An Open Letter For My Graduating Great-Grand Big

To My Graduating Great-Grand Big, Sister By Chance, And Friends By Choice

You were the first person I ever met in my sorority before I even knew I was going to be in that sorority, little did I know I would be crying over the fact that you're leaving

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To my Great-Grand Big,

If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be a part of such an amazing family here at UA. You were the first person I met here at UA that wasn't a freshman.

Little did I know you would spend more than just a week with me.

Little did I know you would make such an impact on my life.

Little did I know I was going to be your great-grand little.

Coming to UA not knowing anyone was already super stressful, but going through rush added so much more stress on it. Having you as my Rho Chi eliminated so much of that stress. I always felt like I could come and talk to you. You were my biggest supporter. I don't think I would have been able to get through rush without you.

So, finding out that we were in the same sorority on Bid Day was just the greatest news ever.

Having you in the same sorority already made me feel at home. At first, it was scary because I didn't know a lot of people and the idea of big/little was thrown at us right away. I didn't know many upperclassmen so how was I gonna find a big? You introduced me to your roommate and we clicked right away. We all hung out and I was so happy to find friends like the two of you. When Jaci was my temporary big the idea of having both you in my family seemed like a dream to me. I couldn't wait to be a part of such an amazing family. You were always including me in things and hanging out with me.

When the day came that I found out that Jaci was my big and you were my GGB, it was the second best day of my life. The first getting my bid to Gamma Phi. Running home to a family like yours was the best thing ever. Our family has its ups and downs, but I know I can always rely on you and everyone in our family.

This past year has been so great and it didn't hit me until today that you wouldn't be here next year. You're only a four-hour car ride away from me at home, but it's so sad to think I won't see you at chapter, or at dinner or all the above. Joining a sorority I hoped that I would be close to my whole family in it. You made that possible and without you, I don't know if I would be where I am today.

This past year you have not only my best friend but a role model for me. You are a strong, independent and amazing women and I hope that when I am in your shoes three years from now that I am where you are today. I'm going to miss you so much next year so you better come visit. You helped me through my freshman year of college and I thank you so much for that. I can't see myself here without you. You have been with me from the start. You will always be my great-grand big, but most importantly you will always be one of my best friends.

We became sisters by chance, but are friends by choice and I wouldn't have anyone else as my great-grand big. I love you and I'm going to miss you!

Love,

Rachel

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I'm A Sorority Girl And A ROTC Member, It's The Best Of Both Worlds

Instead of only being in ROTC or only being involved in Greek life, why not be part of both?

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I feel like I live a double life. Some weekends I spend going to date parties and sports games. Other weekends, I am stuck in a field doing land navigation and eating MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). A friend once described this lifestyle as having "multiple hats." She explained it as you have a hat for each different part of your life. For example, my main difference is my ROTC and sorority hat.

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. In the short term, this means that I am training to be an Officer in the United States Army. When I graduate college, I will then start my career in the Army. The way I present my "ROTC hat" now is going to determine my career later on. My hat shows me I have to be motivated and strict. My obligations include dedicating my mornings, class time, and extra volunteer hours to ROTC. Being up at 5 a.m. three days a week and taking 21 credit hours my second semester of college is a perfect example of why I have to stay motivated and strict on my self.

Being in a sorority, however, is the perfect breath of fresh air that helps me stay sane. It is a support system and friendship. My sorority helps me realize that college is supposed to be a fun life experience, not just a step in life. My "sorority hat" is carefree and fun. Although I am very busy with my other obligations, my sorority makes it easy to stay involved with date parties and philanthropy events.

In my position, I have been very overwhelmed trying to be successful with every hat I put on. Coming into college, I was very skeptical about sorority recruitment because I was worried about not being able to juggle it all. I am here now finishing up my freshman year of college, so thankful I pushed myself to be completely submerged in involvement. Being as involved as I am has helped me gain best friends as well as great memories.

I have been pushed to the limit these past two semesters, but it shows me what I am capable of. Finishing my freshman year, I am more confident in myself and what I want in life. Having these obligations has helped me develop time management skills. With the help of my two hats, I stay level headed and they have helped me realize that I can be who I want to be. Just because I am in ROTC does not mean I have to fit in a cookie cutter shape of being a cadet, just like being in a sorority does not mean I am a reflection of the stereotype of sorority girls. Just in my first year of college, I have already learned so much from both of these organizations and they have helped me develop into who I am today.

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