Why I Chose Service

Why I Chose Service

"Today's Friends, Tomorrow's Leaders, Forever in Service"
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My heart has always been one of service. I was extremely active with my church’s high school program before college. I first started attending as many retreats as I could, and before I knew it, I attended two mission trips and facilitated over 10 retreats for students younger than me. I never passed up an opportunity to help others. When I graduated high school and the program that opened my heart of service, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

I attended a community college for the first two years of college, and the social opportunities were limited due to the spaced out satellite campuses. When I transferred to Kennesaw State University, a whole new world opened up to me. There were hundreds of clubs, different on-campus events and a community called “Greek Life.” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in a sorority because of the (untrue) stereotypes that were pounded into my head since I first saw "Sydney White." Nonetheless, I went to the Greek Block Party, unsure of what to expect. I met hundreds of incredibly sweet women who proudly wore their letters and were committed to being excellent leaders and women on campus. However, I couldn’t afford Formal Recruitment and I wasn't sure if I would find the right sorority for me.

I then heard about the lesser-known sorority on campus, Omega Phi Alpha, a National Service Sorority. Committed to promoting friendship, leadership and service with the permanent project being mental health, I immediately felt a connection to them. Because they weren’t Panhellenic, rush was completely separate from Formal Recruitment and therefore free. I went to rush, received a bid and haven’t looked back since.

Though a lot of people don't believe Omega Phi Alpha is a "real" sorority, we are. While Omega Phi Alpha might not be Panhellenic, we still share similar customs:

1. Rush

Rush was so much fun!

2. Bid Day

"On Bid Day, we wear pink."

3. Big and Little

#bestdayever

4. Initiation

So happy to finally become a part of this amazing family.

5. Friendship

Spring Formal 2015 at Auburn University.

6. Leadership

Relay for Life at Kennesaw State University.

Omega Phi Alpha raised the most money out of any sorority and fraternity on campus, and had the most attendance at the end of the night despite the freezing temperatures.

7. Service

Light the Night 2014 walk in Downtown Atlanta.

Helping out with yard work at a local school.

Some good ol' puppy love.

I never thought I would find myself in a sorority. I believed the portrayals of sororities were right and they didn't do anything to help the community. But I was wrong. Through my sorority, I have been able to have a positive impact on my community and make a difference in the world we live in. On top of that, I have amazing sisters who would do anything for me. Without a doubt, Omega Phi Alpha has become my home, and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

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Living On The Lake As A Child Shaped My Adulthood

The world is your mussel!

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Some of the problems we face as children seem trivial and some seem dire. As adults, most of the problems we face seem like the end of the world because we already have so many things on our plate. Luckily, if you take a look at your past, you'll find that you already have some of the skills you need to face the adversities that come your way. As a child, I spent a decent chunk of my life living on a lake and, as I've grown up, I've realized that a lot of the lessons I learned on the lake have been reintroduced to me as an adult. The lake taught me about connection, awareness, and clarity and all of these are important tools for navigating adulthood, they've just been slightly repackaged.

The typical home has a few neighbors that are all within visibility, but living on a lake taught me that everyone is your neighbor. Everyone on the lake was just a boat-ride away, and there are a lot of folks who like to take advantage of that luxury. You can compare living on a lake to living in a giant, murky apartment complex, so it's important to recognize that everyone enjoys their privacy just as much as you do. Technology has connected us in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago, and I've come to find that everyone is neighbored now more than ever. We are all a call/text/email away from one another and we push the boundaries of intrusion more than we realize. Sometimes, a simple phone call is more respectable than a flurry of texts or sometimes a text is preferable to a stream of calls.

Beyond neighbors, there are countless creatures and things to encounter when you're at a lake, but one of the most prevalent are snakes. Always watch out for snakes. My mom taught me this lesson early on because we almost always ran into one on the way down to the lake. Some snakes are more harmful than others, and those are the ones to be most cautious of. Snakes were such a prevalent thing to fear as a child, but I figured that once I moved away, they would no longer be an issue; however, as an adult, I came to find that snakes were just as much of a threat. The snakes I faced in adulthood aren't reptilian, they are seemingly normal people, but they spew venom and act in cold-blood all the same. Unfortunately, real snakes are easier to deal with because you either shoo them away or decapitate them with the nearest shovel if things get hairy. Human snakes are ones you will find yourself trapped in places like school or work, and you must learn how to spot them quickly and survive WITH them. However, you can use some similar reasoning to deal with both snake encounters. A reptile doesn't respond to arguing and complaining, and neither does a crappy person in the office, so you'll have to find ways to reason with them in order for you to both continue getting your jobs done professionally.

If you live on a body of water you will most certainly be no stranger to swimming. Something my mom always emphasized was to not skip out on showering after returning from the lake. A post-lake shower was so important because lakes are full of both visible and microscopic germs, which means you'll be washing dirt from places you didn't even know were parts of the body. I found that this translated into my adulthood because there will also come times when you have to stop skipping out on a "shower." Whether it be starting a cleanse, meditating, or taking that long overdue nap, you must do something to rid yourself of all the physical and mental stresses. If you find yourself expending more energy than usual as a part of your climb upwards or even just to get by, for the time being, you should try to carve out time for a "shower" here and there.

All in all, my time spent on the lake has given me the skills to look sideways at most situations. Sometimes, you have to take a childhood lesson and repackage it so that it can solve an issue you are currently dealing with, and I have been lucky enough to have had such a colorful time on the lake.

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