IT IS HERE.. IT IS HERE.. CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE! As you may notice, I am a bit of a Christmas lover/fanatic. This love has not been made from getting the best deals when gift shopping or even receiving awesome presents.
I love Christmas time because it brings my whole family together; the house is full of laughter and delicious smells of holiday dishes. Not to mention the many “traditions” my parents and I have leading up to Christmas day. This would include decorating our Christmas trees (yes, we have more than one tree, three to be more exact) until early hours in the morning, baking massive amounts of fudge and lace cookies for family and friends, taking Christmas card photos only to never be made into Christmas cards because we never agree on the “perfect” picture, along with baking homemade Italian cookies with my grandmother, mom, aunts and cousins.
As you can see, there are many traditions that my family and I have, but being together is the best part. Before Sigma Kappa, my family’s traditions were the only thing I knew until I became a part of the Mystic Bond. Now, Christmas is 10 times more meaningful because I’ve made my own traditions with sorority sisters. This includes many scarf swaps, along with “tacky” Christmas sweater parties as a sisterhood event, not to forget the alumnae houses we decorated while I was a collegian. All of those memories and traditions are forever dear and near to my heart.
All in all, forget about the fancy gifts and flashy decor, remember the Reason for the Season, and appreciate the important things like family, friends,and a lifetime of sisterhood.
Where does the time go? It’s hard for me to believe that I have been working with the amazing women of Theta Omicron at Arizona State University for three whole months. I still remember my first day here in Tempe like it was yesterday. In this short period of time, I have learned so much from them, and it is my hope that they have learned from me as well. They have taught me to laugh when the room has windows floor to ceiling for a formal chapter. They have taught me there is no inappropriate time to eat froyo. They remind me the joy of learning because then the lesson or policy is new and exciting. These women remind me that making mistakes is merely another opportunity for personal growth. But most of all, they have reminded me the pure joy of being a Sigma Kappa. These women love Sigma Kappa so much and make me feel so blessed to be able to call them sisters.
Reflecting on this, I know I am grateful for these lessons because far too often it is easy to become jaded or think too much about details instead of what Sigma Kappa truly is. They have helped me take steps back and truly appreciate what chapter life is like and should be for. Sigma Kappa provides the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Sigma Kappa is an opportunity to learn more about what philanthropy means or about fellow Panhellenic chapters. Their lessons remind me that Sigma Kappa is about being a better version of ourselves and having people that care to be a part of that journey. I have always loved the poem “Sigma Kappa is” and as I reflect on the lessons I have learned this semester, I know that being in Sigma Kappa truly is a better way to walk shyly up the back steps only to walk confidently out the front steps.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old.We grow old because we stop playing.
-George Bernard Shaw
I can officially call myself a working woman. I have been working a “big girl job” for three months now! There have been times on the road where I have had to lay down the law, and other times where I have had to deal with difficult situations in chapters. This job is challenging in many of the same ways that being a chapter officer is challenging.
When I arrive at a new chapter, I have a job to do. I want to help that chapter improve, and I will look for ways that I can help. But I also want to get to know the chapter women. After all, these women are my sisters. We wear the same badge, we have had similar experiences, and we are united by the ever powerful mystic bond. I have found that the best way to get to know people on the road is to have fun with them. Acting goofy and laughing with chapter members are some of my favorite memories on the road. Yes, I value the progress I have helped chapters make, and am tremendously grateful for the personal progress they have helped me make! But I cherish the fun times, because it is in those fun times that I feel most at home.
Some silly highlights from my time on the road:
Getting pied in the face (that is not a metaphor! I literally got pied in the face) by the chapter president at Theta, University of Illinois (I forgive you Tanis!) during a pre-recruitment sisterhood activity. This was a good icebreaker during one of my first few days at the chapter, though it definitely made for a bad hair day.
Going out to dinner with the women of Beta Theta, Marrietta College. The women told the waitress it was my birthday, so I got free cake and all the women sang Happy Birthday to me! My birthday was six weeks before that, but made me feel so loved and special! And the cake was good, too 🙂
Going for a run in Missouri and falling in truly epic fashion. We’re talking a flying through the air, crash landing fall. It was bad. Luckily my fellow LCs Suzannah and Meghan were very understanding as I limped around Columbia for the duration of my visit.
Getting froyo with the women of Eta, Illinois Wesleyan University. They took me to a place called Chill Out, where I learned that you get 10% off your yogurt if you get a “Chill Out!” stamp on your forehead. Naturally I accepted the challenge, and even with my 10% off I still spent well over $6. Embarrassing.
Someday, I will have a 9-5 office job where I certainly will not get pied in the face or walk around with a stamp on my forehead or do chants all day long. But I do not believe that I will ever have as much fun in another job as I am right now. So for these next six months, I am enjoying the ride.
They drive me crazy, but I love them. That is probably the best way I can describe the Fullerton girls. I do not think there has been a chapter who has frustrated me more, made me more proud, or given me such a sense of meaning and purpose. I have really tried to push this chapter, and you better believe they pushed back. I don’t know exactly why, maybe it is the potential I see in them, but they bring out the Sigma Kappa passion in me. Every time I got off the plane to head to the Epsilon Tau house, there was motivation in my heart to help these girls, in some way or another.
During my second visit with them, I did a workshop before their chapter meeting. I talked about commitment and investment, and I drew from my time at Virginia Tech. I showed them a couple videos of what had been my sisterhood, and somehow I ended up standing in the front of a room staring back at 70 confused sorority girls with tears rolling down my cheeks. I so badly wanted them to understand what kind of experience was possible through Sigma Kappa and to make the most of it. I see a parallel between my chapter and theirs, and I have clicked into that sisterhood in a way that is familiar to my own college experience.
When I left this past week and said goodbye, not to return until January, I was genuinely sad. The Theta Epsilon member from UC Riverside who picked me up made a comment that really made me think: “It’s strange…you guys act like you are sisters.”On so many different levels, it hit home: that the relationships I am building on the road are sincere, that I really am influencing other peoples’ lives through this job, and that the connection I have to Sigma Kappa will always be a part of my life, no matter where I am.
While browsing Pinterest one day, I found this video…I couldn’t stop laughing! I pinned it thinking I would love to find a Sigma Kappa connection to this video, so I can blog about it someday. Well, later that day, I found my inspiration for this blog post.
I recently visited Alpha Chi for a formal recruitment planning visit because they have deferred recruitment. As I was meeting with the VPNME and VPNME assistant, I started listening to how bid day worked on their campus. The assistant was describing how the new members revealed themselves to the sororities on campus, and describing it as the best day of the year. How she was describing bid day and her emotions that she was putting into it instantly reminded me of this video. Every women is so excited they can hardly stand it. And of course, we are girls, so tears have to get involved. I told the ladies about this video and how their excitement reminded me of a video I just saw. I warned them that I didn’t think they were over the top like the girl is in the video. They loved it and agreed with me that these are the emotions they feel on the best day of the year…bid day!
The fall semester is almost over, which means this year of being a consultant is halfway over. So, what is next for us consultants? For many of us, we are unsure; however, these are some options: renew for a second year of consulting, enter the work force, or apply to graduate school. Lately, this decision has been constantly on my mind. Studying student affairs and higher education is proving to be the next step for me.
I had a panic attack the other day when I checked due dates for grad school applications and saw that some are due Dec. 1! Although I have already taken the GRE, there is so much more that goes into applying. Writing a personal statement, getting recommendation letters, and applications are only some of the many tasks required…and now I am expected to do this all in a month! It is definitely my fault for not checking sooner, but being a consultant means my panic attack subsided and I know I can handle it! Bring on the challenge!
This week, I have been brainstorming about my personal statement and reflecting on my college and post graduate experiences. Trying to find the precise words to explain why I love working with college students and being a leader has been a challenge, but I have had great guidance, mainly prayers and advice from my many mentors and friends. Some have sent me their own personal statements or have helped me with wordsmithing. The amount of love and support I have received is amazing, and I know that I could not excel into the future without the help of my loved ones. Times like these are when I know that I am being called to the right profession to give back, grow, and create student leaders.
Higher ed is where I belong and being a leadership consultant has truly helped solidify that path. I ask that all of you keep consultants in your thoughts and prayers at this middle road in our lives. Many of us are making hard decisions about our futures and would love the extra support.
While at my final chapter visit of the semester, back with the ladies of Epsilon Zeta, I could not help but reflect back on my first visit here. The first time I met these women I spent thirteen days with them through pre recruitment work week and formal recruitment up until bid day. It seems like a world ago that we were practicing chants and pouring over recruitment introduction forms. Yet, I can recall the experience as if it was yesterday.
Strangely enough, that is how most of this semester feels to me. It feels as if I have been so many places, seen so many things, had so many first experiences, been on the road for so long, but that I can not believe it has already been this long since we left training.
I am thankful for everything that I have gotten to experience this semester, from the beginning to the end, from the A to the Z.
Airports Amtrak Alumnae Bid Day Chants Doorstacks Derby Days Encouragement Elections F/SA FroYo Founders’ Day Fundraising Gangnam Style Georgetown Cupcake Homecoming Instagram Initiation James, Brooke James. JMP Kappa Delta Shinanigans Loyalty Monster House Monopoly New Members Niagara Falls Opportunity Pocket T-shirt Promise Program Panhellenic Quiet Time RespeSKt Retreat Ribbon Wall Ritual Skype Skit Seasons Team Conference Calls The Drowsy Chaperone UltraViolet Understanding Vera Bradley Bingo Warm Fuzzies Workshops Xcellence Yes, We Can Zebra/Donkey