Summer A can be hard. Since so many students return home for the summer, staying in Gainesville to take classes can quickly feel lonely. Going from a busy spring semester to an empty campus and an even emptier schedule left me searching for ways to grow friendships.
One day, my phone buzzed with an email from UF intramurals reading “Summer A Intramural Sports Registration, Closing in 3 Days.” I knew instantly that an intramural team would be a great way to make the start of my summer a bit more fun. After some quick brainstorming, we decided to register a kickball team! I figured maybe a few girls would be interested, but I was able to get a team of 10 sisters to play on a team. Even more sisters were able to cheer on the sidelines during our games. This spontaneous Wednesday night activity taught me how valuable my sisterhood in Chi Omega is. I can single out three major lessons that our season taught me.
1. Sisterhood runs deeper than scheduled events.
I decided to participate in recruitment because I wanted to find a place on campus where I belonged. Walking into my first year of college to a full schedule of sisterhood days, community service events, and daily meals kept me from feeling lonely on a big campus. After playing kickball, I found that the calendar wasn’t what made me feel at home, it was the people. In a semester without fun events filling our schedules, Chi Omega sisters still find ways to continue to invest in one another in friendship.
2. In a chapter as big as Eta Delta (270+ members), there are always opportunities to invest in friendships, new and old.
I have had the opportunity to grow so many friendships with our team. My future roommate, Claire Shukys (MC ‘19), and I bonded over FaceTime making lineups for the upcoming kickball games. I had the opportunity to deepen my friendships with Kylie Grant (MC ‘19), Abby McDade (MC ‘20), Caroline McMillan (MC ‘20), Brynn Brown (MC ‘21) and Catherine McCarthy (MC ‘21). I’m excited to enter the fall semester with these blossoming friendships and continue to encourage one another in everything we do!
3. You don’t have to win to have fun.
My second-grade teacher gave my class this advice on the first day of class: “every person should have a hobby they are horrible at.” So often we fail to see how fulfilling challenging activities are. With kickball, we lost every game. Actually, we were “mercy-ruled” out of every game, meaning the other team scored 12 more runs than us at some point in the game. We saw every game as a chance to improve and have fun!
I’m so thankful for a sisterhood that joins me in spontaneous fun, and I cannot wait to see what intramural sport we will compete in next!