A Senior's Letter To Her Sorority Sisters, Two Years Later

A Senior's Letter To Her Sorority Sisters, Two Years Later

As I enter into my final year at Arizona State, I wanted to write this open letter to my Delta Gamma sisters that helped me get to where I am today.

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To my Sisters,

When I first came to campus, I felt so lost with who I was and what I wanted to gain from going Greek or even in my life, but then I met you all. It was like looking into the future of everything I wanted to be and more, to be a woman who is confident, kind and real.

For these reasons, I joined. Though I may not have known this then, this decision would be the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

Freshman year, I was lost.

I felt so alone and as if the world was coming down around me. I pulled farther and farther away from my sisters who I had just met, and never even told them how I was feeling or that I was getting ready to transfer. When my decision was almost final, something told me to reach out, and I did.

The overwhelming amounts of love and support brought this little voice to the back of my mind telling me "stay."

Though these feelings of loss and sadness did not leave, I followed my heart and decided to stay for my sisters.

Once I returned for my second year at ASU and with Delta Gamma, I got into an accident. I was driving on the I-10 to Tempe when two cars came to a dead stop in the middle of the highway and I did not stop in time. I rear-ended one car and the other took off. I totaled both my car and the one I hit, was left with cuts, burns, and bruises all over my body, and a concussion.

I chose not to tell too many people about it because I thought no one would care. But my sorority sisters did. They reached out to me and made sure I was OK and checked in on me if I needed anything. They saved me from falling deeper into the hole that I was already in, and for that I am thankful.

Though I healed from this, I still felt myself distancing from my sisters.

Even with me pushing myself away, they still stayed by my side and motivated me to seek help for what was wrong. Little did I know then that seeking help would bring me to the discovery of a failed knee surgery from high school.

I had two ACL reconstruction surgeries in high school and discovered that I suffer from depression systems when going through stress caused by knee pain, which explained the helplessness I had been feeling for two years. The next step was to have two surgeries within the year to fix my knee.

I got my third knee surgery about a month before classes started for my third year and was unable to walk for weeks. I was already feeling better and becoming more open to the support from my sisters. Shortly after returning to school, I got into another accident. I had been practicing riding my bike to see how my knee felt after weeks of recovery when a car didn't look before turning and struck me.

Fortunately, I walked away with minor injuries, and yet another painful thing I tried to hide from my sisters.

All of these physical burdens continued to pile on to my mental health, and the gloomy reminder I would be getting another knee surgery in the winter. I felt the lost feeling from freshman year begin to return — until some of you that I hadn't really been close to stepped into my life and helped me through the pain.

Once I finally allowed myself to open up and let my sisters into my life, nothing else mattered.

All of these physical ailments and accidents that riddled my body with pain felt like just minor things whenever I am with you. You all may not have realized this, but I probably wouldn't be alive today without you.

Some people outside of Greek life may think this all sounds ridiculous, because how could I possibly be close to around 200 of you realistically and how could you all have possibly helped the way you did, and I will admit that I am not close with all of you.

Despite this, I know who you all are because you are in this chapter and Delta Gamma family for a reason, and by knowing that I know I have you love and support whenever I need it.

Though I thank all of you sisters, there are you few who I hold very dearly and to whom this letter is truly for.

The ones that have stuck by me since freshman year when I hated myself and never wanted to leave my room.

The ones that entered my life in a difficult time and never left. The ones that always made me feel welcomed and loved even when I felt like I had no one.

The ones that brought me into the most wonderful family, and the ones that allowed me to bring them into that same home.

The ones that don't even know my name but still smile and say hello in passing.

The ones who were there for me and didn't know why.

You never ask questions or push me to talk about the things that were hurting me, but still, you were there.

To my sisters in my "crew," thank you for the love and laughter you bring me every day.

To my sister that drove me to class without hesitation and I could talk about literally anything with, thank you for letting me open up to you with no judgment.

To my sister that I work with, thank you for all the love and memories we've made together over the years.

To my big, thank you for being the woman in this world that I look up to.

To my first little, thank you for bringing out the fun in me even when all I want to do is sleep all day.

To my second little, thank you for coming into my life when you did because I don't know where I'd be without you.

To my family, thank you for welcoming me in and being my home away from home.

To the rest of my sisters, thank you for being a part of this big and wonderful family.

I wanted to thank you all for being in my life during these times of difficulty. Whether you were aware of it or not, I really wanted to reflect on everything I've gone through with you all to get me to my senior year and through my (hopefully) last surgery that I just had done in December.

Two years ago, I never thought I'd be here. I thought I was transferring to graduate at a different university, and for a little bit even though I would not return to school at all. I thought I would leave this chapter and never look back, but you are the reason I stayed.

This chapter really did save me from myself and pushed me to keep moving forward even when all I wanted to do was stop. Thank you all for being a part of my life, and I can't wait to finish my last year of college with you by my side.

Sincerely,

Your Delta Gamma Sister

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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To My Big, As She Graduates

My sorority big is so special to me.

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Biggie Big,

I have known you for less than a year, and yet somehow you are already a vital part of my heart and family. Your love of others is infectious, your hard work and determination are astounding. I thought I took on a large workload, yet you outshine me in so many ways. You take 23 credit hours, work (sometimes two jobs), are a 24/7 dog mom, and manage friends and a boyfriend all while making it look easy.

I am so incredibly blessed to have been graced with you as my Big. Thank goodness for whatever stars have aligned that led me to you, because I can not think of a Big that would have fit me better. We are both very busy, busy girls and we understand that. We are there for each other when we need it most and when we just need to let loose a bit. You are the person I turn to when I need someone to listen to my venting, someone who understands my boy problems, and when I need someone to tell me that taking me-time is OK and I will succeed in whatever I do.

Anyone who has the pleasure to meet you will be greeted with the biggest smile and the most contagious laugh. You seem to find light in every situation and show everyone respect and interest. There is never a dull moment with you, that can be guaranteed. You change everyone's lives for the better.

Biggie, you are going to go far, I have no doubt about that. I hope you are never too far from me, but I want you to do whatever is best for your future. I am ecstatic to see where life takes you. It's incredible that life has given me someone who I see standing by me at the altar or holding my babies in the future. This bond of sisterhood is real and I'm glad it was formed between us.

Good luck Biggie, know I am always here cheering you on!

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