You get to know your sisters so much better by living with them 24/7. Living in the house this year has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I enjoyed being in a sorority last year, but living in the house this year has totally changed the way I view our sisterhood. Living in allows you to see your sisters in new light and appreciate their true selves.
I am so thankful to have had these few months in the house because it is hard to not make connections with the other girls living in. We see each other at our highest highs, lowest lows and everything else in between, celebrating our joys together and dealing with our problems together. Because of these insights into each others’ lives, we know each other on a much deeper level than most people do.
There is always someone who can give you advice, whether it’s academic or personal. With a wide variety of majors and minors spread amongst our members, a woman never has to look far to find someone who can calm our fears and answer our questions. Older members offer us tried-and-true advice, talking through our concerns with us and working to make things better.
It feels like a home away from home. Yes, I prefer having my own bathroom and sleeping in my own bed, but our home is cozy and warm. Often times, after coming back to the house, I walk up the stairs to my room and am greeted by several smiling faces, asking how my day was. I drop my backpack down by my desk and look at the pictures of my family, high school friends and sorority sisters on my wall.
Yes, I miss my friends from high school like crazy during the school year, and yes, I cherish the times I get to see my family members, but I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be in college. It might not be my permanent home, but Pi Phi has been a source of such comfort and joy during this chaotic yet amazing semester.
For better or worse, everybody knows practically everything about everybody. While some people might not appreciate the lack of privacy, I like knowing what is happening in my sisters’ lives. It makes it easier to be there for people if they need it. I hope I’ve done a good job of showing my sisters that I will be there for them if they need anything. I am thankful for all the times that they’ve done the same for me. There’s always a shoulder to cry on or a hug waiting for you after a rough day. I know that I can count on any one of my sisters to be there for me if I need it.
Last year, I struggled a little with the transition to college life. It was more difficult to make close friends than I had anticipated. My major didn’t captivate me quite like I had hoped. Finding people with similar values was difficult. Don’t get me wrong; I had a great first year. Reality just differed considerably from my expectations, and I had to adjust.
This year, making deeper connections with my sisters has helped me thrive. I have noticed that I am more outgoing, confident and happy overall because of the love and support they have shown me.
The weekends are always so much fun because you can get ready for a fun night out with your friends. I know who to go to for outfit suggestions and help with my hair or makeup. Last year, I spent most of my weekends helping run campus events and doing homework. I didn’t like to leave my room because I felt as if I didn’t fit in anywhere on the weekends.
Now, I feel like I can be social. I have gotten to know a lot more people on campus and enjoy going out. Despite popular culture’s depiction of the typical sorority girl, I have not felt pressured to relax my values or do anything I feel uncomfortable doing. I have fun on my own terms, going out with friends and simply being around people. I know that when I go home after a night out, I can count on having the most random conversations in our kitchen, filled with great stories and life advice.
Reflecting on the few short months I have lived in our house, I feel so much gratitude for my sisters. Thanks to the lovely women of the Iowa Beta chapter of Pi Beta Phi, I have so many amazing memories to smile back on and am excited to see what the future holds for our sisterhood.