I honestly never thought that the community and friendships I have experienced in Chi Omega could even exist, yet here I am, undeserving and way too lucky to have such empowering women by my side and experience relationships that are truly mind blowing. What sets these friendships apart from most is a commonality in values and a constant pursuit of refinement; to be better than one was prior whilst still remaining true to each unique spirit. These values and pursuits are best displayed in the Chi Omega symphony: a poetic and graceful passage that details all that I hope to live up to.
"To live constantly above snobbery of word or deed; to place scholarship before social obligations and character before appearances; to be in the best sense, democratic rather than “exclusive”, and lovable rather than “popular”; to work earnestly, to speak kindly, to act sincerely, to choose thoughtfully that course which occasion and conscience demand; to be womanly always; to be discouraged never; in a word, to be loyal under any and all circumstances to my Fraternity and her highest teachings and to have her welfare ever at heart that she may be a symphony of high purpose and helpfulness in which there is no discordant note."
– Ethel Switzer Howard
One part of the symphony that resonates with me most me is “(to be) democratic rather than “exclusive”, and lovable rather than “popular.”” Being accepted in social settings is often a desire of many, myself included. Everyone wants to feel known – it is a natural call of human nature. However, a desire for acceptance can at times come at the cost of finding fulfillment in earthly notions; to stray from a path that was once guided towards that “high purpose.” In times where my mind tugs me away from that guided path, I remind myself of these words in the Chi Omega symphony and remember the grace, acceptance and comfort the women in Chi Omega have given me, and that in itself has made a vast difference in a life of constant refinement – one that is equipped for that high purpose.
The best part about the symphony is that it can be seen in the flesh. The women in the pledge classes above me truly embody all that it means to be a Chi Omega. I look up in awe at their poise and powerful elegance, their humility and zeal of passion, and I realize that these are the type of women I hope to be when I graduate. Moreover, those in the pledge classes above me are not just distant idolized figures, they are present and real and ready to invest in those younger than themselves; they “act sincerely” and always have our “welfare ever at heart.” These women are first to open their doors and treat new friends like family. Likewise, I see the same eager investment in the women in my pledge class and am proud and honored to be a close witness of their own pursuit of refinement and embodiment of being “womanly always.”
This mindset is why Chi Omega holds such a special place in our hearts. Although different in interests, we are similar in values. We are bound by the meaningful words of the symphony. And to that note I will forever be grateful for the pure friendships and finer details Chi Omega has so kindly etched in my heart.