Categories
Getting Personal

Greek Pride

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Sitting in my graduate class at a small, not very Greek college, I overhear a few students talking about Greek life, and who hazes and what they went through and how their chapter at another school (my alma mater, no less) were “totally snobby.” The room got quiet, and the guy laughed it off and spoke much quieter about his opinions. Good idea, bro.

I was a sorority girl. I am proud that I was a sorority girl. The friendships I made in Alpha Phi are deeper than any I had formed before, and on any given day you’ll see my O Ring, symbolizing my Omicron chapter at the University of Missouri. So yes, I get I credibly offended when I hear others bad mouth Greek life. So let’s clear some things up:

Do sororities and fraternities haze? I don’t know. Mine did not – as new members, we were treated like princesses. But all it takes is one screw up to ruin it for the rest of us.

Didn’t you just pay for friends? Maybe. I paid for a community to belong to; for the confidence to walk around a campus of 30,000 and know I wasn’t alone. I paid to live in a mansion with 80 of my closest friends. I paid for sisterhood events, socials and homecoming decorations (that I also spent hours on). And I promise, not a dime was wasted or regretted.

Well, all you do is party. Yep, partied so hard I graduated with honors a semester early from the best journalism school in the country. Oh, wait…

Look, I’m not going to tell you to join Greek life. It’s not for everyone. But for the lucky few, it’s more than a few Greek symbols on a sweatshirt, or hours spent pomping a house dec(oration). It’s a history of tradition, community and pride.

Would you walk into the Big House talking about how Michigan is overrated? No? Then don’t speak badly about Greeks – you never know when one is down the aisle.

Categories
Getting Personal

Giving Thanks

Let me be blunt – I am not a fan of the “post something your thankful for everyday on Facebook” nonsense. I’m happy that you have a great family, friends, boyfriend, dog, etc. I do, too. But the things I’m most thankful for might not fall into your standard buckets.

I’m thankful for the teen moms who existed before the MTV show, like my birth mom, who may have had unprotected sex, but was smart enough to realize she could not handle a child and gave me up for adoption, allowing me to grow up in an amazing family with plenty of opportunity.

I’m thankful for AT&T, although they may not have the greatest cell reception or customer service, because they have given my father a job for the past 35 years, allowing him to support my mother and I.

I’m thankful for hockey. Yes, hockey. Hockey has given me something to be passionate about, it brought me and my boyfriend together (no joke, we met at a hockey tournament), and gives me something to connect with friends and family about.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society, Animal Protection Association and all other pet rescue companies. My rescue pup brings an insane amount of joy to my life, and these folks get to give people that same joy day after day.

I’m thankful for the Great Pumpkin (my Eclipse). Without it, I would be unable to go to the job I love every day, visit friends and family, and have some much needed me time with nothing but the radio.

I’m thankful for Martha Foote Crow. If this lovely lady did not decide to start Alpha Phi at Syracuse in 1872, I would not have had the opportunity to grow, lead, and meet some of the most amazing women on earth.

I’m thankful for communications. Communication is such an integral part of my life – my degree (Strategic Communications), my passion (writing), my relationships – that without it, I would not be the same individual I am today.

And yes, I’m thankful for my supportive family, my loving boyfriend, my fantastic friends, and my darling dachshund. But you already knew that. 

Categories
entertainment

Tale As Old As Time

Today marks something more special than Friday the 13th. More special then the Blake Shelton concert (which might be because I don’t have tickets), and more special than the start of the weekend. Today marks the theater release date for Beauty & The Beast in 3D.

The movie, released in November of 1991, didn’t necessarily change my life, but it did have a HUGE impact. Now, my mother felt that I was a little too young to sit still in a theater (my first big screen adventure was Aladdin. different story for a different day), however, when it came on VHS, I was hooked. I ran around my house holding a basket filled with Little Golden Books singing (or screaming) “here’s where she meets prince charming, but she won’t discover that it’s him til chapter treeeee!” Don’t judge – I didn’t understand the ‘H’ concept in words.

Beauty and the Beast also brought along a very important relationship to me – my grandma. She became just as infatuated with the characters as I did, and with a disposable income that I was missing, started to collect memorabilia. Her favorite, Mrs. Potts, filled her curio cabinet with music boxes, ceramic figures, and even a closet jewelry box with Mrs. Potts jewelry! Going to Grandma’s was the best. We’d watch the movie, then take all of the music boxes out of the cabinet and wind them up. And in that moment, I was the luckiest kid in the world.

After that magical time, my VHS found it’s way to a storage space in the basement. But I never forgot it. And once I got into college, I realized I wasn’t the only one. I can’t explain how many times we sat and watched that (along with other Disney classics) in 311 at Alpha Phi. Beauty & The Beast made every little girl feel like a princess, and taught us that good things happen to those who not only wait, but learn to love the person inside.

Sure, I’m nearly 23. I have no children to pass this movie on to, but you can bet that I will be sitting in a theater reminiscing my childhood this weekend. Because in all honesty “adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

Categories
Getting Personal

3.5 years of college broken down into 20 photos.

OK – this isn’t going to be easy. I just created a photobook on Shutterfly of my college experience (thanks Groupon!) I narrowed it down to 80ish photos on 20 pages, which probably sounds insane to some of you, and probably sounds impossible to the rest of you. So, to test my skills, I’m going to further narrow down my years at Mizzou into 20 photos. BIG BREATH…here we go.

Bid Day. I’m on the right, third over in the front row of seats. Little did I know this day would change my life – I would meet my best friends and have the greatest college experience a girl could have thanks to my beautiful Alpha Phi sisters. Sigh, it seems like this was just yesterday.

AEPi Marriage Party. This was my first Greek event and the first time I realized college is basically one huge Halloween party. Theme? Tarzan and Jane.

Barbie and Ken Party:This is by far one of my favorite pictures of college. The party was actually super dumb, but we looked so cute!

Freshman Year: Ah, my roommates. From left to right, Lacey, Julie, myself and Jordan. And yes, we put a tree in our little dorm. Also got a rabbit, but that didn’t end too well [no worries, the rabbit is fine, we just couldn’t keep him.]

Homecoming 2007: This was my first taste of pomping, house decs, staying up all night creating glittery signs. Yep – this was when I fell in love with it all. And yes, I am wearing a Hollister track jacket. Don’t judge.

Living In House: Oh 202. The second smallest room in Alpha Phi, yet somehow Kaitlyn and I shoved all of our shit into that one tiny closet, magically got bunk beds down to regular beds and even managed to have a sleepover or two.

Rush It, Love It, Alpha Phi! Oh yes, our first experience with rush. How freaking young are we? After perfecting walk outs and screaming all night, we somehow survived.

Babies! Yes, after a hell of a recruitment, we ended up with the cutest babies ever. Amanda, Grimm, Kelly and my little, Sammie. Instant besties.

Parents Weekend: It’s not like I could have done this whole college thing without these two!

PCB ’09. The origin to Sorry I’m Not Sorry. Sorry we party.

Copper Beech: Ah, the beginning of an era. This place was everything junior and senior year.

21 and Invincible: Erin’s 21st started off the greatest time of our lives – legality.  Shots for everyone!

ΛΧΑ Watermelon Fest: Hundreds of sorority girls chucking watermelons at each other – is there a better philanthropy? No.

Halloween: Need I explain? I didn’t think so.

Junior/Senior Pub Crawl: Crawlin’ til we Fallin’

Bid Day at the Columns: A total 360 from the first photo.

Tailgating: Partying harder than you since 1872.

Alpha Phi – Omicron Centenial: 100 years of Sisterhood

Formal: My last one with my great-grandbabies Kelly and Tori and my little Sammie.

Graduation: I may have just teared up a bit. Thank you Mizzou, the Journalism school and Alpha Phi for giving me everything I could want out of a college experience and so much more.