April's 3rd Place Winner
When I was 16 years old my dad was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer and two years later during my transitioning time from high school to college, my dad lost his battle. This was and continues to be a difficult hardship to overcome, however the community I have surrounded myself with at Davis has given me the chance to bring the part of me that died with my father back to life.
Initially, I felt so lost and alone at Davis. I went through recruitment my sophomore year not only because I yearned for support for my cancer story I was struggling to cope with, but also support for normal college experience I didn’t get my freshmen year because I honestly wasn’t mentally ready to go back to school. The tables turned my sophomore year; I went into college with an open mind and positive attitude, and also ready to go through the recruitment process. I was ready to be myself without any cancer burdens following me. I wanted to expand my horizons, leave my comfort zone, and of course meet new friends. I was longing to be apart of something that is bigger than myself.
My sister was a Pi Beta Phi at the George Washington University, which also reassured my decision. When I was in high school, I visited my sister and met all of her friends (much of them in Pi Phi as well) and stayed with her in the Pi Phi house. Realizing the strong bonds she made with the girls, made me recognize that was something I strongly value. As an alumnus of GWU living in Washington D.C., my sister still constantly socializes with her Pi Beta Phi sisters.
I was in complete shock when I saw true sisterhood traits in all of the members immediately after receiving a bid. When I posted “The Cancer Story” on my blog, the article immediately blew up. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a lot of support from my sorority sisters since I had just joined, but oh, was I very wrong. I immediately saw my fellow sisters sharing it on social media, commenting on the post, and more. And the support from this new chapter of my life felt so genuine and sincere. Later in the year, I was chosen to speak at Relay for Life. Once again I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout from them, but I was wrong. I looked into the crowd and saw so many beautiful and familiar faces from Pi Beta Phi. I then realized I only didn’t join just to make friends and have a better social life at school, but also gained an amazing sisterhood.
Going through recruitment gave me more of a sense of belonging here at UC Davis. Although I knew from high school that I wanted to be apart of a sorority, I am so happy I made the decision to join my sophomore year, when I was more mentally ready. My dedication for the chapter was shown, as I am currently serving as the Vice President of Finance. I’m so glad I joined this amazing sisterhood, and I can’t wait to give back to the chapter that has given me so much.
With Panhellenic Love,
A Member of Pi Beta Phi