Peter Pan once said, “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” To be honest with you all, I was never really good with saying goodbyes. Being titled the “graduating senior,” it almost seems surreal to think that in 10 weeks, I will transition from active member to alumna. It feels like every single moment within this year has gone by in seconds. Last year, I entered into a room, feeling happy, excited, fearful, and anxious. I stood and looked at all the sisters who belong to Delta Phi Epsilon, Zeta Gamma chapter, wondering if I would fit in. What if I’m not cut out?,What if I feel I don’t belong?, Is this the right decision for me?
I feel like I knew I wanted to join a sorority ever since high school. I remember checking off the little black box of clubs or organizations I might be interested in once I went off to college. But somehowI didn’t cross paths with the opportunity until my junior year. I can’t tell you what stopped me. Whether it was because of the fear, not feeling worthy enough, or just not being ready to take the jump. Until last year, I told myself last summer, I was going to go out as this was my final chance. I remember talking myself through it, day in and day out, reminding myself that even if I didn’t go through the whole process, I should be proud of myself for at least attempting recruitment. I walked into a room with doubts and fears on pref day and left knowing I had found my home. From bid day, retreat, big/little reveal, philanthropy events, Greek Week, senior sendoff, to now recruitment, there are no words to describe everything I’ve felt for this sorority. I had girls who once were strangers become sisters and lifelong friends. Though my time has come and gone in a blink of an eye, I am left with the memories that bring smiles, laughs, and happy tears that I wish I could relive just one more time. It was my sisters who picked me up from my lowest point last year, when I felt I had no one for me. It was my sisters who would ask me how my day was going, not knowing how badly I needed just someone there to listen or even just to hug. It was my sisters who I reached out to for advice, sisters who gave words of encouragement, who showered me with love when I couldn’t love myself. It was my sisters who did all this and more because they wanted to, not because they felt obligated.
Joining my sorority has given me the strength I once longed for and life values I will carry with me through my lifetime. I joined not knowing what to expect, what would come out of this sisterhood, or how it would shape me into the woman I am today. “It’s not for four years, it’s for a lifetime” means just that. College flies by faster than you can ever imagine. One minute, you’re in your freshmen dorm eating microwavable mac and cheese and figuring out what classes to take next semester, and the next, you are job searching for your degree you will have in 6 short months. No one prepares you for what happens after. So I am left thinking this: How? How do I say thank you to the girls who have given me more than I could’ve asked for? How do I handle knowing that next semester, I won’t be seeing everyone at Sunday night chapter? I am forever grateful and enamored by the endless support, dedication, and love you’ve all given to me. This chapter has given me girls I know I could call in a heartbeat, girls who have made me laugh until my stomach cramped, and girls who will be standing next to me on my wedding day and be titled “Aunt” for my future children.
Delta Phi Epsilon is bigger than just being “a sorority.” We are sisters who love, who fight, who have each other’s back, and who will be there for each other in good times and bad. Every single one of you mean the world to me. To my sisters and lifelong friends: I hope you know how special each one of you are. I hope you never stop growing and inspiring those around you. I hope you remember how proud alumna is of you all for relaying Delta Phi Epsilon’s messages all over campus and on your journey through life. I hope you carry these memories and bonds throughout your lifetime. Lastly, I hope you never forget all your sisters: Kutztown University’s past, present, and future sisters that will love and support you always, including me. Be strong, be bold, be beautiful, and be you.