what drum corps was, and this was my first experience watching it. I knew, just after watching the first show, that I wanted to do this someday. I wanted to march.

In my band the following year, I marched snare drum for the first time and loved it. It was difficult and scary, but it was worth it. I learned so much more in a year than I could’ve imagined. I watched the drum corps show again that summer and fell in love with it even more. I still wanted to march.

The following year, I earned the position of center snare of the drumline. My hard work the year before had paid off, and I was so excited for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, it was rough. Even though it was hard, I never gave up because I knew that someday I wanted to march drum corps. I decided to audition.

When others in my band heard, I received discouragement. “You’re auditioning? You won’t make it. You aren’t good enough.” But I still kept drumming, because I wanted to march drum corps.

In December, I went to the Music City audition camp. Even though it was scary, it was worth it. I received a ton of encouragement during the audition process, and made so many friends. I made it through three months of auditions, but at the end, I was told that I didn’t make it. My heart sank. All of the months of work and years of dreaming seemed to just lay waste. I was crushed. I wasn’t good enough.

Throughout the next couple of months, I knew that everyone who told me I wouldn’t make it was right. I was beyond discouraged. I slowly started to lose my passion for drumming. I continued to be brought down by the same people. I stopped practicing, and I started to give up.

My senior year, I almost didn’t join band. After everything that happened the year before, I didn’t know if it was worth it. But I didn’t want to give up. I was desperate to love drumming again.

That fall season ended up being the best of my life. Slowly but surely, my love for drumming rekindled. I was having fun again, and I still wanted to march drum corps. I started working hard again, harder than I ever had before. I practiced as often as I could, and started playing things I never thought I could play. I started to fall in love with drumming on a deeper level. I went back to Music City that December.

I was absolutely terrified. It was step one, all over again. I still doubted myself, even though I knew I worked hard. I was afraid of getting so far in the process again and not making it. I was scared of the ridicule, the embarrassment, the feeling of failure growing even deeper. But I didn’t give up, and it was worth it. I drummed to the best of my ability, pushed myself more that I knew I could, and grew so much. In February, after another three months, I got a contract.

This summer I’ll march with Music City, the first drum corps I ever experienced, and the one that made me fall in love. I learned that even though not giving up can be scary, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to push through fear and discouragement and disappointment to reach your goals, no matter how hard it gets. It’s worth it to never give up.

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The student news site of Independence High School in Thompson's Station, Tennessee
A Short Memoir on Never Giving Up