What I Didn't Expect About College Band Camp

American Pie Jokes Aside, There Is So Much I Didn't Expect About College Band Camp

"This one time, at band camp..."


Let me preface this entire article by saying my transition from college band to high school was a full 180. My high school band was about a hundred people strong, and we were a competition band, so every Saturday we'd load a trailer and traverse across central Ohio to compete against other bands and receive a rating. My college band is almost 250 people, and in college, there isn't really competitions because Saturdays are for football games.

I walked in on the first day of band camp with my roommate and was immediately overwhelmed by just how many people were in a fairly small space. I had spent not even five minutes there, and I just wanted my mom back so she could take me home and I could go pretend I wasn't an adult and I didn't have to make all these decisions for myself. Every person who introduced themselves was a blur in the crowd, and I know I wouldn't have remembered anyone if we didn't all have name tags on.

The first day was... rough, to say the least. I was the only person from my high school there, and I'm painfully shy and awkward, so I didn't really talk to anyone besides my roommate, and that was only the second time I'd ever met her in person. I was in a new town, I'd moved in less than a day ago, and it was my first day really on my own. We went and got lunch, and then had our first rehearsal, and it was so much more intense than I remembered band camp being.

Right off the bat, we started playing music at what felt like a fast pace to me, because I hadn't had much time to practice all summer. I went to dinner feeling frustrated because I wanted to make friends, but I felt so awkward and out of place that I didn't even know where to start. After a day or two, I did befriend a lot of really awesome people, and I'm certain we'll have a lot of memories by the end of our season in three months.

College is scary, I'll be upfront about that. The week before I left, just thinking about college made me sick. I spent my last summer before "becoming a real adult" worried I was missing out on being a kid for the last time because I worked so much, and mine was about two weeks shorter than most people's because of camp. I've had some solid cries in the past month; some are legit and some are just because school is hard when you're over two hours away from your mom and sometimes all you want is a hug from her.

To anyone who worries about fitting in because your high school band was a different style than the college band you just joined, stylistically there will probably be some differences, but at the end of the day, you're still in a group of amazing musicians who are big enough nerds that they chose to keep doing band after getting those fine arts credit hours. Your section stereotypes if anything become more accurate (frightening, I know), and you'll make some of the closest friends you can have going into the next chapter of your life.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?


Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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