Recruitment is a fun time for everyone in a sorority and a potential new member… if approached with the right attitude. There are times when you are running on no sleep, but still have to cheer as loud as you can and talk with strangers and try to see if they would make a good fit for your chapter. It is exhausting trying to flirt with girls all day and make conversation with them. This is true on both ends. However, as a senior graduating in December, I do not have to participate in recruitment this year. “Have to” is a liberal term, they won’t let me because I will be an alumna. While it has been a blessing to not have to go to all of the meetings and practices, I will miss recruitment. Yikes. I said it. But it’s true- it’s actually really fun. You remember why you fell in love with your chapter in the first place, and the behind the scenes moments are when you really get to bond with your sisters.
This all leads to my point- I will miss 3 party. It’s the last round of recruitment, and historically it is where the seniors of the chapter read a speech. This speech makes everyone cry. Oftentimes the potential new members don’t “get” it, and sit there awkwardly, but sometimes they feel the feels. Last year during recruitment, I was the co-chair of this party and loved every second of it. However, when I made the decision last spring to graduate in December, I had the horrifying realization that I would not be able to read my senior speech during recruitment. This made me so upset, it’s hard to explain. I had been looking forward to this since I sat in the chair as a PNM as a freshman. But alas, my lovely chapter president gave me the opportunity to read my senior speech at our final chapter this Sunday. Because I did not have to tailor it towards freshman, it means a little more to me, and to my best friends in my chapter.
All of this leads up to this: Here is my senior speech. Enjoy.
I am not your typical sorority girl. I prefer Chaco’s to Sperry’s, acoustic music to pop, and tea to Starbucks any day, and I just bought my first Victoria’s Secret bra… yesterday. I went through recruitment as a freshman because I was scared. I had yet to make any true friends in college, and my roommate was a terror. My older sister told me to go through recruitment, just in case I found somewhere that I belonged. Well somewhere along the way, someone saw something in me. The reason I chose Alpha Gamma Delta? The woman who would become my mom in the house looked me in the eye at 3 party and told me, “You have a beautiful soul.” And in that moment, I felt pure happiness.
As I’ve gone through college, I seem to always be pursuing happiness, as I’m sure most of you would agree. Many late night chats on the futon with Cappy and Jackie led me to this conclusion. Life isn’t about being “happy;” life is about recognizing the moments in which you are truly experiencing bliss that will bring about a sense of happiness. So I thought I would share some of these moments with you. While these are my memories, I challenge you to think of yours as I give mine.
Recruitment, two years ago. During my first 3 party, I sat with a beautiful woman who sits among you today. I don’t know how we got there, but we were both crying and all I wanted to do was hug you, Julia, and let you know that everything would be okay. Flash forward, to recruitment last year. Those of you who’ve been through it know, tensions run high, especially when there is a pizzapocalypse. However, the morning of 3 party, Julia came up to me, and said, “I am so thankful for you. Without you, I wouldn’t be in this house.” That was just what I needed to finish out recruitment, and in that moment, I was happy.
Mom’s Night, when I became a mother. Because I had a Greek mom who kind of bailed on me, I had vowed to be the best mom out there. And while I didn’t quite live up to that title, I still love you to the moon. From the minute you unwrapped me in that really weird wrapping paper, I have loved you. You’ve let me know that there is a big world out there. You held me close when my world around me was crumbling. You taught me how to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart, and we put em together with some band aids. I wanted to be the one that inspired you and teach you things, but it ended up being the other way around. It’s hard to pick just one moment of happiness, but I think I picked a good one. The night you climbed into that washing machine with me at Lambda not only started a tradition, but cemented our friendship, most beautiful Emilie. In that moment, I was happy.
This next moment ties in two things I love- traveling and being weird. By the time spring break rolled around last year, I knew it was going to be my last. So, pretty last minute, I traveled with my best friends to Los Angeles. I will always remember climbing up to the top of a mountain in the Santa Monica mountain range, and actually feeling on top of the world, as me and Cappy sang that song to anyone who would listen and to all of our snapchat friends. In that moment, I was happy. Cappy, you’re always down for an adventure. Thanks for being one of the only people at my 21st birthday, and for hanging out with my family. Thanks to you and probably Tate, my knowledge of Disney movies has skyrocketed. Thanks for carpooling to go shack together, and for always taking pictures that make me look flawless.
This year, on Halloween. Jenna and I dressed up as DW and Arthur, and proceeded to go to Delta Chi to make pumpkin seeds with Sarah. Explaining our costume to dumb people was hilarious. We posed in the correct way suited to our characters that also matched our personalities. In that moment, I was happy. Without you this semester, I would have most definitely gone crazy. You bring a sense of calm and insight, even when you pop a tire trying to back out of a driveway. You are also braver than anyone.
A random day last spring. We jumped into your car, Jackie, and sped off on highway 45, through the woods, with the music turned up all the way to Ben Howard, and the wind whipping through our hair, not giving a damn. We ended up at Yellowwood and you taught me the correct way to skip a stone. We snuck behind the fence so we could sit on the edge, and it was here I discovered that we had the same issues. Our life chat while picking grass was so much more than just a vent session. In that moment, I was happy. There is no possible way to thank you for all that you’ve given me. You’ve taught me how to enjoy life where I am at, and truly feel freedom. I secretly hope to steal your entire closet, and record collection, because you’ve got great taste. And, I don’t know how I’m ever really going to sleep without cuddling next to you in the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.
It would be utterly impossible to tell you all of the moments in which I have been happy as a result of the people of this chapter. We all have our individual moments of bliss, and I challenge you to find these moments in everyday things. Maybe it’s Peyton reading the Odyssey out loud on Wednesdays at breakfast. Maybe it’s snuggling on the futon watching Stand By Me with your best friends. Or maybe it’s the sticky note on the mirror telling you that you are loved. If you don’t know, I am graduating in two weeks, and then in the spring I am traveling around Europe for four months, by myself. My family back home doesn’t support me, but my family here does. I have never been more encouraged to follow my dreams and pursue the adventure than I have living here. I think I extend beyond the cliché of “Alpha Gamma Delta helps you become the better version of yourself.” I didn’t ever think of myself in these terms when I entered this sisterhood. I’ve been challenged beyond my limits. I’ve been put together when I had fallen apart. And I’ve been encouraged to do things that I was maybe only joking about doing. I entered this chapter being scared and I leave scared, but for different reasons. I am scared of losing this family that I’ve created for myself, and being forgotten, and potentially not having a plan after this summer if grad school doesn’t work out. But with all of these fears, I know that this love extends beyond the walls of 1314 North Jordan. It’s in my heart and my memories, and those will never be removed, no matter how far away I am. I love you all too deeply to share, and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of recruitment.