Viewpoint: Pigskin should not be sole point of Sing, or of college

The prospect of going to Pigskin Revue is not the be-all and end-all.

Sororities, fraternities and organizations across campus have worked tirelessly since the start of the semester to put together their perfect Sing acts, complete with sharp jazz hands and spot-on group vocals.

With judging quickly approaching, performing groups across campus are still working until late hours of the night in full stage-makeup regalia, often times shirking their primary responsibilities as students.

Professors have come to expect that students will be absent—mentally, physically or both—during the days and weeks leading up to Sing. Grades and attendance fall as Sing participants try to catch up on sleep before the next midnight rehearsal.

The All-University Sing tradition, which has been a part of Baylor since 1953, has grown larger and grander with every passing year. With this long-standing tradition comes to pressure to uphold high standards set by performers from years past.

Though it’s admirable to take pride in Baylor’s tradition and student organizations, it’s times like now, with tensions high in performances, that I remember that it’s just Sing. And it’s as simple as that.

The summer before I came to Baylor, I was a traveling colorguard performer. I rode by bus across the country—from Denver to Houston, Atlanta to Indianapolis—performing under stadium lights for thousands of people and competing against other teams from major cities across America.

After each show, I would sleep on the charter bus with my teammates while we drove overnight to the next city. We had a couple hours at our destination to sleep on air mattresses or sleeping bags in gymnasiums, but then it was back to rehearsing from sunrise until it was time to get ready for the next show.

We rehearsed in the heat of summer all day every day from May until August. I put myself through a never-ending cycle of mental and physical pain to keep up with the veteran performers when I should have been enjoying the experience for its own sake.

One of the most important lessons I learned that summer was to step back and prioritize. I wish I had known that every time I messed up, it was just another show and life would go on. It was as simple as that.

I don’t mean to offer my story to downplay the importance of performing arts. I think performing is a wonderful way to build confidence, and performers gain an attention to detail that is unrivaled. But there are more important things to worry about than musical productions like Sing, where the vast majority of student performers are not theater, dance or music majors.

The outcome of this competition will not determine the success of each performer or even the greatness of each organization.

I encourage anyone participating in Sing to step back and gain perspective on his or her priorities this next week. I hope everyone sees the fun camaraderie of Sing and I hope that performers avoid putting all of their time and energy into one fleeting moment of glory when coming to Baylor means that we will have a college degree and a future career.

If doing well in Sing is your be-all, end-all, then we as Baylor Nation might have bigger problems than we realized.

Taylor Rexrode is a junior journalism major from Forney. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.