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Social Identity Essay

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If young people really stopped and thought about it, most would agree that our high school years signify one of the greatest periods of personal development in our lifetime. I used to think that I would officially discover who Rachel Agan is during college. However, the moment when I truly felt that I had discovered my niche was at the end of my marching band season of my senior year in high school. I had developed one of the most important aspects of my personal sense of self: my devotion to that which I love. My marching band years signify a turning point in my life--a point at which music became more than just a hobby or a secret talent that the student sitting next to me in class didn't possess, and instead transformed music into a significant social event, a pastime, and a passion.

To be an effective member of the marching band, I had to completely reprogram my outlook on music performance, and the level of dedication I was willing to contribute. Undoubtedly, I would consider this process for me to be a form of resocialization, as I was learning the values of discipline and teamwork in both a musical and social sense. According to "You May Ask Yourself", the formal definition of resocialization goes as follows: "a process by which one's social values, beliefs, and norms are reengineered, often deliberately through an intense social process that may take place in a total institution." (Conley 3rd Edition, 131) Ever since joining marching band three years ago, I have become more disciplined in many skill-related areas of my life, including academics, paying close attention to details, and becoming accustomed to assuming a leader position, if one is not readily available. An example of this would be my grades in school, which progressed positively from my freshman year as a non-band kid to my senior year as a full-fledged band veteran, despite that I tacked on more advanced placement classes as an upperclassman. I learned the importance of working hard in a particular area, and how generously it pays off in the long run, and was constantly encouraging my sectional peers to set new musical standards for themselves. During my first year as pit percussion leader, I taught one of the freshman, who was relatively unexperienced with mallet instruments, how to play his xylophone part, in such a way that he actually grew to appreciate the art. According to him, not only was I dedicated to my position as section leader, but I grew sincerely excited about every encompassing aspect of the job. During these two years as a prominent figure of the percussion section, our school won the "Best Drumline" caption award on seven occasions at various competitions.

The resocialization involved in marching band does not end at becoming a disciplined musician and obtaining good leadership qualities; it is also a matter of disregarding past social norms as highschoolers, such as having weekends free (when discounting



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