February's 1st Place Winner
As a first-year student at UCD, I found myself being thrown into the week of recruitment without really knowing anyone in Davis. Thus, when I was placed into my house, I was thrilled to have a herd of sisters who I could call friends and confide in. However, I began to question if I was meant to be in my house. Sure, they chose us to be in our houses and the process is so detailed that I couldn’t help but trust it, but I have felt like I stand out like a sore thumb since I came into this world. I’m too tall, too wide, too awkward, and too many other things. I think we all feel like that about ourselves sometimes, though.
I felt like I didn’t relate to many of the perfect girls in my pledge class. Then, we went on our new member retreat. That was where my idea of my new sisters changed entirely.
We did an activity that essentially had us talk about three things that mattered a lot to us and why. I went close to last, so I got to spend a great deal of time listening to these girls talk about their passions, their tragedies, and their triumphs. With every word that came out in that room, I felt like I belonged a little more and more. Some of them had felt such pain, some of them were so passionate about such obscure things (much like myself), and some of them seemed to feel the same as me.
Sure, this retreat had been amazing because we took photos on the beach and we had played sports in the sand. It was good, old-fashioned fun. The retreat became a poignant piece of my collegiate journey, however, when I saw my new sisters show their vulnerability.
We go through life trying to find these moments with other people where we feel as if our soul is exposed. We attempt to find ways to show people inside our minds and witness why we are the way that we are. We want to relate to each other by showing how we might not relate to everyone in a room, expressing our uniqueness so that others can express theirs. Coming to a university is being taken from your comfort zone and being thrust into a new environment, now needing to fend for yourself. This retreat was the first time that I felt like I could breathe and stand still in college. It was the first time I felt, in a way, at home. Isn’t that the purpose of having Greek life? Isn’t finding a home away from home and a family that doesn’t share your genes (though they might borrow your jeans) the whole purpose of joining?
My new member retreat was the first time I understood the phrase “It’s not four years, it’s for life!” without doubting it. I went to the beach to get to know some people from an organization that I knew a bit about and came back absolutely in love with an organization that gifted me with over a hundred sisters.
With Panhellenic Love,
A Member of Delta Delta Delta