California Adventure, Part 1

Heather Milton

I have a confession to make.

I am. Obsessed with. Sigma Kappa.  I live, breathe and eat it – no literally, I have consumed approximately six ΣK Bid Day cakes in my lifetime.  Sometimes I even have nightmares about it, especially during Recruitment Season.  (Shout out to my VPM homegirls, y’all know what I mean.)

I occupy the Violet Bubble on a daily basis and have been here for the last five years.  That being said, I have a second confession:

There comes a day when I just need a break.

A day off to do something non-Sorority.  You can probably relate.  If not, I’d like to know what recipe of the Kool-Aid you’ve been drinking.

I am writing this as I wait in line for rides at Disney’s California Adventure.  My weekend off got me thinking about all I’ve learned about myself since opening that bid card, since flying cross country to my first Convention experience, since whole♥edly signing away a year and a half of my life to be an LC.

...there was this pretty awesome sorority...

As members, leaders, alumnae and volunteers, we know what it means to be devoted sisters of Sigma Kappa…but what about our devotion to OURSELVES?  Here are a few tidbits about personal wellness that, once I reluctantly grasped, ended up helping me be an even better sister, leader and friend:

It’s perfectly normal to take a day (or three) to recharge yourself.  Joining Sigma Kappa means loving this organization unconditionally as a lifetime member.  It does NOT mean being “on” unconditionally for the rest of your life.  Tell everyone that you are not president, sisterhood chair or leadership consultant right now.  Turn off your phone.  Log out of your email.  Do something for YOU.

Good sisterfriends will understand and respect this.  Which brings me to my second lesson…

Identify those friends who won’t fault you for taking time away. Your chapter members, advisors and Panhellenic officers will surely hold you accountable to your responsibilities, but who will make sure you are a “Sane Sigma” after it’s all said and done?  My best friend Molly knows that when she calls to catch up and I say I don’t want to talk about Sigma Kappa, I mean it.  Should she so much as think the words quota, Code of Conduct or GIN announcement, and if anything she says remotely rhymes with “it only takes a spark,” I will hang up on her!

Enjoy the journey.  Whatever your Sigma Kappa role, you won’t always make the right decision, no matter how much time and effort you put in.  And guess what?  The world won’t end.  (This is something I will always struggle with!)  But it’s the memories you make, the people you meet and the things you discover about yourself that are most important.

At this time, I’m going to heed my own advice, put away my iPhone and sing along to Aladdin’s Musical Spectacular.  Mary Low will beckon in the morning.  She always does, and tomorrow I will be re-energized and ready to re-enter the Violet Bubble.

Lavender and maroon fake storefront in Disney

Dove Lovin’,

Heather

P.S. I just got off the Tower of Terror and I’m pretty sure I left my stomach at the top.

Me on the ride ahhhhh
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It’s Fall Y’all!

Tiffany Rozier

It’s finally fall time. This means the leaves are changing, it’s getting much colder (especially for this Georgia/Alabama Girl) and it’s time for apple picking! While in the beautiful state of Virginia, I got to experience this wonderful fall pastime with some pretty incredible Sigma Kappa women at our Theta Zeta chapter!  We got to walk through beautiful trees full of apples and enjoyed the delicious fruit right off the branch! I went with their President, Sophie and their Recruitment Supervisor (former LC), Perry! Below you will see our super fun adventure in pictures! (Are you catching on that I LOVE taking pictures yet? Ha!) I encourage all of you to find an orchard near your house and go apple picking! It’s so much fun!

LISK, Tiff

Super Kangaroos

Michelle Garber

Lots of family lines have names and mine happens to be the Super Kangaroos (SK), hence the title! As it seems we are in the middle of revelation season I thought this would be a good time to talk about the Big Sister/Little Sister program. Here are a couple of things I’ve noticed out here on the road that I want to discuss with you all:

Your big/little does not need to be your best friend!

It’s wonderful if she is, but definitely not necessary to have a successful relationship.

Littles: Your big should be your guide through Sigma Kappa, the one person in the chapter you know you can always go to. Even if you don’t know your big when you get her, that is her role so take advantage! Call her when you can’t remember what room formal chapter is in, go to her when you need advice on what position you would be great at. You can still be friends with everyone else in the chapter.

Bigs: You should feel proud that you get to show anyone the Sigma Kappa ropes. This is a complete privilege. It is not okay for you to pressure or complain to the VPNME about her choices. Be excited about any little you are given and treasure her! To be the best big you can be, lead by example, keep in touch with your little, gently tell her when she’s out of line and love her no matter what. You can still be friends with everyone else in the chapter.

Bigs are spending extraordinary amounts of money on their littles.

I’m so glad that you love your little and want to dote on her but as broke college students there has to be a better way! Even if you aren’t broke, someone in your chapter is and she is embarrassed to put her collage out next to your 15 embroidered letter shirts. One idea that works well is to have the VPNME choose a theme such as baked goods or picture frames or a budget cap for each day of the week leading up to revelations.

Here are some great gift ideas I’ve seen and would love for you to borrow!

Check out Shop Sigma Kappa for licensed vendors and inexpensive gift ideas!

Dove Love, Michelle

Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas!

Elizabeth Scott

Hello friends! At the end of September I crossed new state number six off my list, Nevada! I spent eight days with the Theta Eta chapter at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for formal recruitment. The chapter and advisors were so much fun and showed me around their campus as well as their city.

One afternoon, Melissa Ayres, one of the chapter members, showed me around the fabulous Las Vegas strip. This was very exciting for me since I have only ever seen Las Vegas in movies and on television. We explored most of the strip, rode the New York New York rollercoaster, played games at Gameworks, and drank frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity (which was to die for). Overall, it was a jam packed day, but it was very fun to see the city, especially the Bellagio water show!

The girls had a very successful recruitment and welcomed 47 new members into their chapter on Bid Day! They were so excited to share their love for Sigma Kappa with the new members with their “Fall in love with Sigma Kappa” themed bid day. The chapter had so much energy and welcomed the new members with open arms!

xoxo,

Elizabeth

Fall’s Falling with an Alumnae Perspective

Suzannah Grubb

Fall has fallen in most states, but it is just beginning in Georgia at Kappa Tau. Even though the chapter reminds me that this weather is cold, I am still waiting for the leaves to turn and the mid-day eighty degree weather to cease (which I do love). Last week I got to experience a blast of the cooler weather in Virginia on some personal time. Heading back for a Virginia Tech football game (we won’t discuss the disappointing turn out against Clemson University, where our Kappa Pi Chapter is located) I got to enjoy some time with alumnae.

Epsilon Chi Alumnae Weekend

My first Epsilon Chi alumnae weekend got me thinking about how many alumnae opportunities Sigma Kappa offers.

From alumnae clubs and chapters, Panhellenic opportunities, livesigmakappa.com (launching in November), advising and national volunteer positions, the opportunities to stay involved are endless.  Collegiate chapters are always reminded that without members the chapter cannot exist, but without strong alumnae chapters the experiences and knowledge can’t be passed on.

After the Atlanta Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Kappa Tau and the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter got together for a light lunch at The Grape.  Collegians and alumnae chatted and got to know each other during the early afternoon.

Kappa Tau's at the Walk before meeting with alumnae

Throughout college we are told that Sigma Kappa is not just four years, but for life. While my job is based around a mostly collegiate perspective, over the last few weeks I have seen the ‘for life’ side of Sigma Kappa.  I hope every alumna gets involved on some level and sees how amazing it can be!

The Cure to Alzheimer’s Disease

Lauren Kelly

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of the death in the United States. The only one of the top ten that can’t be cured, prevented or event slowed.

As of right now . . .

I was nodding off on the plane after an intensive (but fun!) end of year leadership consultant training in Indianapolis last April.  While fighting to keep my eyes open I caught a glimpse of an interesting magazine that the man next to me was reading.  It was painted with DNA diagrams and scientific jargon.  I chose to be vulnerable and to ask him about it.

As we shared our reasons for travel, I learned that he is a biological engineering professor at Purdue University, and was at that time writing a proposal for the government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease research (note: one of the main philanthropies that the Sigma Kappa Foundation supports is Alzheimer’s Disease Research).

I was ecstatic to learn about his career and passion.  I asked him about a million questions regarding Alzheimer’s (and a few napkins and scratch sheets of paper with cell diagrams on them later – see images below) I learned A LOT about the disease.

He said he knows that they could find the cure for Alzheimer’s disease within ten years, if they had the funding for the needed technology.

What causes? Aggregation of protein structures.

This technology he’s referring to would allow them to look at the cells in live time – right now that is impossible.

I shared with him some of the statistics I know about the Sigma Kappa Foundation and the amount of funds and awareness we have raised as an Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s National Gold Team.

He was floored.

Though he was familiar with the Sigma Kappa Sorority Beta Sigma chapter at Purdue University, he did not realize the efforts that they, and the national organization, have made and are making for Alzheimer’s disease research.

We had a wonderful conversation and both walked away feeling energized and excited.  After exchanging business cards, it is now my hope to get him locally connected with the Beta Sigma chapter.  I explained how they would love to have campus resources, such as himself, attend a chapter meeting and develop a relationship regarding this cause, and also work to help bridge the gap between academia and fraternity/sorority life.

Here the Kappa Upsilon chapter is raising awareness of the Walk in Princeton on October 10. They're selling purple ribbons and collecting footprints to display the steps that The College of New Jersey is making towards finding a cure.

I’m continually amazed when moments like these happen, and I have Sigma Kappa to thank for helping me understand and truly live out the core values: loyalty, friends, personal growth and service.

The Kappa Upsilon chapter also had one of their members, Kandace, offer to host a percentage night at her mom's Rita's Ice. Alzheimer's has directly impacted Kandace's family. We all went to support Kandace, support the cause and eat Italian ice!

We can make steps to change the world.  Right now Sigma Kappa Sorority is making steps all across the country  to END ALZ.  Please, join us in “the [Walk to End Alzheimer’s], the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.”

Together we can END ALZ and change the world.

Starting my adventure!

Lindsey Farrow

The time had finally arrived, time to pack my things and move to Florida, by myself, for seven months. As I packed my car for the eleven hour trek from North Carolina to Boca Raton, Florida, many feelings took over my body. I was anxious and nervous and excited. More than anything, I was determined. Following my last visit for Formal Recruitment  at FAU, I was sure, in my mind, that the next seven months of my life as a colony consultant were going to be life-changing.

So mom and I set off and began the long drive that brought me to Boca Raton, almost 700 miles from home. Thanks to pretzel M&M’s and my German speaking GPS, Helga, (my brother changed my GPS to German, before my eleven hour drive, of course..he thinks he’s funny) we arrived at Florida Atlantic University, where I will spend most of the next year of my life.

As I sit here I feel the same sense of independence I felt when I began college. This time, I am in a different state, living in an apartment by myself. Following my unpacking, the very first thing I did was drive to the beach. I drove until I saw water, parked at a meter and sat on the beach for an hour. This job has brought me to a breathtaking town, which I know independently I would have not sought out.

I have enjoyed getting to know the students at FAU and learning about all of the best places to eat locally in Boca Raton. They have recommended me to a great church, shopping and to great local restaurants. I look forward to beginning my life, as we begin our new chapter at FAU.