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?

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

Popular Right Now

Ten Amazing Songs You Haven't Heard Yet

A look into my Spotify playlist:

1. Dare You to Run by Ariela Jacobs:

This is more of an acoustic piano song. It’s haunting in its tune yet extremely calming. This is a perfect song to falling asleep to.

“Sleep still haunts me now…I don’t know why, I dared you to run.”

2. Guy.exe. by Superfruit:

This song is good for people who are feeling lonely. It has a great beat but it’s also slow. This is definitely a jam for all the single ladies out there!

Where all the boys at with emotional stability?
Nice car, a CEO, and almost just as smart as me”

3. Habits of My Heart by Jaymes Young:

This is a song about an abusive relationship. It talks about the cognitive dissonance that the man experiences. This is a twist on the usual sob story of a damsel in distress calling for help. Instead, the man is struggling to help himself in a war between what’s good for him and his sexual needs.

“'Cause I'd rather be alone
But you're fermented in my bones”

4. Devil Like Me by Rainbow Kitten Surprise:

Not only is the band's name really cool, but they also have a great message.

"Is the devil so bad if he cries in his sleep, while the earth turns
And his kids learned to say, f*** you, they don't love you.
Does the devil get scared if she dies in her dreams, where the earth burns?

5. For Keeps by Lily Kershaw:

This is a really calming song; another good one for going to bed. The notes are hit perfectly and the song talks about being in a relationship that can never last. There are some really great metaphors in this song; there's something for everyone.

“I know you’re not for keeps
Just like pebbles on the beach
And this love is not for free
But they’re banking on you and me”

6. Timmy’s Got a Gun by 1AMVRKA:

This is a rap song with a good message. What are we doing to our children that make them want to kill others? How are kids growing up so fast that they have a gun in their hand; a life in their arms before they can vote?

"I bet they blame Eminem
But where are the -----,
where are the teachers the preachers where the f*** are their parents at?”

7. Cringe by Stripped:

This is a story about how love can turn into hate. It’s a very real song about how the little things can destroy a relationship.

“oh I make you cringe now
don't I make you cringe?”

8. AMBiVALENT by Sam Lachow:

This is a super fun song with a few old songs mashed into it. For example, all Missy Elliot lovers can rejoice that there is a stanza just for her. This song is a fun jam to laugh at.

“I’m not perfect,
I once freed seven monkey’s from the circus!”

9. Jack Daniels by Mike Stud:

This song touches on how fame can lead to addiction; how being famous isn’t about being perfect. It talks about how hard it is to be in the limelight as a role model and also a struggling addict.

For the money and the fame and the antics
For the pain they don't really see the damage
Just me and my boy Jack Daniels”

10. Helicopters by Stop Light Observations:

This song makes good use of wind instruments. It talks about staying in the moment and living life for the good times. It’s about a man who feels great but also has downs in his life. He’s struggling to find a way to balance his emotions.

“If time was my lady, Then right now I would stop her And hover over this here moment Like a helicopter.”

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Does Your Myers-Briggs Personality Match Your Hogwarts House?

So you think you're a Gryffindor...

If you are by any means a Harry Potter fan, it is likely that you have given some thought to which Hogwarts House you would be placed in if you were a witch or wizard attending the school of witchcraft yourself. These houses separate students according to their personalities, whether their dominant attributes include things such as bravery, loyalty, knowledge, ambition etc.

As the normal muggles we are, we find various ways to separate ourselves based on personality as well; such as extroverts versus introverts. In fact, many people have taken what is called the Myers-Briggs Personality Test to discover which of the 16 different personality types they are. Each of the different personality types is comprised of four letters. The first letter can be an E or I, standing for extrovert and introvert. The second letter is either an N or S, stands for intuition or sensing. The third is a T or F, standing for thinking or feeling. And the fourth is a J or P, standing for judging or perceiving.

You can take this quiz here!

What if your Myers-Briggs personality type somehow correlated to what your Hogwarts House would be? According to the test, here is which Hogwarts House you would supposedly be in based on your results.



Known for their bravery and leadership, some Gryffindors may be described as being reckless or blunt. Other staples of your average Gryffindor include chivalry, nerve and being daring. They put their actions to noble causes.



Known for their hard work and loyalty, a Hufflepuff is a true friend to have. Other staples of a Hufflepuff include patience and dedication. It is the most accepting of all the four houses.



Known for their wit and creativity, other staples of an average Ravenclaw include originality, intelligence and wisdom. It is hard not to love a crafty mind.



Known for their ambition, a Slytherin is willing to do whatever they can to succeed. Contrary to popular belief, not all Slytherins are "evil". Their cunning and resourceful nature often leads others to wonder how they always find a way to the top.

Did your Hogwarts House match up the way you expected it to?

Cover Image Credit: @hermionegranger_official

Related Content

Facebook Comments