An Open Letter To My Sorority, From A Graduating Senior

An Open Letter To My Sorority, From A Graduating Senior

It's not just for four years, but for life.
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To My Sisters:

In the next two weeks, I will change from an active member to an alumna of our amazing chapter. The last four years have flown by, and have been an emotional roller coaster of major life changes. Through all the accomplishments, experiences, heartbreaks, and drama, one thing has remained constant—the love and support I receive from you. Through my four years at NC State, my Pi Phi sisters have supported me, encouraged me, and stood by my side through the whirlwind that has been my undergraduate career. In a school that hosts 30,000 students, my sisters have helped me find my place, and Pi Phi has become my home.

It hasn't always been easy. In a group of this many girls, there's bound to be drama. Living in a house with 40 of them, I can say I've had my fair share. But then again, think about the type of relationship you have with your siblings. My biological sister and I fight all the time, but at the end of the day, the love and support we have for each other outweighs any drama that exists between us. It's the same with you guys. In fact, although we don't have any biological ties, we still consider each other family, and that means so much to me. You guys truly embody the definition of the term "sister," and I'm unbelievably grateful for all the unforgettable moments we've shared.

Thank you. For teaching me the values our founders created, and passing down the traditions of generations of Pi Phis before us. Thank you for the bid card you gave me four years ago that provided me the opportunity to be a part of the legacy that is our chapter. Thanks to you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a little brighter each day. Thank you not only for being there for some of the best moments of my life, but really helping me through the difficult ones. Friendships aren't always easy, but your support through the tough moments shows me that relationships like ours are meant to last.

You can't see sisterhood. It's impossible to define in a single sentence. The essence of it lies in generations of experience, tied together through rituals and traditions, and passed down to create an everlasting legacy. It's eternal. It's a smile on the way to class, a hug when you're having a bad day, and so many other wonderful things. It's shared values and goals achieved. You can't see it, but you always know it's there. Difficult to understand from the outside, and impossible to explain from the inside. It's one of the greatest gifts I've received, all thanks to you guys.

I'm going to miss so much. The notion of no more date functions, socials, sisterhood events, and catered meals (especially this one) makes my heart hurt. But in these last few weeks, I'm really starting to understand that the bonds created in an organization like ours truly aren't just four years, but for life. My college experience was directly shaped by my membership in Pi Beta Phi, and the experiences I've had are now memories I will cherish for a lifetime. As nervous and anxious as I am to embark on this next chapter in my life, I feel better knowing the letters I so proudly wear remind me that I'll always have by sisters behind me to support and encourage me along the way. I wish the very best for each and every one of you. You inspire me to be the best version of myself, and for that I'm forever grateful.

PPL,

Chandni

Cover Image Credit: Chandni

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7 Things You Do If You’re One Of Those 'I Always Order Chicken Tenders' People

It's hard to love food but also hate it at the same time.

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Growing up, my mom would usually have to cook me a separate dinner from my siblings. Why? Because I was ridiculously picky and wouldn't eat the same foods as everyone else. Trust me, it gets old. It's not my fault certain things just taste gross, you learn to live with it.

1. You eat something you hate just to see if you still hate it

I'll take a bite of a burger every once in a while just to reaffirm that it still tastes like dirt. I just have to know. Don't even get me started on vegetables.

2. When trying to explain what you actually like to eat, people give you major side eye

Don't ask me about my eating habits unless you want to get into a long, confusing conversation.

3. Eating at someone else’s house when you were younger was a pain

You hate to tell their parents just how much you hate the food that they gave you. So, you sucked it up and ate it anyway only to come home and whine to your parents.

4. There’s one thing on any menu you always fall back on...even if it’s on the kids menu

Pizza, maybe. Chicken tenders, always.

5. Trying a new food is a very proud moment

It's like, wow! Look at me being all adventurous.

6. When you realize you actually like some new food, that’s an even more amazing moment

Crazy times. This rarely happens.

7. Sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s the flavor, all the time it’s left on your plate

Oops. At restaurants it's either left on your plate or your order is very specified.

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10 Tips On How Not To Waste Your Time When You're Traveling

Sporadic trips are great, but maybe plan a little on the train ride in.

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For New Years, I took a trip to Boston. It wasn't sporadic— my boyfriend and I booked a room at Boston's Verb hotel, situated across from Fenway Park, about a month in advance. However, we didn't look at how we were going to get to Boston until the day before we left, or what we were going to do until the day we got there. If we had sat down and cracked open our laptops for 45 minutes while we watched American Horror Story reruns on Netflix, we wouldn't have spent so much on transportation and walking around in freezing rain looking for something to do. However, while we were content not going out and getting "drunklestiltskin" levels of drunk, it might have been better if we outlined what we were going to do on New Years Day and how we were going to get there.

We ended up spending about $10 to us the T, which isn't bad, but we spent $30 on parking and $45 on Uber rides, which wasn't bad until our last driver took the long way. If we had researched the area a little better, we might have been able to find things to do in the area we were staying, or map out a route to take using public transportation.

1. Book your hotel in the area you want to visit

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By doing this, you'll save on transportation costs because you'll either be within walking distance, or public transportation will have stops close to the places you want to visit. You also will be less likely to get stranded in an area you're unfamiliar with.

2. Get an idea ahead of time the things you want to do, and map out how you'll get there

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This helps you create a budget for transportation so that you don't think you're stranded in an area that doesn't have public transportation. Ubers can be expensive, especially if the driver takes the wrong turn, or wants to learn your life story.

3. Budget so you don't overspend

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Plan out how much you want to spend on transportation, how much you want to spend on food, and how much you want to spend on alcohol, so that way you don't spend all of your money, and have to create a new life or ask someone to borrow money you may never be able to pay back.

4. Don't be afraid to talk to strangers

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My boyfriend and I asked several bartenders where the best place to get a bite to eat would be, and that's how we found our new favorite restaurant— Eastern Standard. It's like the perfect restaurant if you don't think too hard about it. But our server had to tell us the staff at the bar wasn't being paid to endorse or promote it. It was just really good.

5. Look for stuff ahead of time

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If there's some type of public event, or you decide to visit on New Year's, St. Patty's Day, or on another popular date, look to see if you need tickets, and buy those ahead of time. If the weather isn't good, this will keep you from standing in line in the rain only to find out the cover charge is $60 a head.

6. Learn how to read the subway maps

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Ask someone who's been there and is good with direction, or get an app, so you don't get on the train going in the opposite direction of where you need to be. Boston and New York City should have apps where you can get the live subway schedule, so look for that if you need to.

7. Leave your car if you can

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Find a good, safe place to park, and if you know you're staying overnight, make sure the garage or lot allows that. This will also force you to explore what's around the area and you may just find something great you wouldn't have found otherwise.

8. Look at peak times

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If you're going somewhere popular to tourists, look at peak times so you can plan ahead and get there a little sooner. Standing in line is fun and all, but people can make or break that, especially when it comes to anything getting in the way of food (at least for me).

9. If you're a frequent flyer, try Pre-TSA

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If you fly a lot, you know TSA security checks can make or break your trip. If you're deemed low risk, you can get through security faster. Apply on the TSA website— www.tsa.gov

10. Don't just look at hotels

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For international travelers, hostels can be great. Some will let you stay for free if you do a few chores. Other great choices are Air BnBs and even camping. I also had a friend who couch surfed through an app, but do that at your own risk.

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