hOUme

The tag line of my story is seemingly that of a typical nerd: marching band has always been a huge part of my life. This narrative will not explain to you how to play an instrument or give you first-person accounts of a show. This is, instead, a tale of finding oneself.

As someone who is has always been incredibly soft-spoken and quite shy, it was with trepidation that I joined marching band in high school. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the beginning of my many years as a member of a marching band. Even in high school, the band room was a place of comfort and acceptance. I also found a genuine love and desire for performing, a passion of mine that contradicts my painfully shy personality. As high school came to a close, the rest of my class of band members said tearful goodbyes to their instruments and their time as musicians. I, however, couldn't help but think that my time as a band member wasn't over, nor did I want it to be.

I visited OU for the first time as a junior in high school, and I fell in love with it immediately. There was no doubt in my mind that was where I was to go next, and so I did. Knowing that I wanted to continue playing my instrument and performing, but having never seen the Internet-famed Marching 110 except for in YouTube videos, I sought to audition. It took months of hard work, dedication, and preparation, but when I finally landed a spot, I felt like everything had come together at last. 

Afterwards, the sky was not always clear and cloudless as I had anticipated. During a troubled time of mine, I sort of accidentally walked into the Alpha Delta chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. For a long time, I did not know what these people or this organization would mean to me. Over the years, I have found that TBS has grounded me and given me a "home base" of sorts. It has given me jobs to do that make me work harder and not squander my potential. It has given me support, from people I would have never spoken to otherwise. After years and months of being confused and at times, rather lonely, I have finally found a place of belonging and acceptance. 

All my dreams have not come true, within the 110 or within TBS. During the last 3 years at OU, I have known love and loss, good times and bad, acceptance and judgement. But I have learned to see the silver lining within it all, and learn to love what I have. My sisters mean more to me than I think they even know, and I would like to thank them for being there for me. TBS has only strengthened the love for music that I have had since high school, and has given me an opportunity to share that passion. I have truly found my place at OU, and I am glad to call it home. Hears to my last year in such a beautiful place, with all the beautiful people I have found along the way.

MLITB,

Emily Ackerman

Joint-Chapter Head