Sunday, April 27, 2014

A letter to my future little: A reflection on my first semester in a sorority


To my future little,

I hope this finds you well. I know we don't know each other yet, and we're not going to meet each other for quite some time, but there are some things I think you ought to know and things I want to tell you before you embark on your adventure as a member of Gamma Phi.


You're a lucky duck. And if you think you know that already, believe me when I say you don't. You have no idea how wonderful the organization and family you're about to join are and how much they will impact your life. I'm about to end my first semester as part of this huge, crazy, diverse, and beautiful family of women, and I can already tell you that the girls of Gamma Phi have changed the way I view myself, other women, and the world.

While I'm sure all the sorority girls at Emory are lovely, I (admittedly with great bias) think you should be aware how awesome the girls of Gamma Phi are. Some of them are talented athletes, lots of them are great performers, all of them are great students, and every single one of them is a kind and loving sister. I don't know all of your future sisters well yet, but every girl I have met in Gamma Phi has made me feel welcome, happy, and accepted. I don't think there's a greater gift than that. If home is the place where you can be yourself, whether that's in a party dress or sweatpants, when you're studying or crafting (people actually take that very seriously here...), or whether you're tall, short, a jock, a writer, preppy, or just plain dorky, then Gamma Phi is the safest home you'll find at Emory. They'll love you because you're here, and because we're here together, so that means we are here for each other. We will be here for you no matter what.

Need someone to talk to about your love life which is probably not as complicated as you make it out to be? There's a Gamma Phi for that. Need someone to watch a Lord of the Rings marathon with (extended edition, obvi)? There's a Gamma Phi for that too. And for snuggles, and study snacking, and late night dining at the DUC, and for taking notes when you miss class, sharing textbooks, sharing life secrets, and sharing everything.

Nevertheless, as your future big, I feel obligated to tell you that not all of it comes effortlessly. You don't get to just sit around and wait for people to shower you with love. Here at Gamma Phi, we've got this friendship thing down, and as every good friendship proves, you have to give the love you want to receive. You're going to have to wake up at six in the morning to pass out water at our philanthropy 5k, and you're going to lose your voice with your sisters while you're there. Sometimes you're going to have to go through really tough times with your sisters, and deal with losses, rejections, stresses, and failures.

But what my first semester at Gamma Phi taught me was that for every second of love and effort you give to your new sisters, you will receive ten times that in return. You will receive it in the form of compassion, inside jokes, brunches with your big (shout-out to your Grandbig for setting the bar WAY too high for what it takes to be the most perfect big ever), horrible memories, wonderful memories, and more love than you can imagine.

So future little, I guess what I really want to say to you, though I don't know you yet, is that I promise to love you with all of my heart, to the moon and back, and whatever other hyperboles could ever come close to describing how much I will care for you. I will love you no matter who you are and no matter what you look like because you deserve it. You deserve it because no matter who you are or where you come from, sometimes life is hard, and sometimes you're not going to be sure of yourself or of how much love you really deserve.

But I promise to teach you the most valuable thing that being a Gamma Phi has taught me: you don't just deserve love, you deserve the unconditional, unquestionable, unbreakable love of a family that will welcome you as nothing less than exactly what you are and what you aspire to be. I promise to do that for you because that is what these girls have done for me.

Welcome to the fam-bam. I promise you're in good company.

I can't wait to meet you,
Your future big//a really grateful and enthusiastic Gamma Phi

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