On the brink of my senior year of college, answering the question “Why Theta?” becomes even more difficult to answer than I anticipated. Simply because in the last three years, my sisters and this organization have done so much to shape me, push me, challenge me and love me, that I simply forgot that at one point in my life, I didn’t know it existed.
Why did I choose Theta? It roots back to journalism, believe it or not. I’m a newspaper nerd and have been involved in school newspapers since before I could remember. (I had even tried to write a newspaper in second grade and I was censored by the principal. True story.) A newsroom has always been my happy place, where I click and feel like I’m truly making an impact. While I was an editor on my high school paper, I grew exceptionally close with my staff. This staff was predominately female and I grew accustomed to having a group of strong, hard-working and determined friends around me all the time.
When I left for college, I was riddled with the same anxiety that every new student has and I knew that I would need that kind of support system again because it’s why I thrive on. I came to Drake as a journalism major (obviously) and I was ready to get writing for the student newspaper, The Times-Delphic, as a staff writer as soon as the semester started. But it wasn’t the same.
I was not anticipating going through formal sorority recruitment in the fall. I scoffed at it and cringed at the notion of joining a sorority. My only education about sorority and fraternity life was from movies and television, that often can perpetuate stigmas that aren’t 100% true. But the good girl friends I had made at the beginning of the term motivated me to at least try it. What harm could it do?
That one decision, to take the plunge, has been the most positive impact of my four years at Drake. I have that support system again; I have that group of spunky, intelligent, caring sisters that motivate me to be a better version of myself. They push me to improve my work ethic and get involved with both the Drake and Des Moines communities.
They were the people who challenged me to become an editor on that school newspaper and they were the people who celebrated with me when I branched out to the big leagues when I was offered an internship with the Des Moines Register. They’re the people who cut out my articles because they’re proud of me and who like my lame jokes on Twitter because they understand them. They are the women going out there and making a real difference. They’re the people I look up to and the people I want to write about. Theta is now a place I click and where I feel like I am making an impact.
If I’ve learned anything from my Drake journalism education, my experience in a collegiate women’s fraternity and simply from life, it’s that everyone has the opportunity to write their own story. Being a Drake Theta has been the character development I didn’t know I needed.
Hi! My name is Taylor and I am a sophomore at Drake and have been a proud member of Beta Kappa since the Fall of 2014.
I am currently studying abroad in London, England at the University of Westminster. It’s been the semester of a lifetime, full of new adventures and friendships.
A large part of my experience, however, has been the support from my sisters back home. Before I left, I admit, I was nervous. Actually, I was terrified. I couldn’t believe I was leaving everything comfortable in my life for five entire months. Beyond that, I was nervous to leave those close to me for that long.
My sisters were my backbone. From the moment I told them I was leaving for the semester they were encouraging and supportive. Before I left, those who had studied abroad in the past gave me words of wisdom and all the helpful tips they had gathered during their own semesters. But, most importantly, it was the loving support I got from those back home while I was away that reminded me what a Theta sisterhood is all about.
This support came in a variety of ways. It could have been a Skype date or the care package I received full of letters halfway through the semester. Often times, however, this support came in more subtle ways. It was a text message ending in “we miss you!”. It was an email to “just check in” on how I was doing. It was even the comments made on my Facebook photos that reminded me of the love coming from home.
Going abroad wasn’t easy; I was standing on the edge of my comfort zone, getting ready to jump. Being a part of Theta, however made the dive that much easier. Nothing could have truly prepared me for the semester ahead of me, but the simple knowledge that I had the largest and strongest support system back home was enough for me.