As you know from the “about” button on this blog I am an Alpha Phi. I am so very proud of my sorority and being and Aphi. You also may know that I have deep ties to The University of Alabama and the Aphi house there as well. When our youngest went through recruitment at Bama there was a very real possibility that she might follow in mom’s footsteps and become an Alpha Phi as well. That was not to be.d, She found her letters at a different house, one that fit her personality better but she has several friends that are Aphi’s. People ask me if I was disappointed she didn’t pledge MY sorority. The answer is a resounding “no”..she needed to find “her” home. And find it she did. She loves her sorority and sisters, has become very involved holding an Exec position and has great plans that include her sisterhood.
The reason I am rambling on is that the other day on my Facebook page there was an article from an Alpha Phi collegiate blogger. As I looked closer this young woman was from The University of Alabama! Her blog post talked about Bid Day and how opening up that bid card with the words “Alpha Phi” changed her life. Memories came rushing back to me of my Bid Day experience, my daughter’s Bid Day experience at The University of Alabama and how those engraved Greek Letters do impact you for a lifetime. I actually had to go get a tissue..it made me cry.
The week of recruitment is stressful for anyone who participates. I don’t care if you are at a small non-competitive school or a mega competitive school like Alabama..it’s stressful! There’s just so much emotion involved. That emotion coupled with a crazy week (even just several days) of parties and smiling, always being “on your game” produces exhaustion and vulnerability. Even the most confident, focused, energetic girl will tell you it’s an experience like no other. The last day of Preference parties are meant to tug at your heart strings. Decidedly more subdued, these events are designed to show you that you belong as a member of this sisterhood. They want you to picture yourself walking through the front door every day, wearing THEIR letters.
So fast forward then to Bid Day. As Cate writes in her blog, sitting on her bid card as the jumbo tron counts down, then closing her eyes and opening her bid changed her life forever. I know that there are doubters out there. You are asking “How can a printed piece of paper change someones life?” As someone who has experience this phenomenon both personally and through her daughters I am here to tell you …with all honestly…”it certainly can”.
That printed card immediately bonds you with the young women in your pledge class. Whether its 30 or 90 you have weathered the storm called “recruitment” together and have found solace in your sorority home. In addition you are now bonded with the active members of your “sorority home”. I have always told my children that a “house” is simply the wood and mortar structure that has been built for you to live in but it becomes a “home” when you put loving people inside. Those loving people are now your “sisters” for life. Finally, you are bonded with every other woman around the world who has placed the pin emblazoned with those Greek letters above her heart.
The minute you walk across the threshold of your new home it then becomes up to you how involved you want to become in this sisterhood. You will get out of your sisterhood what you personally want to put into it. The choice is yours. I became instantly involved when I pledged. Both of my daughters followed suite and also chose to become active participants in the executive workings of their sororities. They found it rewarding and enlightening. I think they also found that it bonded them with their sisters and their sorority at a deeper level.
Walking through the doors of your “sorority home” is like a big hug. If you are having a bad day there’s always someone to make you smile and forget your troubles. If you are having a good day there’s always someone to share your happiness with. There’s the tv room where your sisters are congregated watching the latest popular reality tv show and the dining room where you share meals. It’s a home a family and those 2 or 3 little Greek letters automatically make you an important member.
One of my favorite children’s stories is “The Velveteen Rabbit”. There is a conversation between the rabbit and the skin horse where the velveteen rabbit wants to know what it means to become “real”. Does it mean having a stick out handle or how you are made? The skin horse tells him that “real” isn’t how you are made but rather it’s a thing that happens to you…you become “real”. I love this quote because it reminds me of becoming a life long member of a sorority. When you put on that pledge pin you begin the process of becoming “real”….it’s not just wearing the letters on your chest but rather the love of a sisterhood, a love that lasts a lifetime, that makes you a “real” part of this sisterhood. It doesn’t happen overnight but you will “know” when it happens.
So dare to take the chance to become “real”…..the process starts with just 2 or 3 little words.
Below is the like to Cate’s blog…I hope you take a moment to read it and that you enjoy it as much as I did.
- “Sisterhood is many things. It’s a warm smile on a cold and rainy day, a friendly hug, a cheerful hello… It’s all that a good and lasting friendship is, only better. It’s treasured. It’s sacred. It’s knowing that there will always be someone there for you. It’s dreams shared, and goals achieved. It’s counting on others and being counted on. It is real.”