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.