6 Thoughts You Have During Big / Little Week

6 Thoughts You Have During Big / Little Week

Whoever invented modge-podge was seriously crazy and brilliant.
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Greek life is a big part of most college experiences, and the best event after Bid Day is most definitely Big and Little week. Basically, older sorority or fraternity members are paired with a new member, the Little, to help them transition into Greek life and the respective organization. I am not sure how this week works for fraternities, but for us sorority women, I like to summarize it as, "I've been to Michaels and Target more times in one week than I have in my entire life." And, of course, each sorority is unique and may do Big / Little week differently, but here are some thoughts we all can definitely relate to.

Realizing you have a Little.

When you first find out who your Little is, and you love her so much already! You cannot wait to shower your Little with gifts, and (attempt) to craft the many canvases on that Pinterest board you started when you got a bid. Of course, having a Little means being responsible for her and teaching her all the things about your organization all while making sure she feels right at home. It's kind of like you're given a person to be "your person," and it's amazing.

Seeing your Little on campus and trying to be normal.

In my chapter, I am currently the assistant New Member Educator, so I see all the potential Littles all the time! So, seeing my Little around campus was totally going to be easy, right?

Actually, trying to keep a poker face when I saw her around campus was hard, but I did not want to spoil the surprise, so I tried my best. And, I guess it worked! She told me she didn't know until Family Night of baskets, which is the night before reveal, so it was perfect!

Procrastinating crafting at all costs.

Alright, so crafting is definitely not my strong suit, and I can be really indecisive, so crafting was just going to wait until the week of Big and Little. I spent late nights with my sister Emily going through Pinterest and painting canvases, pin boxes and other fun things we had picked up at Michaels. We watched "Gilmore Girls" while we crafted though, so it was a win-win situation.

As someone who is not crafty at all, painting canvases was actually not as hard as I thought. The hardest part was choosing a quote or design to put on the canvas. Of course, there were days when I went to Michaels to pick up more canvases or random things from Target, but it was actually so much fun because I knew my Little was going to be so happy when she opened her basket!

Organizing the basket.

On the first night, I had no idea what I was doing and the pictures on Pinterest make it look so flawless and easy. As someone who is extremely organized, everything had to have its own place. I think I rearranged my Little's basket three times before she opened it on the first night because I was so nervous she would miss something or she wouldn't like it.

In retrospect, I was worrying about nothing, but when in doubt, ask your Big for help!

Realizing you have to make shirts for the reveal.

Procrastination is not usually something that happens a lot, but I was so overwhelmed with the basket part of Big / Little, I totally forgot about T-shirts. The design was actually the hardest part (shocker), but with so many options and ideas on Pinterest and various Greek apparel websites, how do you choose? And, sometimes a whole family tree will want to coordinate shirts, but then that just adds to the mess because everyone is different and has varying tastes!

Anyways, I sat down one day and decided what design I wanted and kept it simple. Then, my family and I went to this amazing T-shirt place (the Big Frog) and they made beautiful shirts in just two days! So, I guess my procrastination was a result of wanting the shirt to be perfect and thankfully, it all worked out!

Realizing that the reveal is tomorrow!

OK, so on top of all the other emotions Big/Little brings, I did not truly grasp reveal was happening until I was inside my Little's box and heard her scream out of excitement! On the last night of baskets, I had been sitting next to my friend Madeline because our Littles always sat close together. When she said, "Maren. Reveal is tomorrow!" I completely freaked out, and then we both freaked out.

It was hilarious and amazing at the same time. My Big and I went to Home Depot, spray painted my box and I glued sea shells on all the night before. And then I got inside and she ran to me and it was amazing.

Big and Little week was a fun, emotional and an all around bonding experience for my sisters and I, and I hope you can relate to some of these thoughts too! I am so lucky to have such an amazing Little, and for potential Bigs, you're going to be amazing!

Cover Image Credit: Maren Johnson

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Realizing What My Final Goal Is Helped Me To Overcome My Obsession With Perfection

The motto "Pain is temporary; GPA is forever" have been words that have described my high school experience up to now. Looking back, I realized my obsession with perfection was unhealthy — what's much more important than perfection is knowing where you'll end up.

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After receiving my first almost-B, as well as undergoing various stressful social and mental moments in freshman year, I decided to be perfect. (Believe me; this was a tough choice.) I guess this decision was partly due to the fact that I was so panicked about my close brush with a 3.9 GPA (and, of course, with the disappointment of my parents) that my brain told me I never wanted to experience that frustration again.

The only way of avoiding the sheer horror of freshman year was, in my mind, to be perfect. I needed to be a stellar student, capable of not only excelling in academics but also standing out in my extracurricular activities. I promised myself I would never get below a 95 on the report card, and I would put all my effort into volunteering, violin and whatever other extra activities I participated in back then. I would receive high scores on all my standardized tests, and I would take the most rigorous courses my school offered.

Of course, thinking back on it, I was a pretty idealistic kid. I think I actually wore myself out more trying to be perfect than just dealing with the consequences of realizing that no one is or ever can be perfect.

But I continued to work hard, ignoring the fact that perfection doesn't exist. I took the SAT, wasn't satisfied with my score and took it again. Again, I wasn't completely satisfied with my score and made plans to take it yet again. I loaded myself with extracurriculars and essentially empty leadership positions. I found a part-time job to take up my already busy afternoons. I forced myself to stay up late, studying and memorizing information I would forget as soon as the test was over. (In fact, I like to think that my motto for much of high school was "Pain is temporary; GPA is forever.")

The only problem was that I didn't know what my ulterior motive or final goal was. I only knew that I wanted to be perfect. And I think the desire to be less perfect and to focus more on my mental health finally hit me when I asked myself the question, "What do you want to do with your life?"

Did I really want to spend my entire life trying to be perfect, knowing deep down that this was practically unattainable? Did I want to spend my whole life stressed, constantly caring about what others thought? Or was it ok to take a break sometimes and not be so high-strung?

I used to think that my final goal was getting into a good college. In some ways, it still is — after all, that's why I work so hard. But I've realized that I don't need to go to Harvard or to Stanford to lead a successful, fulfilling life. And what will I do after I get into that perfect college, once that so-called "final goal" is reached? I can't continue to get into good colleges my entire life — think about how tiring and monotonous that would be.

Sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable to not be perfect. I think certain societies and families expect nothing but perfection, and in my case, a combination of my own high standards mixed with the same high expectations my family sets for me caused me to be too obsessed with perfection. I know now that being flawless is impossible, and whenever those perfectionist tendencies start to appear, I ask myself the question: "What do you want to do with your life?"

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