A lot of people will write about how this organization has helped them with their lives, how much the friends they made here and the experience that they made is irreplaceable. I’m not here to lessen that, or to refute it, but I’d like to offer a slightly different opinion.
We like to talk about why we join TBS, why we choose to divert our time and energy from our studies to better ourselves and our music programs through sisterhood and service. But there is another side. I joined TBS in my freshman year, one of thirteen in my class. This year is my senior year, year four in TBS, and I am now one of four.
The following two classes were classes of thirteen and eleven respectively. The now juniors are down to five. The sophomores are only down one member. So far. Does the trend seem to present itself? Most of everybody shares our reasons why we joined TBS. Yet why do so few stay?
That’s mostly irrelevant. What is important is why I stayed. I’m not going to sugar coat it, when I joined, I was the only member of my rush class that was not in the Marching 110. I was the odd man out, which made getting to know everyone difficult. Yet, they didn’t treat me as an outsider, my opinions, thoughts, comments (lots of comments, I don’t shut up) all mattered to them.
What made the most impact on me was that I could see all of the hard work I put into the organization having a result. I saw people I knew were impacted by the service that we were doing. I had friends and strangers thanking me for what we were doing; the service projects that were just us spending time together and bonding as a chapter, complaining about student problems, all while we did something that for some was life changing.
I know it’s cliché, but I stayed because of my friends. For my friends in TBS, as well as my friends outside, I stayed because I had made friends in the chapter, and we bonded by serving the bands. Yes, we grew closer through working ourselves ragged. It is a great feeling, to get through a day of work happy—a day of work that is long, boring, monotonous, and sometimes goes unappreciated. A day of work that you really don’t have time in your schedule to do, but you do anyway because if you don’t no one else will. A day of work that isn’t for credit, money, or some other third thing.
I stayed in TBS because we are here for more than just a degree, to go to class all day and soak up knowledge like the sponge in our sinks. We are here for more than to go about our lives as mindless zombies, doing everything by the books, we are here to make an impact on this world. We are here to do more in our lives than to just exist. We must live.
This is what my time in TBS has taught me. This is why I stayed.