"Katie!" I screamed as I looked around and saw all of my friends excitedly embracing their brand-new bid day little, or as we call them in Alpha Omicron Pi, Panda Pals. "Where is Katie??!!" I yelled, looking around, thinking that possibly it was a mistake and my Panda Pal was currently running home to another house. Finally, I found her in the crowd. I started jumping and screaming trying to squeeze through to her. She yelled "I'm so excited!" and I heard my heart sing. Exactly a year ago I was in her shoes.

I ran into a mass of people holding signs with names on them. I found my name above the girl who had convinced me to choose AOII the day prior. We hugged. We took pictures. I sweated in my XL bid day jersey. On Sunday, Katie and I hugged. We took pictures. She sweated in her XL bid day jersey. The sentimental side of me was sobbing.

It's ironic how emotional I was because when I signed up for recruitment I didn't think for a second that it would be for me. I registered to appease my mom and roommate but was prepared to drop at any time. Even when I opened my bid, I was still skeptical that I would fit in at any sorority. Slowly I realized that it was the best decision I ever made *eye roll*. I know, I'm a cliché. On bid day I looked at my big and said: "can you believe it's been a year since I ran home to you?" I started thinking back to all the memories I made in my first year. I met my future bridesmaids *hardest eye roll ever*.

OK, now I'm just saying this stuff for fun. Over the past year, I just grew so much.

On bid day last year, I thought sororities were cheesy and I would never be the Elle Woods of mine. Now I see that being in a sorority is empowering and important. It makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself and prevents me from getting drowned out in the mass of people that is the University of Alabama. None of that is possible to explain to a potential new member during recruitment, so it is all realized little by little during the first months of being in a sorority. Getting to that realization is really the best part of it all.

As I sent Katie off for her new member retreat, I became so excited about her new member period. I was really like a mom dropping her kid off on the first day of school. "Are you OK for me to leave now? I'll be right upstairs if you need anything. OK make lots of friends!" were just a few of the cheesy things I said to a girl who is literally four months younger than I am. Most of the new members probably think I'm insane because I look at them all the time with a huge grin on my face, thinking about all the great changes that are going to happen to them.

They probably think I'm just being kind of weird and creepy. It's OK, in a year they'll be doing the same thing to the next pledge class. But for right now, I'll just enjoy the fact that they don't yet know that they have made the best decision of their lives. OK, that was the last cliché, I promise.