A Love Letter to My Sisters
The most daunting part of leaving for college for me was not leaving my hometown or the comfort of having my own bedroom. It was leaving the people that made Sarasota, FL my home. Coming from a smaller high school with a community that I had closely known for even longer than four years, I did not know how I could ever adjust to being one person out of a sea of more than 30,000 students. I felt like I had already lucked out with such great friends and family, and I did not know how I could find more people like that in a new place.
I wanted to find a way to make UF’s campus just a little bit smaller, so I decided to register for recruitment. My parents were not in greek life in college, but I knew a few people who loved it, so I thought I would give it a shot. What seemed like the longest week of my life, blistered from running in heels and exhausted by the waiting, morphed into something I can look back on fondly. I now know that my life was in the process of changing in ways I could never have imagined. On day one, my bid day buddy was introducing me to every person in sight, who each embraced me and assured me that I had made the right decision in joining Chi Omega. That day, these people were just a sea of names and friendly faces. But, today, some of those people are my best friends, and Chi Omega quickly became the family and comfort I was so scared to leave behind when I first arrived at UF.
I never imagined that “sisters” would be such an appropriate word to describe the members of a sorority. To me, having a sister means having someone who you can be yourself around with no judgement, having someone you know will love you through ups and downs, having someone who will support you in all of your endeavors, big or small, having someone to vent to or celebrate with, and more. I have three sisters of my own that are my best friends and ride-or-dies who have taught me and emphasized these qualities, and I thought I was so lucky to have that many to begin with. Little did I know that I would have close to 300 more and many that I cherish just as closely in my heart.
To say that you make fast friends in college is an understatement. Going into a new environment means trusting in a greater plan. We go into our freshman year not knowing who we will be, what we will be doing, or who we will be by our sides in four short years. It also means learning to trust yourself and realizing what you deserve. These are people I have known for less than a year, yet our relationships feel lifelong. These are the people that you call in a time of need, certain they will show up for you, even if you do not know them that well. It truly is a family.
Chi Omega has offered me encouragement in achieving scholarship, becoming the best individual I can be, serving the community, being involved in campus life, and creating professional goals. Watching graduating seniors pursue their dreams and receiving guidance from older sisters along the way has been such a blessing. But I know that the most long lasting and impactful of our six purposes is friendship: being supportive, available, trusting, uplifting, present, and open to making more friendships. We learn and grow from one another, together.
Whether we are in Gainesville or visiting each other on breaks, I know that I am at home when I am with my sisters in Chi Omega. Now, I have more homes than I could have imagined in my sisters in Gainesville, Vero Beach, Clearwater, Orlando, and even Texas and Tennessee.
To any PNMs or incoming freshmen reading this, I want to assure you that you will find your home and your people during this new start, whether that is in Chi Omega, another chapter, a different organization, or in your dorm hall. I am so excited for you! To any of my friends and sisters reading this, I'm excited to be back with you in the 807 and see all that we can achieve together this year.