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Q&A: Millie Bryant

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What were the biggest challenges you faced when you were learning how to be a baton twirler?

My biggest challenge was playing catch up with the girls who were the same age and competing against me, but had been competing their entire life. I would go to school, get picked up, and immediately go to my twirling studio and stay there until around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. when it closed. I had a natural talent for it, but having to learn basics that these girls I was going head to head with had developed when they were in diapers was a lot of work. I knew I had to work 10 times harder than anyone if I was going to have any chance of twirling in college, so the day-to-day life of just working insanely hard and telling myself someday it’ll be worth it was definitely my biggest challenge in the beginning.

You recently won Miss OSU, how was the process?

The process for Miss OSU looked extremely different than anything I had prepared for twirling-wise. It was one of those things I decided to do at the last minute after a lot of deliberation and doubting myself. I think I was just set on the misconception that I was simply not cut out for pageants and it wasn’t my thing. I turned in my paperwork two hours before the cut-off and set a goal for myself to step out of my comfort zone and just have fun with it. My whole life every single twirling competition seemed like the end of the world and I got so focused and serious about every single one, so with this, it was kind of an opportunity for me to challenge myself to have fun and not put too much pressure on it. Honestly, the preparation was relying on years of twirling interviews and performances and years of being put on the spot that got me through it. 

Were you relieved when it ended?

Relieved is a little bit of an understatement. I had a lot of self doubt and anxiety going into Miss OSU and I think I felt like if I could survive this whole new challenge for me, I could accomplish anything. I can’t begin to describe to you how rewarding it was to walk away with not only doing my best but with the title of Miss OSU, I’ve never felt more proud of myself. 

What are your biggest achievements so far?

I think I will forever hold being Oklahoma State’s feature twirler as one of my biggest accomplishments. Being a college feature twirler is a goal that every single baton twirler sets for themselves and I am extremely lucky to say I not only am one, but set a goal for myself at 13 years behind my peers and achieved it. In addition to that, when I competed regularly from age 13 to 17, I accumulated four state championships, three regional championships and four national titles. 

How do you feel being on the field on game days?

It’s truly indescribable how it feels to lead the entire Cowboy Marching Band down the field in Boone Pickens Stadium. I genuinely feel like a rock star at every home game. I have come to love OSU more and more each year I’m here, and I think if I could go back and tell myself at 13 how amazing everything would be in a few years I don’t think I’d believe myself. It’s a dream come true.