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Sarah Bohac

Courtney Wetzel

College is nothing like I could have ever expected. Growing up in Aggie overalls and maroon bows larger than the amount of hair on my head, listening to my parent’s talk about how much they loved their time at Texas A&M, and eventually watching my older brother take on his first two years as an official Aggie, I thought I was thoroughly prepared for the road before me.

No matter how prepared I thought I was though, life happened between high school graduation and freshman move in day. Not only did I carry boxes of clothes and carefully curated decorations into my dorm, I also carried the weight of true loss. So naturally, freshman year was difficult. In the most Sarah way possible, I became completely focused on school because it was controllable and comfortable in my season of unfamiliarity. Yet, through it all God was ever so faithful to me.

When I told my parents I was planning on going through recruitment the fall of my sophomore year I couldn’t really explain why. All I knew was that I had this internal desire to make Texas A&M feel like the home I always expected it to be. Looking back I think God had been sending me subtle hints all year long that this was what He had planned for me. Feeling challenged, hopeful, and fully supported I went for it, and although the reality of recruitment was outrageous (ie. sitting in the hot Texas sun and sweating buckets while simultaneously feeling like you have to look your best), I left the Chi Omega house every day feeling encouraged and excited for the potential friendships and experiences that lie ahead.

On bid day I was beyond excited to find myself back at the Chi Omega house, but once again it was nothing like I expected. This time it was better. A little over a year into my life as a Chi Omega and I am still so in awe of the ways God has used this to help me grow and be made new. Through Chi Omega I have been challenged to step outside of my comfort zone by dancing on stage to open Songfest, taking up leadership positions in chapter Bible studies, loving others more deeply than ever before, and being completely true to myself. Thanks to Chi Omega I have also been surrounded by women who seek to love and who are unapologetically themselves, making embracing discomfort easier than I could’ve ever imagined. These girls that were in my bid day group, that rode in the car with me through terrifying drive through safari experiences, that danced with me through my entire first date party, that partnered up with me at Songfest practices, that spent Spring Break in Florida with me, and that happened to be in my Bible study became some of my closest friends and my support system. Soon enough standing outside the Chi Omega house in jerseys on bid day turned to sushi dates after chapter, and nightgowns and Tiff’s Treats on big little reveal turned to surviving organic chemistry (and hopefully biochemistry) together. With these girls by my side Texas A&M is everything I wanted it to be and more. Yes, college can still be difficult and life happens, but the girls of Chi Omega have taught me to be discouraged never and I cannot thank God enough for them.

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Madeleine Wilson

Courtney Wetzel

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Passion is a funny little son of a gun. It’s a multi-faceted whirring machine whose wheels never cease their turning. The gears of this machine twist and turn within each and every one of us. The machine of passion provokes a different response in each individual depending on the direction it turns at the time. The commodity at the end of the production line can be any number of things. Passion can produce art; whether it be a melody or a sculpture. Passion can produce any kind of emotion; in fact, passion itself encompasses a whole slew of emotions. Out of this passion can come anger, overwhelming sadness, ineffable bliss, goofiness, you name it. Passion can produce new relationships, rekindle long-forgotten ones, cause heartbreak, or be the spark that sets ablaze the fire between two soulmates. The universal machine of passion can produce any one of these things. Like I said, passion is funny. But what I really mean by funny, is that passion is complicated. You might be reading this and asking yourself why I’m sitting here talking about this inanimate concept called passion. And your question is a valid one, I want to affirm you in that. To put it simply, I think I’m just really passionate about passion. I know it sounds complicated, but I’ll break it down for you.

In my journal from the end of last semester I have a quote that’s more starred, underlined, bolded, etc than all the others. It simply says, “don’t let the ambition to be everything in life restrain you from being anything in life”. Okay, yeah. You might have a resounding “duh” bouncing off the inside of your skull right now as you read that line. But for me that quote strikes a chord deep down in my soul. I’m a person who becomes easily overwhelmed when my purpose in life isn’t resolute. I find myself sifting through all the thousands of ideas and thoughts spiraling in my brain of what I “could do”. Yet the irony is that as I sit around and think about the “what if’s”, a thousand “could have been’s” whiz passed me.

So, how’d I get out of my funk of always planning and never doing? I can tell you it was not easy. It required me to get out of my own head and look around at the people surrounding me. The women that were so resolute in their purpose and passions in life that they beamed from within. I’m talking about the women of Chi Omega. These women whom I have the absolute honor and privilege to sojourn through life with. I cannot express the blessing that they have been in my life; it is the best kind of overwhelming. These are women who know exactly who they are and what they love. And they not only know what they love, they fiercely chase after their passions. If I hadn’t been surrounded by these purpose-driven and passionate women, I don’t know that I would have realized the quality of life I was missing out on. The women in Chi Omega push me to be the best version of myself. They are a rare kind of beautiful human who gets to know you so well that even when you can’t see what you need in life, they see it for you and encourage you to be better. So that’s why I’m passionate about passion.

Molly Malota

Courtney Wetzel

For as long as I can remember I always wanted to follow my perfect plan. I was going to graduate high school, attend Texas A&M, and join a sorority my freshman year. Well, things don’t always go as planned, and I am so thankful that this plan didn’t work out quite the way I wanted it to. My freshman year, I went into recruitment not knowing what to expect at all and was overwhelmed to say the least. It was no surprise to me when I ended up dropping from the process in the middle of the week. You know how they say everything happens for a reason? My story is a true testament to that. My freshman year was filled with crazy adventures and so many memories that I would not trade for anything, but I couldn’t shake the fact that something was most definitely missing from my college experience, that being a sorority. So, I made the decision to give rush another try and went through the recruitment process for a second time my sophomore year (lol crazy right?). Throughout the week I couldn’t help but question myself and wonder if “sorority life” was meant for me, but as I kept finding myself back at Chi O, I kept falling more and more in love with the chapter and all the girls in it. After a crazy long week filled with sweat, tears, and so many emotions, I was finally able to call Chi O home.

Now, a little over a year later, as I sit here and reflect, I could not be more grateful that my “perfect plan” didn’t work out the way I planned so precisely a few years ago. I have found so many things in Chi Omega that I would have never found without it. I have found a group of girls who are so genuine in who they are and to all around them. These girls are so fearlessly themselves! They are passionate and authentic, and love and accept all who surround them. I have found a sense of belonging in Chi Omega. I was welcomed into Chi Omega with open arms and have been loved so deeply ever since I stepped through those doors on the first day of recruitment. I have found a forever home in Chi Omega and I am so thankful for every single experience I have had in Chi O. Thank you for my best friends who make me laugh until I cry and who will love me no matter what. Thank you for my Yummi Yummi sushi dates after Monday night chapter. Thank you for all the date parties where I can sing and dance like nobody is watching. Thank you for my Bible study leaders who have been leading me so fearlessly closer to God. Thank you to my alphas who put up with me trolling the GroupMe 24/7 (sorry girls you know I mean well). And lastly thank you for every single girl in this chapter who makes Chi Omega a home.

I’m one year into Chi Omega, and I could already not imagine my college experience without it. Chi Omega left me with an unforgettable experience my sophomore year, an experience that I could have never imagined. Chi Omega gave me the best girls to surround myself with who challenge me constantly and make me a better person. I am so excited to see how Chi Omega will allow me to grow in these next few years and I cannot wait to see the impact that these girls will continue to have on my life. Thank you, God, for blessing me with Chi Omega and all the girls I get to surround myself with, I am so excited to see what these next few years hold!

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Kate Martinez

Courtney Wetzel

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As I reflect on my first year at Texas A&M and in Chi Omega, I am overwhelmed. I think back to the first week — rush week — and I laugh. I laugh because I remember getting back to my dorm after day one, laying on my bed and thinking “nope, not for me.” I laugh because I remember pref night, sitting on the floor in the chapter room with Emily Everrett, crying because there was something special about Chi O, and I didn't want to leave. I laugh because little did I know, I was going to be running home to Chi O the next day. And I laugh because my prayer coming into it all was “Jesus, surround me with girls who desire to know me deeply” — and boy did he do just that.

Through all the craziness of freshman year, Chi Omega was hands down the biggest blessing because it brought me my girls. My answered prayers. I honestly have no idea how I would have made it through the past two semesters without my girls who laughed with me, cried with me, sharpened me, pushed me, listened to me, encouraged my passions, celebrated my accomplishments, fueled my Sonic water addiction, and loved me so dang well. Looking back on it all, I truly don’t know what I did to deserve these sweet friendships, but I am oh so grateful for the Lord’s handiwork through it all. He knew just what He was doing & exactly what I needed to get through my freshman year.

So thank you Lord and thank you Chi Omega for my answered prayers. Thank you for Bella who is authentic and pushes others to be their best self. Thank you for Gabi who is encouraging and celebrates everyone so dang well. Thank you for Payton who is spunky and doesn’t let this world define her. Thank you for Brittany who kind and only sees the good in people. Thank you for every single girl in this chapter (especially my Alphas) who are true testaments of Your faithfulness and who have made my freshman year e v e r y t h i n g  and more.

I am pumped to do the rest of life with you girls by my side.  

Trish D'Arezzo

Courtney Wetzel

Texas A&M University is 1000 miles away from my home. I never thought I would be that person that would go to college far away. I am so close to my family, and going to a school so far away from home seemed terrifying. But, the summer after my senior year of high school, my parents moved from Houston, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee – and all of a sudden I was the girl who went to college far from home.

My whole life, my family moved every two years like clockwork – so moving was something I was used to – but this was the first time my family had moved without me. Starting freshman year, I honestly went through recruitment because my sister went through recruitment. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, what I had even signed up for or what it even looked like to be in a sorority. All I knew is that I wanted to make friends, and a sorority seemed like a great place to start. Little did I know, Chi O gave me so much more than friends, Chi O gave me a family.

I FIRMLY believe God placed me in Chi Omega four years ago. God knew that Chi Omega was going to form into my home away from home and create a firm foundation of girls that I could turn to for anything. The girls within Chi O became my role models, my friends, my work colleagues and so much more.

The past four years have taught me that college is a great season of life but it’s also a really challenging one – and one that can easily leave you feeling lonely in the midst of chaos. Whatever challenging part of college I was experiencing, I was always surrounded by friends wiping my tears, listening to me vent about that one professor, analyzing that one text from that one cute boy and studying until the early hours in the morning.   

The diversity in Chi Omega is something that has always been celebrated and one of my favorite things about this chapter. The Lord placed every specific girl into this chapter here at Texas A&M. We all have different talents and gifts – and it is something that I believe makes this chapter unique and wonderful.

This past recruitment, I was given the privilege to be a recruitment counselor. Throughout my time as a Rho Gam, I was able to explain to soooo many girls going through recruitment – that recruitment isn’t an easy process – but at the end of it - you find your home. This is something I was able to say with such confidence – because this has happened to me. Chi O has absolutely changed me for the better. I have been able to do life with the most amazing 300+ girls who laugh with me when I’m delusional, cry with me when I’m going through a breakup, encourage me when I’m feeling defeated and celebrate me through my victories.

With my graduation approaching in less than a month, I am able to tangibly see that Chi Omega has molded me into the person that I want to be for the rest of my life. I have gained skills to be successful in the “real world” and gained a support system for a lifetime. Chi O is like family in one simple way: these girls have your back – and I have seen fruitless examples of this through out my time in Chi Omega.  This is not just another sorority – it’s a support system.

It’s my home away from home.