Ever known for a fact what you wanted to be or where you were going in life in high school? Not me.
Ever question your life path so much that it gave you anxiety and you thought the best thing to do was just to settle for the hand you were dealt? Let me be the first to raise my hand.
No one in my immediate family ever attended college, so growing up I never had a clear direction where I wanted to go. I had always known I wanted to get a degree, but in my first year of college, I recall going through SEVEN academic major changes until I finally found myself in the realm of the undecided. After not knowing what I wanted to do, I decided to leave school until I figured it out.
I was ready for a big life change, so in December of 2015, I decided to move to Reno, Nevada where I started working at a veterinary hospital. Shortly after that, at 20 years old, I decided to go back to school at Truckee Meadows Community College. Three years later, I received my associates degree in general science in December 2019.
Then I thought, now what? I had friends from the veterinary hospital who had attended the University of Nevada – Reno. They had told me about their great experiences and got me interested in attending school there. By now, they had all graduated and moved on and most were at veterinary schools. But, I finally had a direction. I was going to be just like my friends and go to veterinary school.
I applied to the University of Nevada – Reno and got accepted. I mapped out all of my classes that I needed to fill my degree and added extra classes to fulfill the prerequisite requirements for vet school. One of these classes was Calculus 1.
I chose to take that class during the summer semester, which started only two weeks after I had got accepted. Even though it was on Zoom because of the pandemic, there were in-person study groups that I attended because, let’s be real, calculus is hard for anyone.
In my study group, I met a woman who would always boast about her sisters and her experiences thanks to sorority life. She had things that I wanted. She had friends, a solid support system circle and most of all confidence in her own skin. She quickly became a friend of mine. Opposites attract, right?
She would always tell me that I should go through recruitment, but I turned her down every time. I was older than most college students, not confident in any way and definitely not a “sorority girl.” Every time I turned her down, she would repeat that none of that mattered, all the chapters wanted was to get to know me and who I was. It took her pulling up the recruitment form on her laptop and shoving it in my face to get me to fill it out.
Finding Confidence and Belonging Through Recruitment
When I finally went through recruitment, the first few days were awkward for me. I had women left and right asking me questions. They wanted to know my back story, what I valued most and the kicker question was why I went through recruitment. The truth was, I wanted to find a community to support me and have that system of sisterhood I had heard so much about.
I couldn’t help but think that no one would want me after they talked to me, why was I even trying? But when Days three and four came and I looked at the list of sororities whose events I would be attending and I found myself crying. Even though my top choice didn’t ask me back, there were three others on that list that wanted to get to know me further and give me another look into their sisterhood.
Day five was preference round. Like all the other potential members, I had two sororities left on that list. Both organizations welcomed me and made me feel absolutely amazing. They didn’t care about my age, what I dealt with or where I came from. I felt myself finally opening up and connecting with other women on a level I didn’t know I could.
They didn’t care about my age, what I dealt with or where I came from. I felt myself finally opening up and connecting with other women on a level I didn’t know I could.
Finding My Home
When Bid Day came and I opened that email with my bid card in it, I felt this overwhelming presence of pure happy emotions come over me. And yes, I cried again. The bid was from Alpha Omicron Pi.
Joining Alpha Omicron Pi has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have a community that lifts me up when I am down and the best support team I could ever ask for.
I will forever be thankful for my now Panhellenic sister in that calculus class pushing me to go through recruitment because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be where I am now. The experience made me realize that I was following someone else’s path beforehand. I was always wanting to go for what someone else told me I should because I thought it would make me happy.
This whole experience led me to finding myself and what I wanted, and that is all thanks to Alpha Omicron Pi. I also wouldn’t be part of the leadership team at the VP of Chapter Development, hopefully making the members and new members feel as welcome as I had on that final day of recruitment.
So thank you Alpha Omicron Pi and the Panhellenic community, for changing this woman’s life for the better.