When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I was going to do. I think I changed majors about five times before I even registered for classes. I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go--I knew I wanted to be near my family, but none of the schools around Seattle seemed like the right school for me. So I settled for spending my freshman year of college at a small liberal arts school about 45 minutes from my parents’ house.
I like to say that school is the polar opposite of Clemson. This school had no football team, a distinct lack of school spirit, lots of unfriendly people, and no Greek life. But it was a very typically Pacific Northwest type of school, and if you know me you know that’s basically my whole personality. No matter how much time I spent doing homework in the very indie on-campus coffee shop, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t the Perfect Fit I had been dreaming of. When it came down to it, I wanted to go to a big school with a good football team and Greek life. I knew I couldn’t get that in Washington, because the University of Washington was really hard to get into and Washington State University was six hours away. So I felt like I had to settle.
Halfway through my freshman year, my parents started seriously considering moving to Charleston. I immediately thought of transferring to Clemson. My dad got a job lined up and I applied to Clemson. It was the only school I applied to. I had all my eggs in one basket. I remember checking Clemson’s Twitter page to see that they had sent out the acceptance letters one weekend while I was home. I was not expecting to receive my acceptance letter that day. I think my neighbor has security footage of me crying in joy and relief next to my mailbox.
I registered for recruitment as soon as I could, which ended up being a couple days after I moved to Charleston. I was excited but also nervous. I’d heard horror stories about sororities in the south being super intense and super crazy and super hardcore. Greek life in Washington state isn’t very widespread--if a school has sororities, it probably doesn’t have more than two or three. So formal recruitment was quite the culture shock to me! I was hoping to meet at least one girl from Seattle or at least from the west coast. I think that’s one of the things that originally made Gamma Phi stand out to me--the recruitment decorations included a map with pins in all the cities the sisters were from, and there was a pin in Washington state.
It’s the corniest thing and I know everybody says it, but Gamma Phi really has given me a home away from home. I mean that somewhat literally--Rebecca is the first girl I made friends with and now we’re roommates. My big, Kayley, lets me hang out with her cats when I miss my own. Miranda, my twin, is the only person I trust to keep up with me on the dance floor at all the functions. It really does feel like one big sisterhood. It took me a little while, but I finally found my Perfect Fit.