When your director mails you the show music for the season.
When you have to endure the sounds of trumpets and piccolos at the buttcrack of dawn.
When the director tells you to turn your music stands around.
When the band plays the first note of the season.
When you're finally allowed to take a water break.
When you get home after the first day.
When the director says "one more time."
When you try to hold your flag or instrument for more than five minutes during the first week.
When you're going through a new set and you're the last person to find your spot on the field.
When you do your first run-through of the entire show.
When your section leader gives a life-changing, impassioned speech before each rehearsal.
When you have to go down the line and play your part alone.
When you forget your sunscreen and the director won't let you run inside to grab it.
When the band director asks battery to play by themselves.
When it's 3 p.m. and your chops are so worn out that nothing's coming out of your horn.
When you finally nail marching 8-to-5.
When you screw up and you have to do pushups in front of the entire band.
When someone asks the band director if they can leave early to go to a doctor's appointment.
When the weather is essentially heralding the apocalypse and you still have to rehearse outside.
When the band parents bring you snacks.
When you get fitted for your shako and uniform.
When it's 20 minutes past the end of rehearsal and you're still doing runthroughs.
When camp is over for the summer and you've been transformed into a total marching BAMF.