How My High School Marching Band Prepared Me For Greek Life

How My High School Marching Band Prepared Me For Greek Life

Because aren’t your section babies essentially the same thing?
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Anyone who has ever gone through sorority recruitment knows the first question their potential sisters ask; why did you choose to "Go Greek?" When I was asked this probing question upon my decision to join my sorority, the only thing that came to my mind was my high school marching band. I'd been a member of the middle and high school bands for seven years; I'd held the position of Woodwind Captain and Section Leader for two of those years. I performed with, lead, and grew attached to the same cluster of peers for four seasons of marching band, and when I graduated, they were the ones I felt the guiltiest about leaving behind. My school was fairly small; I graduated with a class of 124 students, fourteen of which, including myself— were my best friends, my "band buddies." These thirteen incredible, talented individuals and I had been through hell and high-water. Every school, every program, has their fair share of curve balls thrown at them, and our sixth-grade class took the hardest hit.

Over the years, we lost and gained numerous talented players, yet the fourteen of us in the class of 2014 remained. This consisted of two drummers, two saxophonists, a trumpet, a trombone, five color guards, a feature twirler, a flute, and a sousaphone — a motley crew indeed— we relied on one another; we boosted each other up, we advised, supported and loved one another. We were a band not only of twirlers and players, but a band of sisters and brothers, consistently reminding one another that this was the reason we stayed while others abandoned our program; we stayed for the sake of each other.

By the time we had all reached the title of 'Seniors,' the coveted thrones we are promised during all the years of awkwardness and pain, many obtained leadership positions. We had found different, littler, reasons to stay. With each graduating class before us, came a new class of incoming freshmen. Each just as eager and motivated as we once were back when we were that blissfully oblivious. With each new class of 'rookies' to the marching band, the fourteen of us all found at least one to latch onto, to call our Babies; the ones we taught, supported, and motivated just like we had done for each other all those years.

It was my Babies, that drove me to continue my marching band career those last couple years when some of the pressures we face in adolescence become harder to handle the older we get. I had far more than many of my fellow seniors did, about 8, all in sections differing from and the same as my own, all I had allowed to call me 'Mama.' But the three that I had in my saxophone section by my senior year were the closest to Littles I've ever had. I established a bond with them that was so different from the one I held with my older classmates. A bond that stretched so much further than just a love of music and performing. Their successes became my successes. Their heartaches, my heartaches; their laughter, became my laughter. Even now, having graduated almost two years ago, they keep in touch, letting me know how school is going, who they're taking to homecoming, how the show is looking. No, I am not their real mother by any means, but because of their reciprocated affection and appreciation. I understand how it feels to love someone in an unconditional way, a way specific to them, different than any relationship I could ever have with any boyfriend or friend my own age.

I came into my sorority with that mindset. I wanted a family outside of the real one I have, with Little ones looking to the experienced for love and guidance with eagerness and appreciation in their eyes. So, to anyone who ever did marching band in high school getting ready to take on their first Little, trust me: you’re already one step ahead of everyone else.


1. Section Leaders/Captains are essentially Big's.

After hours of practices, parades, and competitions, you start to establish a bond with the youngsters in your section so different from the one with your older classmates. You establish that same bond with your sisters and potential Little's after hours of recruitment, chapter, and philanthropy events. When you spend so much time with one another, it’s hard not to get attached. You love them, care for them, feed them, teach them right from wrong; you become their role model, and really, that’s all there is to it.

2. It is not always easy to support everything your Little or your Band Baby does.

Maybe dating that one drummer was not the best idea. And, maybe trying to craft at three o'clock in the morning with hot glue was not your shining hour either. But they need to know that while you may not agree with everything they do you will not let them fall flat on their face.

3. We all know joining a new organization is not always easy.

We have a tendency to feel out of place, or uncomfortable in a new club setting, be it marching band or a sorority. Being leadership in marching band taught me the importance of helping new members feel as comfortable in their bibbers as they do walking down the hallway. In the same light, you want new members to feel the same level of comfort in their letters, and that comes from making them feel encouraged and valued.

4. Life is not always easy either.

Neither is learning drill for a marching show or the sorority chants. Your job is to teach them to love all of it, especially life. Sometimes life throws us curveballs, like club recruitment day getting rained out, or the football field covered in tufts of mud and turf from cleats just before a show. Your job is to teach them to love all of it, especially life. After that, everything else comes naturally.

5. If I could love those crazy band kids this much, I know I could love a little just as much.

Because of that band family, I can teach a whole new generation the meaning of the word.

Cover Image Credit: Kaley Sweeney

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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6 Ways To Decorate Your Dorm Or Apartment For The Holidays On A Budget

Baby, it's cold outside.

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As the holiday season approaches, it's easy to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex of holiday decorations, party favors, clothes and more. Unfortunately most of us college students don't have the money for all of this cute stuff so we have to watch for bargains or DIY it. Here are my six recommendations to get into the Christmas spirit:

1. String some festive lights in your room

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/199565827208188172/

I have Christmas lights hanging up in my room all year around because I love them so much, but you can find some cheap lights at Target or Walmart. You can get snowflake lights, lantern lights, normal Christmas lights or anything else that you want. Use command strips to hang them up, and soon it'll feel more relaxing and you'll be more in the Christmas spirit.

2. Use window clings

https://guide.alibaba.com/shop/merry-christmas-window-clings-north-pole-train-snowflakes-penguins-gingerbread-men-1-sheet-15-clings_1005699551.html

I love window clings! You stick them on from the inside (obviously) and then you can see them from the outside. I have different window clings for almost every season. If you have some old window clings that don't stick anymore, just put a little bit of water on the back of them and they'll stick like they're brand new.

3. Raid the Target dollar section

https://corporate.target.com/article/2015/11/bullseyes-playground

So, this depends on where you live and how often your local Target changes out their dollar section, but you would be surprised in what you could find there!

4. Hunt around for a mini tree (real or fake)

https://www.yourbestdigs.com/reviews/best-artificial-christmas-trees/?nabt=1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

I used to have a fake little green Christmas tree with cute little ornaments but sadly I don't have it anymore nor do I have room for it anywhere in my room. A little Christmas tree in your room or on your dresser just makes everything a little bit more festive. I used to have my little Christmas tree on my dresser until my cat found it. Yeah, you know where that is going.

5. Make easy DIY decorations

http://findinghomefarms.com/10-minute-christmas-decorating-idea-chalk-pen-galvanized-buckets/

Pinterest is the best website for this, well actually they're known for DIY projects. Why spend $50 on one Christmas decoration when you can do a DIY and spend only $20?

6. Use Winter themed candles

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/e/christmas-gift-guide.html

I love Bath and Body works because they always have the best sales and you can usually get something half priced or sometimes something for free! Plus everything smells so good in that store and it's so tempting to buy everything but if you come into the store with a goal, you'll leave with your goal.

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