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Gabi Minor

Courtney Wetzel

I’ve always grown up thinking… you grow up, graduate high school, go to college, and join a sorority. I watched the girls I looked up to in life grow up and do those things, so naturally, that made sense for me to do the same. However, I love my family and my home, they’re my comfort zone, and leaving for college and changing life altogether was a serious fear for me.  

The crazy thing is, I am now that girl and old enough to have done all of those things, and I love the life that I live every day. The Lord’s faithfulness has been shown through and through with each leap I’ve taken to get there. Joining a sorority, joining Chi Omega, is nothing at all what I dreamed. Only a thousand times better. My short time in Chi Omega so far has taught me more how to love and serve others than I’ve ever known before. Looking back now, I can see the prayers that have been extended to me, back to before I even walked into the house, all the way to now. This place, this home away from home, is family, and it is oh so dear.

Learning and pursuing every value that is near in the heart of Chi Omega has been the neatest experience. Every girl in Chi Omege works earnestly, speaks kindly, and acts sincerely. The friends I have found here, show me that each and every day. I see it in the ways they uplift me, whether that be a huge hug, or a little note with words of encouragement, my friends in Chi Omega love and serve well, and it makes me want to love and serve others well, too. Looking back, I can only see the growth that has happened, the laughs that have been shared, and the friendships that have been built, and see that Lord knows and hand picks every new path in our life with purpose. Every moment here has been spent to the fullest and some of my most fond life highlights have happened with my sisters on my side. Chi Omega brings together the most loving and caring people, with hearts to serve, and I hope and pray that anyone that encounters a Chi Omega would experience that themselves.

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Angela Threadgill

Courtney Wetzel

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A little over three years ago I was a girl who had rarely lived in a place for more than three years. I was a girl who was yearning for some consistency. I was a girl looking for a place to call home.

I am now a woman of God, of my family, of Chi O. I am a woman who believes in the power of unconditional kindness and friendship. I am a woman who loves the idea of love and romance and a happily ever after. I am a woman who knows that hard work will take me far beyond what I think my limits are. This is who I am.

I was born in Texas, but I wasn’t raised in Texas. As a daughter of oil parents, I moved from different states to different countries every 2-3 years. When I was applying for college I was thrilled to know that I would finally be staying in one place for at least four years – I would finally be able to call somewhere “home”. This idea of having a home was a beautiful one. I would daydream of lifelong friendships, of familiarity with a city and with a school, of people I could count on. How lucky I am that these daydreams came true.

What a special home Chi O has been. It has been a place of unconditional support, of sweet friendships, and of life lessons. It has been a place where everything beautiful in the world came together and manifested itself in the distinct women who make it the safe and welcoming place that it is. How special it is to have a whole chapter of women who will celebrate you, even if they do not know you personally.

My time in Chi O has been marked by each interaction I’ve had with my sweet sisters. I will never forget how I felt when they told me they wanted to get to know me or when they reached out to truly ask how I was doing. These girls made me feel so deeply loved and cherished. And most of all, they made me feel known. How unworthy I am of such kind-hearted friends! I hope to be as genuine as them one day.

May Chi O continue to be a home. May it continue to be a place of comfort, love, kindness, and most of all… fun! Chi O will always be in my heart.

Abbey Hale

Courtney Wetzel

If I am being completely honest, which I usually am, this blog post has not come easily. It’s a hard thing to explain what I feel after 3+ years in an organization in just a couple paragraphs. Working chronologically makes sense, so I will start with rush.  Rush was really not my thing; I wouldn’t classify myself as “smiley” or “giggly” or any of the other cute n fun adjectives that might have fit some of the hundreds of girls walking the row with me. I am way more of a cut the small talk kind of gal, so rush was not a natural process for me in the least. There were girls that somehow never seemed to stop smiling, girls that somehow never seemed to sweat (even though it was 100+ degrees outside??) and there were entire houses bouncing and clapping at me. It was truly a one of a kind experience. I was legitimately worried that sororities were going to be like Legally Blonde, which I knew I personally could not handle.

Maybe it is because we are technically a ~fraternity~, but 3+ years later I can confidently say that Chi O is nothing like the movies, it is infinitely better. I have gotten to meet over 200 of the most ridiculous, energetic, chillest, smartest, athletic, people I have ever met and it has been so freakin cool. It is very possible I could be the least spontaneous person in the chapter because my personality is so A-type, but I am absolutely more spontaneous, more outgoing, more hyped up, and all around more excited when I’m hanging out with the friends I have made in Chi O. You might even see glimpses of me that one could describe as “smiley” or “giggly”. I met my roomies because we lived across the hall from each other in the house sophomore year, I have a group of girls that will win intramurals with me every fall, I have a group of nerd friends that never fail to have just as much annoying homework as I do, and a pledge class (obviously the best one) that has never failed to support me in any situation I might be facing. I am continuously pushed to improve in every category possible because of the girls in Chi O.

All of the girls that I have gotten to meet through Chi O joined for their own reasons, but I guarantee that the majority of them chose because they knew that it was the house that would help shape them into the person they wanted to be 4 years down the road. None of us are remotely the same but we all managed to make the exact same decision. I think that says something pretty big.

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Kaylee Kaigler

Courtney Wetzel

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If someone had told me three years ago that I would be “a sorority girl,” I honestly would have been offended- womp. I had an idea, a label, in my head about what being in a sorority meant, and thought I was far above labels, stereotypes, silly dramatic girl things, etc. Can we tell I had some growing to do ‘:)

Now I am looking at my last year as an active “sorority girl” in ChiO, and truly am so proud to have worn that label and those letters for the last three years. So what changed?

What changed was that I saw ChiO in terms of her people instead of her organization. What changed was seeing ChiO, yes as a sorority, but ultimately as friendships and conversations facilitated by meetings, families, date parties, ritual, etc. And those people, friendships, and conversations have been such a huge contributor to my fun and my growth in college- wow yep.

To any readers, in talking about ChiO I would have to share my favorite lesson ChiO has taught me- what it means to be part of a body. I came into ChiO freshman year with giant question marks radiating off of me- Who am I? Where do I fit? How do I do social things without anyone from back home? What’s my pace? What are my strengths? You get the picture… insecurity and “seeking” out the wazoo. Coming into ChiO was a lot like going into a Black Friday rush at the mall- so much was going on, and different personality traits and strengths were being ‘sold’ all around me. I was seeing loud personalities celebrated here; artsiness there, depth over there, etc. And I was slightly freaking out because I wanted this, that, her, other her, etc. and had no idea how to determine what was good for others vs. what was good for me.  

ChiO has been the main setting where I’ve gotten to start really figuring that out. It’s been a three-year, every day journey... going on four. Honestly I’m still amazed at how I’ve been loved along the way- because its hard to love insecurity. But the gals in ChiO have listened to countless word vomits as I verbal processed, spoken truth into my journey, and extended tons of grace to me as I’ve floundered through repeated trial and error trying to find the strengths, weaknesses, personality, etc. that the Lord wired into Kaylee Kaigler. He knew I would attend Texas A&M and choose to run among ChiO’s circles for my time here. And He wanted the Kaylee He created in those circles, not a Kaylee dictated by the circles themselves. He used ChiO to bring me to 1 Corinthians 12 where it talks about the body of Christ-

“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body…

… that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

Honestly I think the Lord got a kick out of having Paul use “members” language in that passage, knowing that one day the analogy would have special significance for sorority gals and club membership in general- dope! But truly, He brought 1 Cor 12 to life for me through ChiO. Its where I have gotten to see girls jump in, suffer, and bear with their friends; see girls give celebration and honor to other girls who have strengths that they themselves do not; and see girls come together and use our variety of strengths to pull off things that move mountains and make differences. So you can call me a sorority gal anytime, bc this^^^^ is what that label has meant for me ;)

P.S. Food for thought on the idea of labels, txt me if you want to talk more!

“When I label people, I no longer have to deal with them thoughtfully. I no longer have to feel overwhelmed by their complexity, the lives they live, the dreams they have. I know exactly where they are inside- or forever outside- my field of care, because they’ve been taken care of. The mystery of their existence has been solved and filed away before I’ve had a chance to be moved by them or even begun to catch a glimpse of who they might be. They’ve been neutralized. There’s hardly any action quite so undemanding, so utterly unimaginative, as the affixing of a label. It’s the costliest of mental shortcuts.” –David Dark


 

Maggie Stone

Courtney Wetzel

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.

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