Loved. Welcomed. Accepted. Embraced. Wanted.
These are some of the most frequent words you'll hear when you ask any Chi Omega, and honestly, almost any girl who went through Recruitment, how they felt the first time they visited our house.
People say these things because it's all true. And I am proud to say that our reputation at Texas A&M revolves around the authentic love we aim to share with each person we encounter, with each girl who steps through our door.
First, I want to share some of what I wrote this past May as I reflected on my first year at A&M:
"Last summer after high school graduation, I was excited about the idea of college and all the freedom that came with it, but wasn't very hopeful that college would meet my high expectations. I was frustrated because I had finally reached a point where I felt secure and decided I really did love the experience Memorial High School gave me. I had great friends, a boyfriend I really liked, and was generally really happy. So the thought of college and absolutely everything changing in just a couple months really gave me a pit in my stomach.
Fast forward to September 2016, a few weeks into my freshman year at Texas A&M. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't very happy at all. My boyfriend left for a university thousands of miles from me, we stopped talking, and it was much harder on me than I had expected. All my friends from high school were making tons of new friends. As I sat among new groups of people, I felt a deep sense of loss, when I should have been feeling hope. I thought, I would soon be replaced in my old friends' lives, and maybe they would be replaced in mine too. With this mindset, I couldn't even try to make new friends. I got pretty frustrated because I longed for love and relationships that would last forever, people who weren't about being surface level, friends who were in it for the long haul because they truly cared about and loved me. . . .
Probably around mid-October, I decided I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and living in the past, which was long gone and not going to come back. High school was over, college was here. I picked myself up and decided to focus on the present and every blessing I had around me, which I found were too many to count. I met new people and made new friends. And from there, it kept getting better."
The first thing I considered as I decided to move on and make new friends was what all my pledge sisters were doing and what they were saying about Chi O. I had some friends in my pledge class, but I was not at all actively trying to make new ones for those first couple months. All the girls I knew in Chi O were talking and posting about how loved they felt and how incredible their new friends were, and I felt left out of that. I proudly expected my sorority sisters to approach me first and invite me directly to do something, even though I had shown no interest in becoming close friends with any of them to that point. I was sad because I knew what they were talking about — my Recruitment week was decently enjoyable because I got to walk into Chi Omega every day. I was so comfortable and happy to be there every time. I was in a room where I could physically feel the positive energy, the love radiating from each of the girls in the sorority.
After pledging Chi O and sitting through meetings, surrounded by new faces, I was initially pretty intimidated by the girls who surrounded me. They were vivacious and beautiful, so confident and full of life, so sure of themselves and their call to a higher purpose. They looked like they had it all together. I was not feeling that way so much.
But as soon as I started being just slightly warmer towards the amazing girls in Chi O, making the effort to open up and allow myself to be who I truly was/am without cowering in my insecurity and reservations, everything changed. My pledge sisters embraced me quickly with open arms, and I made new friends faster than I could have ever hoped I would. And these are the types of girls who define the beauty of Chi Omega.
I have noticed that the wonderful women of the Xi Kappa chapter of Chi Omega share some common traits: kindhearted, warm, ambitious, diligent, passionate, intellectual, and devoted. Each girl displays these characteristics in different ways, making us diverse in personality but homogeneous in values, which is exactly what I was looking for in a sorority as I went through Recruitment. I have seen these lovely qualities in every Chi Omega I have met so far and know I will continue to see them in the new friends in Chi O who enter my life.
I am so grateful to be part of this sorority, and am very excited for the years to come and the sweet friendships that will last a lifetime. Thank you, Chi O, for all the love you've showed me so far and what you'll continue to give me. I couldn't ask for better.