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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.

Laura Hogan

Courtney Wetzel

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There is something about sharing space with forty girls for a year that forges beautiful friendships.  

“Lord, I want to be known deeply.” My sophomore year of college I desperately prayed this prayer over and over again. Living in the Chi O house is where this became a reality. Girls I had known, some better than others, since freshman year all living under the same roof and eating dinner at the same table every night. There was something so special and so rich about my time there.

Friendship, deep friendship, is hard to come by and I was surrounded by it. I had a roommate (shout out to Ashlyn Cobb) who wouldn’t let me get away with just being “okay,” and would actively ask about and pray for my days. I am a better friend to others because she was a great friend to me.

There were new friendships that spurred from morning chats in the bathroom and shared rides to class. There were old friendships, steady and understanding in nature, that were reinforced. My time there was special and it was rich, all because of the women that were around me.

Shauna Niequist says in her book Bittersweet, “Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”

The women of Chi Omega are my home team, I praise God for them!

Caleigh Young

Courtney Wetzel

We are granted life to extend it to others.

What a noble calling, to enrich the lives of those around us through authenticity and sacrifice.  Never have I witnessed a gathering of women so committed to improving the lives of others. Here in Xi Kappa, we are a team. We are a team that celebrates the beautiful individuality in each of us and remains unbroken through the trials that threaten to throw life off course. Women here are confidently themselves yet committed to loving one another, quick to reach out and surround.

I am a firm believer that God often elects to do some of His most tangible work in our lives through the hands of others, and these friends only reaffirm that faith. Over the duration of the past year and a half, I have been amazed at how instrumental they have been in my story.

When my achievement-hungry heart forgets that I do not need to prove my worth, they remind me of a grace that is active and unabated. When my understanding falls short, they humbly offer wisdom. When I cannot see the Lord working, they challenge me to trust, to wait. When I let fear of failure stifle my effort, they fight the lie I believe. When my day disheartens or exhausts me, they provide enough joy and hilarity to last a week. And when I speak of the whispers of clarity and passion that rumble in my heart, they inspire my hands to give and my feet to go.

So, to the women of Chi O, thank you. You truly have enriched my life.

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Marie Atmar

Courtney Wetzel

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I had a pretty lonely high school experience. I had about two consistent friends who weren’t ever on the same page as me. They loved telling me what I wanted to hear, rather than what I deeply needed to hear. It was hard to feel comfortable in myself because of my insecurity in my friendships. Jesus was my best friend in this lonely time but there were so many parts of me, deep down, wondering why the Lord wouldn’t give me solid friends when I knew how much he wanted it for me and how He stresses that two are better than one.

And as hard as it was, the Lord was drawing nearer to me, whispering how badly He couldn’t wait to see the look on my face when He finally provided me with the community He had been dying to give me my whole life. When The Lord finally brought the gift out from behind his back, it was Chi Omega.

The friendships I had longed for, the sharpening I so desperately needed, the embracing of my gifts and character, the feeling of being known and wanted, the grace I’ve been given despite my mistakes: it was here. Chi O provided a place for me to let down my walls and be myself. And while there are times when I feel less of myself, the girls in chi omega are constantly pushing me to dig deeper into the vulnerable, icky parts of my soul. What I love most about ChiO is the emphasis it has on uplifting its sisters. True friendship, sisterhood means coming alongside one another and keeping each other accountable. My sisters love me enough to pull me aside and tell me that what they are seeing is not like me and they desperately want to lean in and walk with me to defeat my struggles.

Being a part of chio is something far greater than myself. Friendship isn’t about what you gain but what you can give. These girls have already given me so much more than I could’ve asked for. These girls understand that their worth isn’t found in how I or anyone else treats them because it’s so steadily found in Jesus. It’s not about me. It has never been about me. It’s about Jesus. My heart sings that I have the privilege and joy of serving this sorority with all my heart the next several years. I don’t deserve it.

 

Cristi Keeter

Courtney Wetzel

To be quite honest, “sorority life” was never part of my plan. I went through all of high school not knowing a single Greek letter, unaware of what it meant to be in a sorority. When I told my mom I was going to rush, she was shocked. Her eyes grew wide and she asked me multiple times if I was sure I wanted to do this. It was completely unexpected; even so, it was one of the best decisions I have made thus far.

Thanks to the past 4 years, I’ve grown from a high schooler who knew nothing (and I mean nothing) about Greek life to a college senior who has become so involved (arguably over-involved ha) and invested in my chapter. I am exceedingly grateful for the growth, influences, and friendships that have come from my time in Chi Omega.

I won’t lie – it’s not always sunshine and rainbows and glitter. We’re not on a movie set and everything worthwhile comes with challenges. Nonetheless, it’s been an integral and wonderful part of my college years. Seriously. I’m trying not to sound cliché. ChiO is infinitely better than anything I could have dreamt up. I have learned how to forge true friendships, lead others well, and pray more deeply than I ever have before.

Chi Omega is a lot of things. It’s authentic, quirky, and honestly an all-around good time. But more than anything, ChiO is a place to become who you want to be. At least, that’s how it worked out for me. Chi Omega has encouraged me to be my best self. It hasn’t changed me into someone different – it has made me sillier, more passionate, more resilient. Plus now I know the Greek alphabet.

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