Perspectives On Big Little Reveal

Perspectives On Big Little Reveal

Every year when new members are recruited into sororities, they all go through the process of finding a Big Sister, or a “big." A Big plays many roles, including mentor, life coach, cheerleader and, most importantly, friend. The big/little system is a special way to welcome new members into the family and to provide a close-knit support group within an already amazing group of sisters. The road from bid day to big/little reveal was a long (but fun!) one, and here to relay their experiences with the entire process are Pi Beta Phi sisters Haley Velez and Jessica Patacsil.

Q: What what were you hoping to gain from the big/ little experience?

Haley:

For me I was extremely excited to get a big because my whole life I have always been the oldest and a leader of sorts, but this experience is giving me the chance to be the little sibling. This will give me a chance to get a role model in Pi Phi and someone who can show me the ropes of being a new member.

Jessica:

Having a big was appealing because it meant that I would have a guaranteed friend to help me get through the ups and downs of college life. In the few months that I have been here, I’ve learned that there’s always something new to figure out and that it’s always good to have someone there who understands what you’re going through and who can lend some wisdom. Beyond that, it would be great to have someone who I could share this experience with, someone to laugh and enjoy the good times with.

Q: What did you have to do to find your big?

Haley:

Finding a big is different process for everyone, but for most in our chapter it starts with going on “dates” with a whole bunch of initiated members looking for littles. These girls are normally sophomores who have been through the same process themselves not that long ago. I first got asked on dates by older members of the chapter the day after Bid Day. The girls of my chapter were all over my Facebook page, welcoming me into the chapter and asking me to join them for coffee or lunch. The process was a little overwhelming not knowing the people who you were on dates with, but the longer the dates went on the more comfortable I was talking with the girl. The more dates I went on made the whole process better. Overall, going on dates was fun and carefree until it came to choice of who to put on your list. In order to make this process a little bit less stressful, I asked girls on second dates.  

Jessica:

Immediately after bid day, a whole bunch of girls messaged me on Facebook asking me if I wanted to grab coffee. Although I didn’t know it at the time, they were almost all sophomores and juniors looking for a little sister. Within the next few weeks, I went on at least one “Beta buddy date” a day. These dates were usually a conversation over coffee at Starbucks or grabbing dinner together at the dining halls, and during each one I got to know one of my new sisters better. Becoming more familiar with more girls was one of my favorite parts of the whole process because it helped me feel like I had a place in the sorority, which can be daunting as a new member. It was a great experience having fun with people I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to meet and putting names and experiences to faces. Taking the time to meet people in person also made the process of making my list of top five potential big sisters.

Q: How did you narrow down your list and decide who you wanted to be your big?

Haley: Putting a list together was extremely challenging, because I had enjoyed all of the dates I went on. I knew that when writing my list I would have been happy with any of the girls. In order to get to narrow the list down I tried understand what I wanted out of the relationship with my Big. I wanted a confidant, someone who I felt comfortable talking with about anything. I also wanted a best friend, a person who could be my partner in crime and would love to explore the city with me, eat food with me, and laugh endlessly with me. The last thing I looked for in my Big was a person who cared about me and my  interests as a person along with supporting me and helping me navigate the struggles that come along with college. After evaluating all of these factors, I found five girls I was sure would possess all of these qualities. Knowing this I was confident in my choices and put in my list eager for the results.

Jessica:

Making the list was incredibly difficult because I liked everyone that I met. Regardless of what ended up happening, I think that I would have been happy with anyone as a big because everyone genuinely cares about making your sorority experience as amazing as possible. With that in mind, I decided to focus on who I could relate to the most on a personal level and who shared a lot of common interests with me. My biggest priority in selecting a big was finding someone who I would enjoy spending a lot of time with and who I would feel comfortable talking to about whatever was going on in my life at the moment. In the end, it was still difficult and I had to spend a lot of time making my decision, but keeping those objectives in mind helped me feel confident in my choice.

Q: How did the waiting game go? Did your big try to get in contact with anonymously?

Haley: I’m an impatient person, so I hate waiting. The entire week leading up to big little was excruciating for me. All I wanted to do was find out who it was. All my friends heard me talking about it all week. What made the waiting even worse was knowing that other chapters found out earlier in the week and I had to wait until Sunday. Yet, the one thing that made it better was contact. The bigs are allowed to get in contact with us anonymously by sending us emails, texts, and notes. Throughout the entire week I had been waiting to hear back from my big. I asked all my friends continuously if the had gotten anything from their big. They all had and I was still sitting there impatiently waiting. Finally, on Friday afternoon I got an email from my big. The email contained questions  asking me info about myself, but it also included memes and goofy jargon that gave me a pretty good idea of who I had, but I had to wait until Sunday to see if my suspicions were right. 

Jessica:

I actually didn’t mind waiting too much. Sure, I was super curious about who my big was, but I knew that no matter what I was going to be happy. When I finally did get an email on Friday, I felt a little more assured in the process because I had a pretty good idea of who sent the email.

Q: How did the actual big/little reveal go? What was the ceremony like?:

Haley: Before the reveal I was beyond excited. I’m not a person that handles suspense well, so I was ready for that to be over and my new adventure with my Pi Phi pham to start! Going to the location, I walked over with some other girls in my pledge class who held a mix of emotions, but for me for I was certain that I was going to happy with the outcome. When walking into the ballrooms, we went to a table and picked up a pair of fun socks of all different kinds. I picked up my fun socks at the table and went to go put them on with the rest of the new members. Everyone’s socks were unique in their own way and had a pattern uniquely picked out by our big. My socks had sharks on them which I came to find out is my phamily’s name. After we got our socks we were lined up in rows to await the reveal. Each new member would line up in front of the curtain they would stand directly behind a girl wearing the same socks as them. After that their big would pop out through the curtain and give them a great “big” hug. It was fun seeing who got matched up with who. During my reveal once I saw the socks, I had a pretty good guess of who I was going to get.When Liz came through the curtain I was so overjoyed that my guess was correct! The moment when you see your big come out of the curtain is one of pure bliss knowing this is your person and you are theirs.      

Jessica:

Even before the day of the reveal, we were all super pumped for the day to arrive. Our bigs all knew the results a few days before we did, so they would send us anonymous emails to tease us. It definitely added on to the anticipation. When the reveal finally came, we were all given funky socks and sat down in a particular order. The way the reveal process went was really cute. There was a black curtain that obscured all parts of whoever stood behind it except for their feet. When you saw a pair of feet wearing the same socks as yours, you stood before the curtain and waited for it to fall and reveal who your new big sister would be. I had a pretty good idea of who my big was beforehand because the email she sent me was nearly identical to the texts she would send me and because it was full of cat gifs, and I know that Faustina is obsessed with cats. I was incredibly happy to see that I was right when the curtain fell. The rest of the ceremony was wonderful because it was heart-warming to watch other new members’ faces as they ran to greet their own big sisters.

Q: What did you do after big/little reveal with your Big and the rest of your family?

Haley: Once I hugged Liz and calmed down a bit I had the opportunity to take whole bunch of cute pictures with my big and my new grand big, Clare. As soon as I met Clare I knew I was in the right phamily she immediately embraced me in a hug and gave me gorgeous blue flowers. After all the pictures and reveals were done my new phamily took me out to dinner at BelAir, a Mexican restaurant I had been dying to go to. At the restaurant we met my great grand big, Ashley. At dinner they showed me the ropes of the menu and I learned all about my new crazy fun-loving phamily. I was a little nervous at the beginning of dinner that I would be an outsider to this close-knit group of friends, but it was quite the opposite. They were welcoming me in with many phamily stories, a group chat, and goofy snapchats. They were eager to get know me and I was ecstatic to know that they were mine. 

Jessica:

After the ceremony, I met the rest of my family, which includes my grand big Stephanie and my great grand big, Miranda. We all took a bunch of cute pictures together. We all got dinner at Cheesecake Factory together, where we talked and got to know each other better. It was a wonderful experience because I knew from the start that they were excited to welcome me into the Pham.

Q: How do you think that having a Big will impact your college experience?

Haley: I think having a big, grand big, and a great grand big will enhance my college experience. They have already become people I want to share everything with. During midterm week, we sent nothing but fun uplifting snapchats to each other to keep each other motivated. We talked through each others problems and have even made plans to hangout. Overall, I’m overwhelmed with pure joy that I got lucky enough to have a group of girls that cares about me and loves me. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our new pham, but I know I am up for wherever life takes us.

Jessica:  I’m very grateful that I have my Phamily there to help me make the most of my days at Marquette. It’s the best feeling that there’s always going to be a group of people looking out for me. Of course, that’s one of the reason being in a sorority is great, but having the Phamily and being welcomed as one of their own enhances an already special experience. I can’t wait to get to know these amazing girls even more and watch us change and grow together.