By Allison Owen The holiday season can be a great time for a drum corps hopeful or it can be a very stressful stage in his or her journey. For me it's the latter.

Allison Owen
If there is one thing I've learned from the past months, especially due to writing these articles, it is to not declare my plans until I am sure of them. It seems like every time I make a decision something happens to mess up these plans. Now I'm not going to be too specific -- because that's my problem -- but let's just say that finding your drum corps "home" can be a very difficult process for some. In these winter months and on into spring, a drum corps hopeful finds his or herself either awaiting status, preparing for the summer with the corps of choice, or attempting to find a new home. Let's use two people as an example: Bob and Mark. For Bob it's easy: He goes to his first corps of choice and is offered a spot; he doesn't have to search anymore and now has a place he can call home. For Mark it's not as easy: He is not offered a spot at his first choice, so he can either look for a new corps to call home or not march at all -- hopefully choosing the first option. So maybe in these coming months you will be like Bob and will secure a spot for this summer, or maybe you will be like Mark and you will not make your first choice, but you will find that home for the summer eventually. An important thing to always remember is that there is somewhere for you to call home, you just have to find it. I know that right now I am searching for the drum corps that I will take the field with this summer, and I know my corps is out there. There is a quote by Douglas Adams that can be helpful to those who were not offered a spot at their drum corps of choice: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." So maybe you didn't get a spot at your first choice but maybe it's better that way. If you are searching for a home like I am, good luck on your journey. Congratulations to those who have already found their home for the summer. I think I'll leave you with this final thought that many people have passed on to me: Follow your heart and not someone else's; do what your heart tells you to do.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.