Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Sense of Belonging

I need to get better about updating this, like seriously. But for now, it's all fun reminiscing on some of the cool things I've done here.

I think the best part, or at least a comforting part, of being the TLC for OPA chapters here is that when I really need it, I know I have sisters around -- they're bound to be doing a service project, having activation, or doing something that I can get involved with. A few weeks ago, I was on Facebook (naturally) and saw a comment on an alumni group's page about a Founder's Day celebration that the chapter at Kennesaw State was having. Naturally, I invited myself and asked if I could come. So off I went, after an afternoon in Atlanta, headed up to Kennesaw to visit a whole bunch of sisters I've never met/seen in my life. Fun!

I was getting lost around the building when I found another young woman in heels walking and asked how on earth I got into this building. She showed me the way and asked, "Are you by chance here for Founder's Day?" After a smile and a yes, we introduced ourselves and I think I very much surprised her when I said I was from a chapter far, far away. And then we entered, she floated around saying hi to folks and I went and found the host who I'd been talking to all week. I stood in line for food, awkwardly looking around to see if I knew any faces (I didn't). And then sat a table in the corner because I wasn't sure where else to butt in. And then, bless her, Thi told me to get up and go sit at a table "with people!", which prompted a few girls to turn around and tell me to come sit with them. And then it flowed from there.

Three of the founding mothers shared the story of how Alpha Zeta chapter came to be (one I'd never known, so that was cool) and a few sisters shared items they wanted to put in the chapter time capsule (neat idea). And then after bit of silence, I decided to go up and say something (for the record, Thi had asked me if I wanted to earlier in the week, I just didn't think I had anything to say). How awkward is it to go talk to 40 women you've never met? Awkward. Even for me. But I thanked them -- for celebrating their five years, for celebrating every year, for keeping their alumni involved, as I come from a chapter where it's often the work of the particular alum to stay in the loop. And, mostly importantly, after a few strange minutes, making me (the alum outsider) feel like I belonged there. It was that reminder that, as we always say and sing, our sisters are there. And I felt like they were there for me at that moment, and that I was no longer an outsider just strolling in to check out their event. What a feeling!

Thanks Alpha Zeta, for a great evening!

Everyone! The founding mothers are in front, holding a photo from their chapter installation ceremony. And then as you go up the staircase, it gets younger by pledge class. Oldies in front! (Fun fact, I'm technically the oldest of them all by year! Haha!)

All the alums in attendance. <3

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