As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of my goals for senior year is to push myself to do things academically and socially I’ve been too shy or uncertain to previously attempt. One of Bryn Mawr’s most transformative aspects is its ability to give students the tools to become more empowered and active participants in their lives and communities. In addition to writing a thesis, my academic capstone of pushing myself in new ways, I’ve made similar efforts socially, like establishing the Radnor Film Institute.
However, one of my biggest accomplishments happened last weekend: I played my very first concert with my very first band at a sold out show! I’ve always wanted to play bass in a band, but never felt confident enough in my own skills. Over the summer I read that DIYPHL (an independent group in Philly that works to foster the DIY community) was hosting an event called First Time’s the Charm. The goal of the event was to have a showcase of all new bands featuring members who had either never played an instrument before, played in a band before, or identified as female, queer, or a person of color. I was able to group together a few friends, including a fellow Mawrtyr, and thus, Calamity Jane was born. We performed two original songs and a cover. It was completely nerve-wracking, exciting, liberating, and, well, amazing! We even got reviewed by Pitchfork’s Jenn Pelly. She writes, “And so, there was female-fronted hardcore and angelic pop-punk, tear-stained acoustic ballads and camp. My favorite sounds were the squeaky proto-punk of Calamity Jane and skinny-chord post-punk of Marge.”
I love Bryn Mawr’s commitment to forging an inclusive and safe space for all students – one that encourages and empowers its community. However, spaces like this are extremely rare outside of campus. As a senior contemplating life after college, it’s important to me to try and find similar spaces I feel comfortable in and want to engage with. DIYPHL’s event was an excellent example of this and I’m so excited to see what the future has to offer.
More photos below!