Walking into CAB Fair my freshman year, I felt surrounded by everything with absolutely no idea where to start. It took place on a particularly sweltering Saturday, only magnified by the flood of students scoping out potential clubs. Walking down the path of fold-out tables bursting with poster boards and eager faces I began to question my interests and whether I even knew what I wanted to pursue. 

While perusing the a cappella tables, I made lingering eye contact with one of the members—we seemed to faintly recognize each other. “Do I…have we…hm…oh! Instagram!” we both exclaimed. 

Some months ago, over GAAP weekend, I had seen Superfood perform and found myself smiling during the entire performance; even from on stage, they radiated a deep sense of joy and togetherness. Naturally, I launched an Instagram deep-dive and came across Courtenay White’s cover of “Clean” by Taylor Swift. I messaged her with questions about the group, which she responded to with infectious enthusiasm. Sometimes, a little manifestation and some light Insta-stalking go a long way. Fast forward and now, we were chatting away at CAB Fair like old friends as I was signing up to audition. 

At the time of auditions, I held a seventeen-year-long career in “shower singing”; I had never once stepped onto a stage and actually performed. I feared that I’d lose my love for singing if I shared it with others. Georgetown’s club culture certainly didn’t assuage this fear—it seemed that here, you needed to earn every passion you wanted to pursue.

Nevertheless, I managed to get myself into the audition room by reminding myself about why I was there. The members loved singing just as much as I did and were looking for people to share it with. So, with a slightly shaky hand, I sang one of my favorite songs, “Say You Love Me” by Fleetwood Mac, with a smile, and left hoping for the best.

I soon learned that I was accepted into the group via a personal phone call from Courtenay. At that moment, I felt pure happiness. Not because I felt like I “won” or beat some kind of exclusivity test; I was happy because I finally found a family on campus.

Despite the relief of getting accepted, my anxiety around singing didn’t necessarily end. While I loved getting to know the members, the first few rehearsals left me wondering if I was a fluke acceptance. Everyone had some amazing call to music, whether it was a complex knowledge of arranging, a beautiful vibrato, or the unique aura of their voice. My instinct, of course, was to compare myself; however, I soon learned that the bond within Superfood went beyond comparisons and competition.

Though I spend the bulk of my time with the group during our thrice-weekly rehearsals, so much of our bonding happens outside of the practice room. Margaret Tracey, a junior in the group, was my assigned “coffee chat” lead during callbacks. Though many of us are accustomed to those being one-and-done friendships, by the force of our spiritual love for Lizzy McAlpine, I now look forward to our bi-monthly bagel-brunch rants. Margaret was one of the first members I connected with because she consistently reached out to me and truly made me feel cared for. I remember a particularly difficult week; I was struck with an instance of grief back home which left me feeling paralyzed, unable to call for help. Yes, I had people I could talk to, but no one I felt comfortable being vulnerable around. After a week of sitting with the emotion, something pushed me to text Margaret. I had this instinctual feeling she’d understand, and she did. She proved to me that Superfood would always be a community I could return to.

And the same goes for every member in the group. Our group chat is ferally active, most of the time with anything but sheet music: inside jokes, requests for pre-rehearsal “SuperLeos,” chaotic MeMojis, and of course, cross-campus “snipes.” I think we are the only Georgetown a cappella group with a paparazzi team. If I ever feel alone on campus, I need only check the chat to find a picture of me strolling out of Lauinger Library—taken from the opposite side of campus. I’m constantly reminded that, with Superfood, I’m really never alone.

In all seriousness, I feel so lucky to have found a group of people with whom I can seamlessly transition from crying, to gossiping, to studying, to laughing. Superfood possesses a holistic bond that further solidified over our annual group retreat. Hiking among a wooded nowhere in Landrum, South Carolina, I gained a unique appreciation for each of the members and their strengths: Yana’s compassionate wisdom, Kei and Wally’s contagious amusement, Mikayla’s heart, and the way Koko just “gets me.” 

Towards the end of retreat, we all found ourselves around a fireplace with a few guitars, casually playing around with some chords. Someone suggested “Landslide” and soon enough, the room went aglow with all of our voices. It sounds corny and straight out of Pitch Perfect 2, but as we sang about change and growing up, I felt a profound sense of gratitude. With Superfood, singing is more than just a talent or a source of comparison: it’s a conduit for connection, something that we all love doing together and that strengthens our bond as a true campus family. 

While Georgetown’s club culture often gets flak for being overly competitive, I do believe there is merit to surrounding yourself with people whom you admire, who challenge you and who you feel comfortable challenging yourself around. Admittedly, I still get anxious when it comes time to audition for solos, but I still try because I know the group is there to support me, in singing or elsewhere. I believe relationships deepen when we allow individuals to see our imperfect cracks and appreciate our whole selves. 

This piece is my way of saying thank you to Superfood. Whether we’re practicing our “dit-dats,” venting in the alto-cave, or just vibing to “Doses and Mimosas” in Reynolds, I’m constantly reminded about how special this group is. On the surface, we are a group of singers who get together to rehearse and perform. But at our core, we are a chosen family of individuals, who love to sing together but also be a source of fun, laughter, comfort, and joy for each other. And I can’t thank you all enough. 

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