My experience at the Beta Kappa chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta has been nothing shy of life changing. From the first day of recruitment to the first pre-Initiation ceremony that took place last week, I have loved every second of my time with Theta, and I cannot wait for it to be part of my life forever.
As a sophomore, I had sort of an interesting recruitment process. I was able to arrive the first day with an idea in my head of which organization I wanted to be a part of after being at Drake for an entire year already and seeing all of the things all of the chapters accomplished. For me, there was no question that the place I believed I belonged was Kappa Alpha Theta. I will never forget the way I felt leaving recruitment events at Theta everyday. It was a feeling of home.
Since Bid Day, my love for Theta has grown by the second. From Monday night dinners, to Big Little reveal, to formal, to Bible Study, to simply grabbing coffee with a sister, there is never a dull moment, and never a moment where I question whether or not I made the right choice.
As I prepare for initiation this weekend, I cannot believe how lucky I am to have been chosen for this sisterhood. I cannot wait until I can wear my letters proudly.
I have always been someone with very definite plans for my future. Going into college, I never envisioned calling myself a “sorority girl”. All I knew about Greek Life was limited to the things I had seen on TV and my expectations about formal recruitment were solely based on these stereotypes. However, in hopes of finding a support system at Drake I took a chance and signed up for recruitment. This was when my “definite plans” of what my college experience would entail changed for the better.
From what started out as a skeptical outlook on what it meant to be a part of a sorority, my mindset had done a full 180-degree turn-around. Fraternity and Sorority Life at Drake is so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. Not only have I found an incredible support system, but I found my home away from home and the women who have pushed me to become the best version of myself while at college. My favorite thing about Kappa Alpha Theta is the fact that each of us are entirely unique but our values tie us to one another. I have relationships with my sisters that I otherwise would never have made because we don’t share the same major or participate in the same extracurricular activities, but because of Theta we were brought together.
Theta has empowered me to take risks that I otherwise would not have because of the incredible support system I have that pushes me to be better, and that I know will be there when I fail. There is no hiding the fact that sometimes being a college student is challenging, but my sisters have been there for me every step of the way. Whether it was consoling me when my grandmother passed away during finals week of my freshman year, taking the leap and deciding to go to India over J-Term, or choosing to give back to Theta by serving as President this year, my sisters have never faltered in their support.
I have learned a countless number of things from being a member of this organization, but the most important is that I am so proud to call myself a “sorority woman”. Theta encourages its members to be Leading Women, and I can honestly say that it does just that along with so many other incredible things. My college experience would not be what it has been without having each and every one of my sisters being a part of it.
Kappa Alpha Theta is an organization that I would have never dreamt of joining when I began looking at colleges while in high school. Looking at school after school had become a chore and seeing the never-ending lists of student organizations and groups that I could join upon entering college had become daunting. I wasn’t even sure of what my major was going to be, nonetheless the groups I’d be joining and the friends I’d be making through them; this task was too big for me.
But then I found Drake University. And then I found my major. And then I found my second major. I had gotten my roommate assignment and I could finally breathe. And then I couldn’t.
It was time to move-in to Stalnaker Hall, move out of my little house in Streamwood, IL, and become an adult – or so I thought. The girls and guys on my floor were amazing and we all became fast friends. We all sat in a room and talked about where we came from, what our majors were, what our ACT scores were, and what groups we wanted to join at Drake. It quickly became apparent that everyone knew exactly what he or she wanted to join and who they wanted to be; and I had forgotten to decide. So I started tagging along with my friends to information sessions for different organizations but time after time I felt like the odd one out.
All of my friends had found where they belonged at Drake, and I hadn’t. My closest friends had all decided to go through recruitment, but that was something I had never dreamt about. Me? In a sorority? Never. They were all super girly and fawning all over boys while painting their nails in all-pink outfits. One thing was for sure and that was that I did not do pink. Was there even a sorority with girls that liked dorky things like me? Who’d rather stay in and eat a million pizza rolls watching a superhero movie? But, with only one opportunity for inclusion left, I thought “Screw it, I’ll go through sorority recruitment. I mean what’s the worst that could happen?” Little did I know that the best thing would.
Kappa Alpha Theta was the first chapter that I entered during recruitment, and the only one I had thought about for the remainder of it. I talked to woman after woman and connected with every single one of them. And this isn’t some sort of “Stepford Wives” clone thing. Every single woman was different, from a journalism major who wanted to work for the NY Times, to a computer science major that geeked out at Harry Potter with me, and the two women that nonstop quoted Bridesmaids, Duck Dynasty and Pitch Perfect with me; I just knew it.
I had found the place that I belonged. I finally felt safe and at home at Theta. I felt as if I had gotten to actually be and act like myself for the first time in my entire life. I knew that my sisters would never judge me for who I was, what I did and the countless amounts of stupid things that I would say. They would order pizza and watch Harry Potter with me when I was sick on Halloween. We would play Cards Against Humanity and watch Disney movies until all hours of the morning. They would listen to me fawn over the newest superhero movie and tolerate me when I sang the Pokémon theme song during my endless Netflix binges.
Before Drake, and before Theta, I had no idea who I was, but if there was one thing I knew it was that I was not a “sorority girl.” I was scared to admit all of my quirks, hobbies and innermost thoughts in fear of judgment from those around me. But being surrounded by the most amazing sisters in the world showed me what acceptance really means; they showed me who I really was by reflecting little parts of myself in them. I am proud to be a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and I am proud to be a part of an amazing group of leading women.
I’m Emily – I’m starting my sophomore year at Drake this fall majoring in Health Sciences and Neurology. When I came to Drake last year I was completely against Fraternity and Sorority Life and all the drama that appeared to come with formal recruitment. The process sounded scary and kind of made me uncomfortable. I decided to go through recruitment anyway and when Bid Day came around, I joined everyone else is running home to meet my new sisters. Bid Day was a little overwhelming but that feeling didn’t last long. My weekends were soon filled with sisterhood events, Monday night dinners, Sunday chapter meetings, and numerous lunch dates throughout the week with my new sisters. Joining Fraternity and Sorority Life opened up a whole new crowd that allowed me to socialize with girls in different majors that I would have never met without Theta.
One of the most meaningful relationships that I have made through Theta is with my big Meghan. I got to know Meghan through several lunch dates and immediately fell in love with her. She reminded me of myself with my “killer” dance moves, awkward encounters with the male species, and love for food. Meghan has become the big sister that I’ve never had. She’s become the girl that I can go to for anything and everything; whether it’s to comfort me when I’m sick, laugh with me about my lame jokes, or be my “mom” when I’m upset with life, Meghan is always there and ready to be the sister I’ve always wanted.
Looking back and reflecting on my time so far as a member of Theta, I know that if I had never taken the chance to go through recruitment I would have never met so many of my best friends. I can’t thank myself enough for being brave and courageous by taking the first time to find my home away from home.
In high school, I spent a lot of time volunteering with my community. I led various community service groups, volunteered with the bank I worked at, and represented my community at various conferences. When I was looking at colleges, I wanted to find somewhere that I could get involved in the community just like I had been in high school. Drake was the perfect fit for me with all the opportunities for reaching out into the community the University offered.