An Open Letter To My Big

An Open Letter To My Big

College gave me a lifelong best friend that I can respect, look up to, admire and confide in. College gave me you.
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Biggie,

From the minute you popped out of my box and became my big forever, I knew there was something special about being your little.

I went to college and didn't know much about the sorority world, it was foreign to me. For most people, they've grown up anticipating bid day and praying they get into the sorority they've followed for years. Regardless of the fact that I was a freshman, halfway across the country, away from familiarity, I was thrown into a world full of friendships and sisterhood and best of all, I met YOU.

From the day we met, we instantly clicked and made a connection. We barely knew each other but we knew we were already the perfect pair. And that stays true to this day.

From my freshman meltdowns, stressful complications in school and my health and crying my eyes out to the point you couldn't even understand what I was saying, you loved me all the same. You introduced me to people, you made me feel included in school, in sorority and in your life.

The concept of having a little is wonderful, but it is also something you can't avoid. No matter what, you're accepting a new person into your life and friendships. Most of the time it all works out for the best and you and your big have a phenomenal relationship forever. But, there are also the big-little relationships that can end in hurt, exclusion or some other issue.

Last year, you made my experience at TCU one to remember, love and cherish. You never judged me for the mistakes I made during my freshman year, and I'll admit it, there were quite a few mistakes I made. You would just hear me out and gently guide me back on track. You shared your freshman year challenges and choices you made to let me know that everything was going to be ok and that we've all been there.

At the beginning of college, I didn't know who I was or what I wanted in life, and for a little bit, I lost myself. But you were a constant support in my life, you made me want to be better and be who I authentically am, because that's what YOU. You don't make excuses for anything, you make every relationship intentional and you stay grounded in your beliefs and your opinions.

Now, because of you, I found myself again, something I didn't realize I had lost.

You're not only my big, or my best friend, you're a true big sister to me and I appreciate everything you've done for me. You've stuck up for me, you've invested time in our relationship, you've been a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. You've made me laugh and smile more than I can count and you've never left my side.

The best gift I have received in college is you. College gave me a lifelong best friend that I can respect, look up to, admire and confide in. College gave me you.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Wilkins

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Sis, You're Beautiful But That's Not All You Got

No matter what they say about you let me tell you what God says about you.

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Lately, I've been having beauty and image on my mind a lot. I used to ALWAYS have self-image and body image on my mind constantly in an unhealthy, insecure way so having it on my mind again made me nervous. Then I remembered as I began writing this to you that God usually teaches me what to write before he gives me what to write.

I encountered a lot of different standards and expectations of beauty when I was younger. I still face a lot of different ones today but the first affirmations of beauty I got came from my family. These words and beliefs have always been a solid rock for me and I'd like to share them with you.

You're beautiful. You've always been beautiful. I know you think you look different today or maybe you thought you looked more beautiful at different events or time periods or seasons but you've always been beautiful.

You're made in God's image and in his likeness so you couldn't be anything but beautiful (Genesis 1:27). You know what he says about you?

He says you're fearfully and wonderfully made and wonderful are his works (Psalm 139:14). He was talking about you. He was talking about us. After he made man, he said and it was good (Genesis 1:27).

"God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23:19)

The things he has not only whispered to you about you but the dreams he's painted for you that you're not even sure how to achieve are all real whether you choose to believe it or not because he can not lie.

God telling you you're beautiful and helping you with school or work is just as true as him being able to change you, your circumstances and the course of your life if you have faith in him.

You know why the world's beauty standards don't work? Because they're deceitful. They constantly change, lie, exclude and the answer is always moving. They're inconsistent and forever changing. People's moods and opinions of things change over a million times a day. Now you tell me if that sounds like a good place to put your trust in who you think you are.

There's more to you than your beauty.

There's no one else in this world like you. When God made you he put you in a class all by yourself. He didn't make anyone else on this earth that can do what you can do the way you do it.

He didn't give anyone else your charisma, your flair, the way you laugh, the way you think, the way you love, the way you fight, the way you care, the way you pray, the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you blush, the way you stand up to things, your style, the way you see things and more. He made you your own person with your own mind. You don't have to be like anyone else because if it was God's mission for you to be the woman next to you then he's smart enough to not waste the life flowing through your veins right now.

If you're breathing then you have a purpose. If you're here to see another day then there's still purpose left in you. Do you see what He's trying to tell you here?

There's more to you then how you look. There's more put in you than the mistakes you've made. There's more to you than your wrongdoings. There's more to you than the times you've quit. There's more to you than your good days and there's more to you than your "off" days. There's more to you than your failures. There's more to you than your insecurities or what you consider your greatest accomplishments. There's more to you than your circumstance and your background. There's more to you than what you're willing to talk about out loud and there's more to you than what you're easily ready to boast about.

There's more to the story.

You are not your mistakes. You are not what you've done. Even when you don't believe it or understand it and even when they lie on your name.

You will always be who God says you are.

There's more to the story he has written for you that you or I could even imagine writing. You're beautiful because you are his.

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