February 14, 2020
People skills weren’t the only thing Holyoak discovered in drum corps – though he started college pursuing music education, he pivoted to studying psychology while in drum corps. Holyoak realized that helping and connecting with others was his biggest draw to the corps, which led him to reorient his career choices.
“I started to question whether I wanted to do the drum corps thing much longer,” Holyoak said. “I kind of realized I wasn’t super into the whole music theory thing and being a band director was not really what I wanted to do.”
Though drum corps provided many new memories and experiences, certain aspects of the activity began to take a toll. These experiences ultimately pushed Holyoak to leave and attend Brigham Young University after the third season, a year before aging out of the corps.
“I was going to be the head drum major of the corps, all the dreams fulfilled, but I was like ‘I think I’m going to walk away from this because I don’t know if I like who I am,’” Holyoak said. “It’s not that I have a negative taste for drum corps, it changed my life in many positive ways, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in a really big existential way it’s that we can’t just let life happen.”
For Holyoak, learning to slow down became a valuable asset in life.
“There’s this weird pressure in a society where you have to know what you want to do with your life at 15 and have your career done,” Holyoak said. “That works for some but it leaves a lot of stress, so slow down. I haven’t got a bachelors yet, and sure I could move faster but I’ve also lived a pretty exciting life so far.”
Though he can’t go back to high school, Holyoak maintains that for current students, it is valuable to enter new situations and explore different fields. Exploring options introduced him to his current career path of marriage and family therapy.
“I’d never heard about marriage and family therapy, it never crossed my mind, so keep yourself open because there’s a lot of things you can do that you haven’t heard of yet that you will when you’re in college,” Holyoak said. “I ended up in a social dance class, and I always thought dancing was weird but it was so fun, so branch out, learn a little bit about yourself and have fun.”
While his time as a leader in both Tomball Memorial and drum corps have come to an end, with Holyoak preparing to finish off his Norway mission trip and return to BYU in the next phase of his life, Holyoak still looks fondly back at both experiences.
“I think that he will always make a difference in the lives of others who interact with him,” Tracie said.