Growing up my mom taught me the same lessons most moms teach their daughters but she had some additional advice for me like “strive to be womanly always” and “be lovable rather than popular.” My mom was a Chi Omega at UT years ago and long before I entered college I had heard the crazy, funny, beautiful stories of Chi O sisterhood a million times from the women who are to this day my mom’s closest friends.
So no wonder, during the blur that was recruitment week, each time I stepped into the Chi O house I felt a peace and a rest from the chaos. I appreciated feeling sincerely welcomed, like the girls really wanted to get to know me. I continue to thank God for my preconceptions about Chi O because he was only giving me a glimpse of how special the girls really are.
I can hardly believe it’s only been a year since I pledged Chi O. In my life, I’ve never laughed so hard; so honestly shared who I am; cared so deeply for the hearts of my friends; and felt so entirely accepted. Chi Omega is its own brand. It cannot be labelled or identified by a few tidy characteristics or traits. The energy, authenticity, humor and sense of fun resonated by these girls can only come from women who are comfortable in their own skin. But what really stirs the hearts of these women is using that energy to serve others. There are girls who have spent countless hours mentoring younger girls at Still Creek Ranch; who have worked at special needs summer camps, traveled the world on mission trips, worked as fish camp counselors, served as YoungLife leaders, church worship leaders, and Pine Cove, Kanakuk, and Sky Ranch Counselors. My twelve year old twin cousins came home from a week at Sky Ranch this summer raving that they loved their counselor more than any other in summers past and it turns out she was, of course, in my pledge class.
How in the world did I randomly find a roommate on Roomsurf who then also went Chi O and is now one of my best friends?! And now we are roommates AGAIN in the Chi Omega house with our other best friends? I am dreaming! Coming from a close knit family, I’ve found a great deal of comfort being surrounded by a diverse group of women who value inclusivity. I am amazed by the grace and love I feel living in the house. Girls come in and out of each other’s rooms night and day, laughing, talking, sharing, everyone feeling known, accepted and supported. The sense of belonging is what makes the whole experience so beyond words. Thank you Lord and thank you Chi Omega for giving me what I have longed for.