Search for family

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

The end has begun.

Friday night, I ended my Manhattan High Big Blue Marching Band career with the Mayor’s Holiday Parade. I’ve been doing marching band for all four years of high school, and suddenly, I’m done.

I feel like ending with a parade really captures my love-hate relationship with marching band. To be honest, I hate parades. As a spectator, parades are worth watching. But let me tell you, it is not fun to march — not walk — over a mile while playing an instrument.

There are aspects of band that I love though. Easily, the greatest thing about the band is the fellowship. This year there were roughly 220 of us, all reaching for the same goals. Nothing quite unites people like a need for hard work. Through the band, I’ve met some truly outstanding people. These are people who are unafraid of hard work and understand that anything important requires a lot of time and energy.
For me, those relationships will be the biggest thing I take out of high school. I’m a guy who loves deep, meaningful relationships. There’s not much more important in my opinion. Band has had those meaningful relationships, and I’ve loved it.

As I ended my band career, I jumped right into preparing for college. This last weekend, I took part in a recruitment weekend for a fraternity at Kansas State: FarmHouse. One of the things I heard a lot about was the family atmosphere that FarmHouse has. All of the active members I talked to mentioned how close they were with their pledge classes and how those relationships have been a real blessing.

This idea of a family goes beyond fraternities. I would call the band a family. Clubs around Manhattan High are families. Even K-State is a family.

A family can really be whatever you choose, but you need to choose one. It is within that family that the greatest memories can be made. Sure, you can go out with some people you would just consider friends, and it’s still going to be fun. When you go out with people you would call family, then it goes to another level.

Within that family, personal growth can happen. The best part about a family is how much everyone cares about each other. In that family, everyone is striving to help the others improve. They’re unafraid to call each other out and build each other up. If one of the members is failing somehow, the others are willing to reach down and work with the member to improve so that everyone is at a high level.

As I prepare to move on to the next stage of my life, I understand more than ever the importance of finding a family. Everyone needs people they can trust to positively impact their lives. Whether that’s through a fraternity, a sorority, a church, a club or something different altogether, it is important to establish a strong family. Without a strong family around you, you’re just going to fail every time.