I’m so happy that I ama…

The night before my initiation into Kappa Kappa Gamma

It’s that time of year again, when people are overflowing with happiness and love and pride. They decorate their dorm rooms with colorful posters and goodies, give and get loads of presents, and eat lots and lots and lots of cake (No, but really, there’s always a ton of cake).

I’m not talking about Christmas here, folks. It’s Bid Day season.

Greek life gets a bad reputation because people only see the external shell—girls running around in matching shirts, choreographing dances, and squealing with happiness when they run into said girls with matching shirts in the halls. But what the outside “haters” don’t see is what happens within a sorority: the ongoing and unconditional love and support from more than 100 fellow women, the hours of community service that they commit to (and enjoy because they’re together), the late night study sessions, and the real world experience running an organization, planning events, and working with others to achieve common goals. They don’t see the pillars that we build our organizations on, and each sorority’s dedication to producing educated, socially competent, morally sound, and —let’s be honest—stylish women.

My freshman year, I decided to join an organization because I wanted a fresh start. And what I actually got was tenfold. I wrote a column for the paper that spring, full of love and appreciation for all that my sorority had given me in those few first months.

“I took a chance; I jumped. And I fell into the best decision I’ve made since coming to school.”

Since I wrote that piece almost three years ago, a lot has changed in my personal life. I’ve traveled the world, worked some of the best (and worst) jobs I could have hoped for, and moved to Paris. I’ve dealt with the devastating losses of lives and of friendships. I was converted from a Windows/Blackberry lover to an Apple advocate. I’ve fallen in and out of love. I’ve become more and more independent. I chopped my hair off…

But there has been one constant throughout it all: family. My biological family has provided love and support from afar, but my Kappa family has provided love, support, diversion (when necessary), and baked goods when I needed it most. There have been times when I’ve been less involved in my sorority, and when I’ve subsequently gotten less out of it. But if and when I need it, I can always return to her.

I’ve been going through all of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s new members and friending (slash stalking) them on Facebook. These enthusiastic young women are complete strangers; and yet, they are sisters, and I share a bond with each and every one of them that is both unconditional and completely unique.

I’m overflowing with love and pride for my sorority, because I know that it will do for these new women what it’s already done for thousands. And I’m honored that they loved my sisters just as much as I do, that they chose to be a part of this family and this community of able, beautiful, talented women. Welcome to Kappa, ladies!

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