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Leah Andreone

Courtney Wetzel

While my time in Chi-O has been relatively short at a little over a year, this organization can best be described through the statement:

“To be in the best sense democratic rather than exclusive.”

Coming into Texas A&M from a small school in East Texas, I was somewhat nervous about being in a sorority whose pledge class was the same size of my graduating high-school class. Only knowing one other girl in Chi-O, praise the Lord for Alex Schroeder, I was definitely anxious to meet these 88 other girls who were all outgoing, fun, beautiful, and already seemed to know each other so well. I immediately began to question myself. I was no longer one of the most outgoing girls the room; I was no longer the girl who knew something about everyone that I could connect with, and I was certainly not the girl who was comfortable just walking up to these groups of girls who acted as if they had known each other for years. So, as much as I’d like to say that I burst through my comfort zone and forced myself to push through to connect with my future sisters, sadly I must confess that I gave up.  Yep. Bet that’s not where you saw this going?  I joined a Freshman Leadership Organization (FLO) and while I am thankful for the community I found from another organization, I was absent from Chi-O for one long semester. Not getting plugged-in to Chi-O my first semester in college is by far my biggest regret.

“To speak kindly, and to act sincerely.”

Coming back from Christmas break, I was determined to meet girls in Chi-O who would accept me, love me, and welcome me with open arms… to become my “sisters”. In fact, I had been praying about meeting Chi-O girls who loved the Lord, and would embrace me too. The Lord was sweet. I don’t really know how it happened, but I ended up at Blue Baker with Claire Beatty and Nikki Camp, two girls who welcomed me with open arms. They made sure I met their friends; they made sure I had a friend group to go with to the next date party, and they made sure I felt loved.  These two girls invested in getting to know me and to this day, continue to love me so well.

This kind of community is what I continue to experience in Chi-O. Even during the summer, I could count on the Chi-O girls who would pursue the same mission as me. This was clearly seen while working at a Christian camp this past summer, Pine Cove Timbers. I could not have been more fortunate to have the opportunity to do camp with three amazing girls, Fulgham “Bow-Butter” Bell, Ashlyn “Fanny-G” Cobb, and Janna “T-Dawg” Landers.  Camp is the hardest, yet most rewarding, thing I have ever been apart of.  I had the opportunity to serve the Lord, with these girls. Through several sinus infections, serious spider bites, a rolled ankle, an upper respiratory infection, campers with hard backgrounds, and serious exhaustion, God used these girls to encouraged me. If I could, I would do it all over again! (and I will this next summer!) I remember sitting on the bus with Jana Landers during camp and just reflecting on how the Lord has been so good to the both of us. He has used camp and Chi-O to grow our friendship in such a blatantly obvious way. Jana and I went to camp together one year in early high school, but then lost communication. However, we found each other going to Texas A&M through Instagram, both ended up in Chi-O, both worked at Pine Cove Timbers, and both leaned on one another through rush post-camp.  How cool is it that the Lord used Chi-Omega to rekindle our friendship!

“To be lovable rather than popular.”

After working at summer camp 2016, I admit that I was pretty nervous about coming back to school after having been in what seemed to be a vacuumed sealed bag- called camp- for the whole summer. I was out of the loop. I remember walking into the doors of the chapter room and seeing Caitlin Nutt, who ran up to me and gave me a big hug and insisted to know how my summer was. This continued to be the case. One after the next, girls were genuinely excited to catch up and wanted to hear about my summer. Girls I had barely spoken a word to the last semester embraced me and filled me with truth and joy. Whether we talked about our camp experiences, our summer trips, or even the classes we were about to take, each girl I talked to left me feeling a little more at home than I did walking in.

Texas A&M is good, Chi Omega is good, and the Lord is very good for showing me, through this sorority, about His sovereignty and providing godly community. Cheesy, yes… but I couldn’t think of another place at Texas A&M that feels more like home. Thank You XI Kappa Chapter for loving me so well and helping me to feel known by my “sisters” away from home.