Friday, April 20, 2012

Purple, Pearls & Eight Young Girls

April 20th will always be a special day for me (no, not because of that!) as it's the Founder's Day of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma. Additionally, it's one of my little's birthdays, she was meant to be a Sigma!
Happy Birthday Laura!!
(Katie, Laura, Me & Meghan: Lovin' on all my littles during Recruitment '07)

This is always a day that makes me stop and reflect on my involvement with Tri Sigma, my memories from collegiate years, and just how much this awesome organization has impacted me. Typically this is done in the company of other sisters, but unfortunately this will be the first year since I was initiated in 2005 that I will not be spending Founder's Day celebrating with Sigmas. I had plans to go to the Columbia, SC Alumnae Chapter's dinner last week, but when I was able to take off and go home early for a wedding I had to take it. Not being with sisters today made me also think back to Founder's Days past...
2007 with Whitney (woof my hair)

2008 with the whole gang

2010 with Morgan at Theta Alpha's very first Founder's Day

2011 with alumnae at my chapter's 20th Anniverary

When I went through recruitment in September 2005 I did not know the first thing about Greek life. I wasn't 100% sure about going through recruitment, but when my best friend from home, Nina, joined Gamma Phi Beta at Clemson a few weeks earlier and loved it, I felt more comfortable with the idea. I began my journey through recruitment, and like many PNM's that I have consoled since, had my dreams crushed. For the second round I was only invited back to two chapters at my school and can remember crying on the phone when I told Nina and my mom. They encouraged me to continue and give these groups a chance.

During the next round and then preference night, I was able to really get to know the women in both of these organizations. I was surprised to find how much I loved them both and to this day can vividly remember the woman that "preffed" me in each chapter. The last night I sat down with my sheet and pencil (no fancy computer systems back then y'all!) and came to a stand still. Which one do I choose? It was one of the hardest decisions to make and I nearly "eenie-meanie-miny-moed" it. I thought about both of them for a while and made my choice, Sigma Sigma Sigma.

After my first round upset I was on pins and needles waiting to get my bid the next day. It didn't help that Hurricane Ophelia came to to the NC coast on bid day. Our Gamma Chis were calling us like crazy, bid festivities were moved up, locations were changed, everything was nuts! I ran to the student union and got my bid, excited to see my name in purple ink, I knew...I was going to be a Sigma! I ripped it open and confirmed my guess and headed out into the courtyard (which is no longer there-sad) to find my new sisters.

I mentioned I knew nothing about Greek life, and it's a good thing bid day didn't scare me away forever. Not only was it the typical chanting, screaming, crying, jumping around bid day...but it was rainy and windy from the approaching hurricane. I found the other new members, having no clue we would become best friends. My fall '05 sisters and I went through a lot our first year, and though only a few of us were still members by the time graduation came, I will never forget any of them. For those of you who know current Regional Consultant, Brittany Parrott, hope you enjoy seeing her with long blond hair...
 Out to lunch our freshman year
 Sleepover!
 Fall '05 girls at '07 recruitment
 2005 sisterhood retreat
 80's social and Smid's 21st
2006 Recruitment

It's sometimes now easy to forget about my earliest days in Tri Sigma, they seem so long ago...but it was only seven years in the grand scheme of things. I couldn't be more happy that I finished recruitment, that I selected Tri Sigma, and that they selected me. When I saw that purple ink and opened my bid card I would have never imagined how far I would go with Tri Sigma. I would have laughed if you had told me then I would be president of my chapter, and then go on to work for Tri Sigma as a Regional Consultant and assist in developing two new chapters of my beloved sorority. I would have doubled over if you told me how much I would still volunteer my time as a Regional Support Team member, sitting on a committee, and facilitating at leadership conferences.

Additionally, Tri Sigma lead me to my passion and career in student affairs and higher education. My membership was a snowball effect that lead me become involved on campus and learn how much I enjoyed helping other students. Tri Sigma had faith in me to send me around our Region 2 chapters as a consultant and assist me in confirming a career choice. This organization has helped me through grad school with providing me experiences, support, and meeting new Tri Sigmas everyday that are in this field as well.

I could not imagine my life, or college at that, without Tri Sigma as a part of it. I am so thankful for the hundreds of sisters I've been able to meet all over the country, of all ages, from all different chapters, and each one has individually shaped my experience. I find it funny in a way because just as I would have never imagined how far Tri Sigma would take me, I'm sure our Founders had no clue just how far and wide Tri Sigma would grow into the organization it is today. 

So here's to them on this Friday, April 20th, 2012. To Sallie Mitchie, Margaret Batten, Martha Trent Featherston, Isabella Merrick, Leila Scott, Lucy Wright and Elizabeth Watkins. Thank you for having the courage to start your journey, which in turn provided me with mine!

3 comments:

Meghan @ Shine On said...

I just love this post!! Happy Founders' Day to you and your sisters!

xox,
Your Panhellenic sister,
Meghan

Lee Integlia said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and your memories on becoming a Tri Sigma. This fall I will be celebrating 20 years of membership and it is so fun to reflect on those days at UNCW. Happy Founders' Day and even though you will not be celebrating with other Sigmas, you have been able to share your wonderful memories on your blog for everyone to enjoy.

In Our Bonds,
Lee Integlia

Lee Integlia said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and your memories on becoming a Tri Sigma. This fall I will be celebrating 20 years of membership and it is so fun to reflect on those days at UNCW. Happy Founders' Day and even though you will not be celebrating with other Sigmas, you have been able to share your wonderful memories on your blog for everyone to enjoy.

In Our Bonds,
Lee Integlia