*Friends theme song starts playing*
It was August of 2017. My hair was actually styled for once, my makeup was on point, and my feet were killing me. Sorority recruitment is certainly no easy feat. I was tired, I was sweating, I was hangry, and I was scared. Recruitment forces you to put yourself on display, which is not always the most comfortable thing. Recruitment at the University of Arkansas is considered to be one of the toughest in the nation, so yeah, I was scared. I was excited to find my place, but also afraid that nobody would want me. I thought to myself, am I really meant to be in a sorority? Are there girls I will be able to relate to? My story is slightly untraditional in the way that I dropped out of formal recruitment halfway through the week. I called my parents and cried, disappointed. I didn't know if I would fit in or if I even had time to belong to a sorority. I could see myself being happy in any of the houses, and it felt like a big choice to make. So, I dropped and watched Bid Day happen with sadness. I saw all the girls find their sisters and get their Bid Day boxes and I drove home for the weekend, hoping I had done the right thing for myself. A week or so later, I got an email from Alpha Chi Omega saying they wanted to recruit me informally. I thought about it a lot, wondering if I should. I was afraid my schedule would be too busy with classes and the time commitment of being in the top choir at my university. I took the leap, and it turns out joining Alpha Chi Omega was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
A picture of me sporting TSL in my first ever photoshoot as a Content Contributor! Styling photoshoots is always so fun.
Finding My Place
I think girls expect to find their best friends in their sorority immediately, but it honestly takes time, and THAT IS OKAY. I have never been someone who fits the stereotypical mold of what a sorority girl is. This was scary because I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, my freshman roommate completed formal recruitment and rushed Alpha Chi. She was my first friend in the sorority, and I will never forget being able to share that bond with my roommate and lifelong sister. One of my favorite things about being in sorority is the community. I adore my Grand-Big, Big, Little, and Grand-Little. They are some of my closest friends and are always so supportive. The sorority allowed me to branch out and find other girls like myself. Looking back on my past few years in college, some of my closest friends have come from my sorority. It took time, but I found my people.
My Big, Me, my Little, and my Grand-Big at the Christmas lights on the Fayetteville Square!
One of my sweet sisters and me on Bid Day this year!! Our theme was Ice Ice Bid Day and it was the cutest theme EVER.
Alpha Chi Omega: Delta Rho
Our chapter of Alpha Chi Omega is so special to me. When I was a freshman, we did not have a house, so we met in a very generic business auditorium. Our group of girls have always said that we don’t need four walls to make our sisterhood special, and there is so much truth to that. Flash forward to now, when our house is almost 2 years old. Although we don’t need four walls to foster community, it is so nice to be able to have a place to eat together, watch movies, study together, and make memories.
This group of girls is so kind, accepting, and loving. These girls make me feel special and wanted. There is always a sister willing to lend a helping hand. Our chapter is full of intelligent and genuine women, who I am glad to be a sister to.
My Grand-Little with my Little and Me at Initiation 2019!
One of my favorite things about being an Alpha Chi Omega is being able to look out for other women. Our philanthropy is domestic violence awareness. We also focus on shedding light on sexual assault and abuse. As a woman in a college setting, this cause is extremely relevant. It gives me such peace and joy being able to raise money for women who have been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused. Even though it won't stop the abuse from happening, it will make that woman feel the love that she deserves from others. Raising money for this cause restores my faith in humanity and makes me feel like I am making an impact. As a woman who has personally experienced sexual harassment and gaslighting, our philanthropy is so important to me. It has never been more important to be a strong woman who shows love to others.
More than a sorority...
Being in a sorority allows for personal growth. I have learned so much about who I am and what my values are. I know what I want, what I strive for, and how I want to impact the chapter and university. I will always remember winning the first place trophy for Greek Sing this year, the endless laughs and jokes, the late-night food runs, the functions, and all the interesting mess that comes with living life. I will remember the sweet comments from sisters that made my day better. I will remember walking all the way across campus in the bitter cold and brutal heat to Reynolds Auditorium for chapter. I will remember the women who gave me a home.
My sisters and I when we went to catch the sunrise on a verrrry cold January morning at a popular local spot.
Me posing with our Greek Sing banner for this year. WE WON!!!
Reminders to Any Girl Going Through Recruitment
You are loved.
Your identity makes the group what it is.
Don't be afraid to talk to people, because you have so much to offer.
Be kind and accepting.
Keep an open mind.
-- Caroline Wetsell, Alpha Chi Omega