joined Gamma Phi as a freshman at University of South Florida in Tampa, and if we’re being honest here, it took me a second to feel all in. But soon enough, I met women who became my best friends and pushed me to lead with self-confidence. And those same women supported me when I decided to transfer to Clemson after my sophomore year.
Clemson had always seemed like the right school for me, but I went to USF because my friends went there, making it the comfortable choice. It all works out though, because my USF Gamma Phi experience made me sure that I wanted to join Clemson’s chapter when I got here. And girl, I am so glad that I did.
On my first day at Clemson, I was meeting the Chapter President at the recruitment retreat as we were about to start some activity. She glanced up and goes, “Oh, Jessie and Lindsay. They’re cool.” She sat me down next to them, and wouldn’t you know it… they became my best friends at Clemson. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever clicked and laughed so easily with someone after knowing them for 10 minutes. Day 1 in Clemson Gamma Phi brought me two of my favorite people, my go-to’s, and the first ones to sleep on the pull-out couch in my apartment.
During that first week as a new addition to this chapter, I felt nothing but love and acceptance from this group of women, and that hasn’t changed. Gamma Phi made me feel at home in Clemson faster than I ever imagined and gave me sources of comfort and encouragement, even after moving hundreds of miles. So yeah, there’s something in these hills… and there’s also something in GPhi.
Written by: Sussie Danahy, PC ‘16, Class of 2020
The only thing better than getting to go abroad, is getting to go abroad with your sisters. This past spring semester, I spent four months living on the Gold Coast of Australia with two girls from my pledge class, Abby and Loryn. Moving across the world seems a little daunting, but taking a little piece of Clemson and Gamma Phi with me made the transition so much easier. There was comfort in knowing that no matter where my adventure would take me, I had two friends with me, supporting and encouraging me no matter what.
Every day was an adventure with them. We spent countless hours laying on the beaches, shopping, studying, and just spending quality time together. There were late night laughs, rants, and exam cram sessions. There were jam sessions and screaming old Taylor Swift songs together. There were spontaneous trips to the zoo and days where we would just set off and explore. Every night, the three of us would gather on the couch to watch Australian reality shows together. We explored Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, and Thailand, and shared in so many new experiences like skydiving and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s these little moments with my sisters that I know will stick with me forever.
Studying abroad with Abby and Loryn was such a testament as to why I love Gamma Phi. Our sisterhood is so strong and our love and support for one another is real. We shared so many laughs and good times, and I can’t even begin to thank these girls enough for our time together. Abroad, there were so many firsts and opportunities to grow, and I am so grateful for the sisters standing by my side every step of the way. I will miss waking up every day and seeing their beautiful faces, but I know these are memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Written By: Rachel Zurcher, PC: Fall '17
My first experience with Girls on the Run was when I was a GOTR girl in 3rd grade. To me, this was an afterschool club that me and my friends would meet at to spend more time together outside of the classroom. But looking back Girls on the Run was so much more. It is where I learned that I am strong, capable, and able to create meaningful relationships with others. Fast forward 11 years and I am now a coach teaching other girls that they can be all of those things and more.
Girls on the Run is a after school program for girls in 3rdthrough 5thgrade. Girls in the program participate in learning activities that help them to build their confidence and teaches them practical life skills, as well as participating in running activities to prepare them for a end of the year 5k. This organization is so important as it is teaching girls that they can do anything they set their mind to. These girls will grow up to be important figures in society, and with these lessons I truly believe we are setting them up to be strong confident leaders.
I owe a lot of who I am today to Girls on the Run and the lessons I learned there. As someone who both participated as a girl and coached 2 of her own teams, I can say that Girls on the Run is an important philanthropy that is worth the time and money, it is a philanthropy that prides itself on its service to others, and is a philanthropy that is dedicated to building strong girls to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Written By: Ashlyn Houston, PC: Fall '17
I swear I just started my freshman year. But nope, I graduated just a few days ago from the best university in the world. I have no idea how the time went by so fast and now I am sitting here reflecting on everything that has happened to me, the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Being a part of a sorority really helped shape my college career and my experience would not have been the same without Gamma Phi. Coming to Clemson from out of state seemed like a big feat for me, but after a month into my freshman year, I was so comfortable and it felt like home. Part of what made my transition so easy was joining Greek Life. I know it sounds super cliché and all but it’s true! It really did give me a smaller group of people to connect with and I started to form lasting friendships. I served as the New Member Educator (NME) for the spring and fall pledge classes of 2017 and it was the best thing I could’ve done. Being NME brought me closer to the history and tradition of Gamma Phi Beta and it also helped me connect with the current sisters in Epsilon Theta at a deeper level. With a background in camp counseling and a Psychology major, I was really in my sweet spot with NME. The relationships I made with the new girls that year are ones I have kept, and will keep, for a long time after college.
But Greek Life is not the only thing that describes my college life. Especially as an underclassman, I was always involved on campus and participated in lots of events and clubs. I joined the Pencils of Promise club as a founding member during my freshman year, and then became Marketing President my sophomore and junior year. Eventually, I moved up to Club President for the last half of junior year and into my senior year. I also attended every home football game for 4 straight years, played on the Club Field Hockey team with some of my Gamma Phi sisters, joined the Clemson SHRM chapter, studied abroad in Australia, and participated in countless volunteering and philanthropy events. Needless to say, sorority life did not limit me from doing all the things I wanted to do while in college. And now that I am graduating and moving on, I am grateful for all the different experiences and knowledge I have gained from college and from the enrichment Gamma Phi gave me. I made my best friends in Gamma Phi and know that I can count on these women to be there for me for life.
Written by: AnnaWade Strawsburg, PC '15
Senior, Class of 2019
Hey y’all! My name is Abby Wilson and I am the President of Gamma Phi Beta here at Clemson for the 2019 calendar year, welcome to our blog! Ever since I joined Gamma Phi three years ago, it has been a place of comfortability, familiarity, and friendship. One of my favorite parts of Gamma Phi is that I am always making new connections and new friends within our chapter. Even before becoming President, I was never scared or intimidated to reach out to anyone in the chapter. When I had class with a sister I didn't really know, it was so natural to sit by her when I didn’t know anyone else. This sorority has made Clemson’s campus feel so much smaller in the best way possible. I never walk across library bridge without saying hi to a sister and that is not an exaggeration!
It amazes me how quickly friends have turned to family within this wonderful organization. In my opinion, a sisterhood is so much more than chapter meetings, philanthropy events, and social functions. It’s getting a ride from a sister to the airport, it’s having a sister bring you a muffin on your birthday, it’s crying with your sister because sometimes college is hard. It’s spring breaks and roommates and calling your sister an Uber when she needs a ride home. You should be doing these things for all of your friends, but this type of loyalty and respect is held to a higher standard when it’s for your sisters.
I can honestly say that the Abby that ran down the hill on Bid Day is not the same Abby that sits here writing this post right now and that is in part due to Gamma Phi Beta. I have been able to form wholesome friendships, become a better leader, and grow into a stronger woman because of Gamma Phi. My sisters have pushed me to get better grades, make better decisions and even run for President of this amazing organization. I am forever grateful for Gamma Phi Beta and all it has given me. Enjoy the blog and I hope it gives you a little insight into how genuine our sisterhood really is!
Each blog post is written by a different sister to help showcase all of the diverse reasons why we love Gamma Phi.