Alumnus Corner: Hailey Woock

LWW Class of 2019

Hailey Woock

On August 13th, 2019, I said goodbye to the only home I’d ever known, New Lenox, Illinois. This would be my first time moving, which added stress to the already stressful college transition. But, it turns out I had nothing to be worried about!

My first week of college consisted of a marching band camp alongside the fun festivities of welcome week. Everything felt relatively simple since I was used to the rigor of the Lincoln-Way Marching Band. As classes began, I felt the same fears I had felt just four years ago as I walked the halls of Lincoln-Way West for the first time: the fear of not making it to class on time, of not making friends, and of getting lost stayed with me all day as I navigated my way around the giant campus. Thankfully, those fears faded away as I started to get into a routine and started to make closer friends. 

The hardest part of this transition wasn’t the small first day fears, but the feeling of not having a group to call my own. In high school, I had such a rooted friend-group, so coming from that to having nobody at all was a real change. Thankfully, I started to find the people to call my “group.” Once I found these people, my college experience went from feeling uncomfortable feeling like home. 

Thankfully, the academic portion of the transition was as smooth as can be. I felt as though Lincoln-Way prepared me extremely well for both my music and regular academic classes. My teachers at Lincoln-Way pushed me extremely hard which in return helped me stand out among other students in my classes.

As I started my new life at ISU, I started a new role with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band. This year I joined the crowd as a fan, rather than as drum major. At first, it was painful to see the people I love do the activity that I love without me, but as their season progressed my feelings transitioned from pain to joy. 

The Lincoln-Way Marching Band achieved nothing but success this year, and it fills me with great pride to be an alumnus of the band. The students in the organization bring recognition to the Lincoln-Way area in such a positive and mature way, and it’s beautiful to see these students achieve their dreams. I miss the activity dearly, but after watching the band compete this past season, I felt inspired and encouraged to pursue marching at the highest level, which led me to audition for a World Class Drum Corp. I am beyond excited to watch the band continue to pursue excellence as they march in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and in many other competitive events. Being a fan rather than a member isn’t too bad after all. 

So if you’re a senior finishing up your last season of your sport or activity, or a freshman already looking towards college, enjoy every moment. College will go from being a few years, to a few months, to a few days away, so make your time at Lincoln-way count. Whenever I look back at my moments at West and the Lincoln-Way Marching Band, I smile knowing that this wonderful community prepared me to chase after my dreams and help me soar.