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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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

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I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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