I Promise I Do Not Wear My Letters To Act Like I Am Better Than You

I Promise I Do Not Wear My Letters To Act Like I Am Better Than You

Why my sorority is everywhere in my life.

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Every night before I go to bed, I give myself a pep talk to look nice the next day. And by looking nice, I mean wearing jeans instead of leggings and throwing a sweater on instead of a t-shirt. I outfit prep, (kind of like food prepping but with clothes) just because I have a plethora of articles of clothing and an array of the current season's "in" colors due to my insistent shopping addiction. However, I look in my closet in the morning and I guess my motivation did not get out of bed when I did. I see my drawers full of my Greek letters so I throw on my favorite Alpha Delta Pi t-shirt (they are all my favorite) and walk out the door.

I think that some people associate sorority letters with the pride of displaying a winning sports team logo across their chest. People will wear an Iowa State shirt after a big win, signifying that their team is superior to the losing team. However, my sorority is not a sports team. I do not cheer them on from the sidelines because I am a part of the team. I do not wear my letters to be first-class to you. We are all in the game together of seeking our best selves while being surrounded by nourishing words of affirmation from people who will always go the extra mile in all aspects of their life.

I had a job interview that ended when I mentioned my experience of flourishing within a sorority. My interviewer was apparently turned off by the thought of two hundred powerful women, even appalled that I lived with sixty of them. It did not matter how deep I delved into the opportunities given to me by my home away from home. It was irrelevant that my whole world had expanded when I ran home to ADPi on bid day in a new city of unfamiliar souls, although finding familiarity within the women behind the blue door. She could not see past the media-driven stereotypes and could not see my worth. People will hear the word "sorority" and that is the end of their ability to listen. Honestly, if a job does not value something that changed my life and made me who I am today, then I do not want to be surrounded by those people who do not celebrate that my sorority gave me a safe haven to figure out who I was apart from my parents, high school friends, and the comfort of my Kansas City suburb.

I wear these letters from my azure blue ADPi hat to my Alphie the Lion ADPi socks and everything in-between to remind myself that I have the ability to do anything. Because I have met the most influential women through my sorority, I have realized that my dreams can turn into plans and those plans can become a reality. I have ADPi on my planner to remind me that learning is valuable and I owe it to myself and to the women around me to commit to putting my heart and soul into everything. I have ADPi buttons on my backpack to remember that no matter how far I go, my home and my favorite people are never too far away. So, when you see me wearing my favorite ADPi t-shirt, let that inspire you to go find what lights your world and fuels your inner fire.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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