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  • Writer's pictureClaire Shukys

Home: Inside & Outside the 807

After living in the Chi Omega house for two years, I decided to move out for my senior year. Three roommates and two rooms later, I had successfully survived living under the roof of Eta Delta. Initially after moving out for the summer, I felt the excitement of starting something new. I was excited to have my own room, my own bathroom, new roommates and all the lovely responsibilities of apartment living. That new, shiny feeling faded quickly as I realized that maybe I wouldn’t have as good of an experience in my next living situation.

One of my favorite things about living in-house was my ability to roam. Day or night you could always find someone to talk to, and this is how I ended up making most of my friends. That ability allowed me to learn about my sisters in new ways and provided an ever-present support system that was always just a few doors away. I worried that once I moved into an apartment that I wouldn’t find the same support, friendships and freedom as I had in the house. The house was what solidified my appreciation for being a Chi Omega and showed me that we all are similar in more ways than different. You didn’t have to be close friends to watch a movie randomly in the RCR, but you always were after. Little moments were happening across the house at any given time that sparked beautiful friendships, and moving out made me feel like I might lose that magic.

I was moving into a 4x4 with three girls in my member class that I hadn’t talked to much since my freshman year: Kate, Kendall and Ashlyn. I was not a part of their usual crowds and knew little about them other than that they’d have to put up with me for the next three months. My best friends were miles away on their own adventures, and so I began my own. I moved out of Chi O for the last time and landed at apartment 402.

Immediately, I was met with the same kindness and love that kept me living in the house. As Kate and I began our internships, we started meeting during our lunch hour in the living room. Whenever Kendall got home from work, she’d turn on a foreign rom-com, and I’d join. When Ashlyn returned from studying abroad, we all rejoiced at her return and celebrated having a full apartment. They supported me on my good days and bad days, included me in things they wanted to share with me, and without question, my roommates welcomed me into their lives and home. They showed me that the magic of living in-house is not actually the point, it’s the magic of being known and understood.

Chi O Move Out Day

The house helped me realize that being a Chi Omega is something intangible that connects all of us. It didn’t necessarily mean we were all the same or believed similar things, but our genuine curiosity in each other, steadfast kindness and honesty, and respect for each others’ experiences inevitably brought us all close. It didn’t matter that we were seniors and hadn’t hung out since our freshman year. Kate, Kendall and Ashlyn still welcomed me with open arms and made it easy for me to open up to them and them to me. Regardless of how different I thought we were, the intangible feeling of home began to form, and I felt the same magic in apartment 402 as I did in room 16 and room 21 in the 807.

I am so grateful for my experiences and friendships made in the house, and even more grateful for the sense of community that being a Chi Omega comes with. I am so excited for PNMs to feel that same sense of being welcomed home by the amazing women I’m lucky to call my friends and confidants when they step through our doors in the fall. Luckily after I move out of 402, I’ll be a floor away from the women who reminded me that being a Chi Omega is not a title, rather a home to find magic and yourself in.

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