“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”
This is probably my favorite quote of all time or at least in my top three. It truly sums up my life with Sigma Kappa, both as a collegian, alumna and leadership consultant. Last week, I was given the opportunity to speak at the preference event for the University of Missouri (Mizzou) colony’s recruitment. Yet again, I started off with this quote.
Two years ago, I had the privilege to also speak at the Epsilon Chi Chapter’s, Virginia Tech, preference event. My journey to that point reflected on when sisters ban together when things do not exactly go as they had hoped.
At the Mizzou preference event, while it started off with the same quote, it had a much different story behind it. Earlier in the day, I was searching my room for a belt when I stumbled upon a note from my dad.
At the end of my senior year, he wrote me a letter for an event Epsilon Chi was hosting where my little sis, Ashley Hilzendager, read to me words my father wrote. Between the emotions and excitement from colonization, the pure exhaustion felt by all, and a bit of homesickness, this letter struck a cord and brought my time in Sigma Kappa full circle.
My dad’s letter took me all the way back to the very beginning of sorority life; not the day I got my big sis, not the day I got my bid, or even the day I signed up for formal recruitment. It was a chilly afternoon at home when I asked my dad to throw around the ol’ pigskin with me. Let us be honest, except for special occasions, this is not a request I make regularly. While outside, and my arm starting to kill me within three throws, I “pled my case,” as my dad puts it, as to why recruitment and sorority life was a good idea. With his blessing, which I never do anything without, I started my journey.
For the women of the Mizzou colony, their journey started with a personal visit. They thought that the destination was opening an envelope on Bid Day to find that they would become a sister.
As we all know, this is only the beginning for them. Their journey is just beginning, and what an exciting way to begin. Colonizing with more than 200 sisters, on a campus thriving with tradition, and the opportunity to create something all their own, this is just the beginning. I know I can only guess what the journey will be like over the next years for these women, but I am so blessed and honored to be a part of it this year.
I would like to take a minute to thank my dad, and all dads, for giving their daughters the opportunity to find a home away from home, grow in ways unimaginable, and just being there to listen and let us “plead our cases.”