4 Peas in a Pod
In this post, I want to share the incredible journey of my Chi Omega family, a unique constellation of sisters that has brought immeasurable joy, support, and love into my life. Coming to the University of Florida as a ripe 18-year-old during the COVID-19 pandemic was not something I could have planned for.
I have bled orange and blue my whole life. My dad went here, and my two older sisters went here; it was the only option for me. When the pandemic hit my senior year of high school, I saw that dream almost slip away. Everything was uncertain. Could I live on campus? Would I still have classes? And most importantly, what would the sports teams look like?
There was a whole lot of change going on in my life. Within all that change came something that has been a steady rock throughout my four years at UF. My Chi Omega family. Being one of four girls, I am no stranger to sisters; however, gaining 200+ all at once was a lot, even for me. I began to meet people and felt more comfortable with all these new faces. Then came big little.
I got my big, Maci Bedard. She was there for me when I most needed it, freshman year. She helped me navigate being on my own for the first time, boy troubles, what UF looked like in a pandemic, how to live your faith while in college, and much more. Maci was such a blessing and everything I needed during my freshman year. At the end of my freshman year, she transferred to Southeastern University.
Going into sophomore year, it was just me and my gbig, Kendra Hall. I had helped recruit the new member class and was excited to find my little. That is when Lauren Maya came into my life. Lauren is the perfect little. She makes me laugh and smile every time I am with her. Lauren loves others so well and, day after day puts her friends selflessly before herself. She is my why Chi O. I cannot imagine my college career without her right by my side. I love being her big and having her as a best friend.
Lauren is home in a hug, and I seriously cannot believe I won't have her by my side next year. She has shown me what it means to be a true friend. A friend that is there for you at your best and your worst. She loves without limits and accepts every part of me. I am so lucky to have her in my life. As I reminisce about the past two years and look forward to the last one, every moment I have with Lauren is cherished. I feel immensely proud to be a part of her growth and development within our sorority and as an individual.
Makenzie Cole joined the family during my junior year. I was so excited for her to join our family of two. Kenzie is a person who immediately lights up a room. She is sunshine, happiness, and all things good. The way I was able to connect with her so fast was incredible. Kenzie is one of those people you just want to be friends with. A kind and loyal friend, and one that I know I'll have for life. Her joy is evident in everything she does, and her outlook on life inspires me. She joined the family, and all three of us became inseparable. It is an incredible gift to watch Lauren and Kenzie be big sisters and have their own little to spend their college years with.
Little Lily Darnell became my gglittle just a few weeks ago. She is the perfect and final addition (for me) to the family. During our first meal together, I could tell how seamless adding Lily to the family would be. Whenever I see Lily, she is smiling. She has this super welcoming personality that makes it easy to get to know her. I love her so much already, and I know she will do big things. I cannot wait to watch her thrive.
These three are not only my Chi O family; they are cherished members of my heart. Chi Omega has given me the incredible gift of a sisterhood and a family. Lauren, Kenzie, and Lily, thank you for being a part of my life, my Chi Omega family, and my heart. Our journey is just beginning, and I couldn't be more excited for all the memories and adventures that lie ahead. Here's to a lifetime of sisterhood, love, and unforgettable moments.
With all my love,
Regan Staudt MC '20