A Union Hand in Hand – Why I Chose to go Greek, and Why I Went Alpha Phi

Guess who’s back, back again? I know I posted yesterday, but there was just one more thing on that three-week bucket list extravaganza I failed to mention.

If you had told me when I was fourteen that I was going to be a sorority girl one day, I might have laughed in your face. Me, the girl who prided herself on being “different”? No way. Granted, the only thing I knew about sorority life came from television and movies, which gives all Greek life a less-than-stellar reputation. But besides that, I didn’t think I’d fit in with the idea I had in my head of a typical sorority girl. I didn’t think I could belong.

Flash forward four years, to my freshman year of college. I had warmed up to the idea of sororities, especially after coming to a school as large as Chapel Hill. Sure, I had seen TSM and Sorority Sugar and knew the more superficial side of joining a sorority. But I had also read up on the amazing philanthropy work that these organizations do, and the actual bond that comes from joining a sisterhood. Still, because I was unsure, I decided not to rush. On Bid Day, I immediately regretted it. I saw all of my new friends wearing their new letters, and I knew I had missed out on my next big adventure.

Or so I thought.

Sometime in late August, I heard about Alpha Phi, the newest sorority at UNC. They were chartering their chapter this year, and were looking for founding members to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Knowing almost nothing about it, I went to an interest meeting. Once the presentation began, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it all. The women who were presenting so clearly loved their sorority, and were so passionate about bringing it to UNC. So I went up to their table in the Pit and talked to the beautiful brunette girl running it (who I now know as Talia), and kept rolling the idea over in my mind. I knew there was a chance that I wouldn’t get a bid, and that was okay with me: I just wanted to see where I’d get. I met girls who all seemed wonderful and kind, and even reconnected with some old friends from camp and high school.

Then, on September 16, 2015, I, along with over 130 other girls, received a bid from Alpha Phi to be the founding member of their sorority. We found out on Pref Night, after we had all been nervously talking about how we couldn’t see anyone in this room being cut. We cheered, we laughed, we cried. We knew we’d finally come home.

But the journey didn’t stop at Bid Day. I now had 130 new sisters to get to know, a mixer or two to attend, and a lot to learn about Alpha Phi. Thank goodness these girls made it easy. I would see girls notice the APhi button on my backpack, or recognize my face from chapter, and we’d strike up a conversation. Slowly, but surely, these girls I saw on the sidewalk became my core group of friends. We laughed together; we cried together; we talked about the simple things in life, and we talked about the harder things. And before I knew it, I had people I could count on. I had a support system. And this morning, those now 150 girls I could count on became my sorority sisters.

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Over 140 years ago, ten girls at Syracuse University, all around seventeen and eighteen, decided that they could have a fraternity just like the men at their university, and wanted to empower each other through their devotion to one another and their bond of sisterhood. Today, UNC welcomed home the Kappa Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi, and today, I was welcomed into a legacy of powerful women, making strides to better the lives of other women, as my new sorority sisters and I became a union, hand in hand.

P.S. – Special thank you to Taylor, Talia, Peg, Sally, Team Tarheel, and all of the wonderful sisters I’ve gotten the chance to meet this year. You all have affected my life for the better, and I cannot thank you enough. AOE.

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