Before this year, I wasn't sure that I believed that everything happened for a reason. If this were true, why do we lose the people we love most, make wrong decisions, or in my case, get denied from Greek life. Was I being punished? I had spent the past year at a school I didn't want to be at, finally making it to the school I did. Shouldn't this mean I be compensated for my cooperation?

I've had many friends throughout my life, some who I abandoned and some who've abandoned me. Sometimes it wasn't a good fit, and sometimes our lives just didn't sync up. For whatever reason, many of the friendships I've had have withered away, but the ones who have remained strong and consistent... thank you. I am forever grateful to you for making my life a technicolor dream.

I didn't know it yet, but not going Greek would be an unexpected blessing. Due to this "unfortunate" event, I met my college family. The beginning of my sophomore year of college is best compared to a puzzle with a handful of missing pieces--incomplete and hopeless.

To put it in the simplest of words, I felt like I was completely failing at life. I had anticipated joining a sorority, meeting my sisters for life, and posting cliche pictures on social media when I'd finally got to UT. Life pulled the rug right out from under my feet when I got the call that I hadn't received a bid. To be fair, my application was late but in the moment that didn't matter. All I could think about was going through the next 3 years with no social life, no friends, no boyfriend, essentially living in a social vacuum. My life seemed sad and pathetic from my point of view.

It wasn't until I took a step back that I realized this was not a misfortune, but an opportunity. My attitude about the situation changed and I chose to look at life from a different angle. It was either that or listen to "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from the Little Mermaid for the duration of my college existence. This was about the time I began to form some life-changing relationships with the people I now call my best friends. My intention is not to discourage you from going Greek or tell you it's a terrible mistake.

It's all individual perspective. I'm writing this to pay tribute to the girls who have completely changed my life and for the girls who think because they didn't go Greek, their lives are over. I promise you, life WILL go on, and not going Greek could quite possibly be the best thing to ever happen to you.

It was the first Friday of my sophomore semester and I had no plans, no new friends, and no intention of going out to a party. Did I mention I was sad? I got a text that afternoon from a girl I had gone to high school with, inviting me to go out with her. I spent 2 hours getting ready that night. I was nervous, excited, but mostly terrified of making a bad impression. That night was the catalyst for the rest of my year.

Since then I have shared some of the most unforgettable, incomparable, and happiest moments of my college life. I have never felt more confident, supported, and loved than I do right now. I've shared my deepest secrets, confided in them during difficult times, and laughed harder than I have in a while. I feel at home when I'm with them and I long for more time when we are apart. I feel supported with every choice I make and loved unconditionally.

Our group of seven is ridiculous, contagious, and crazy, but mostly strong, beautiful, and unwavering. I've known two of the girls since High School. When I think about it, I wonder how it took so long for us to find each other and develop such a strong bond. Thankfully, I was given a redo. Together, we have given one of our own away to her wonderful husband, who I don't doubt will love her (maybe) more than us. We watched her start her life and share vows of love so beautiful we all cried like babies.

I have met the pieces to my puzzle. Friends who fill my life with excitement, late nights at Kerbey, FaceTime calls at any time of the day, & lots and lots of sushi. I am forever grateful for these women who have lit up my life so brightly in the short amount of time we've been friends. I can confidently say that everything does, in fact, happen for a reason.

Don't question it. Embrace it. It scares me to think I wouldn't have met them had I gone Greek. I'd probably be at the wrong party, with the wrong girls, making the wrong memories.

I found my home in these girls. I love you, my queens.

Love,

Kimberly