Moving 12 hours away from my family, leaving all my friends behind, going to a school where I didn’t know a single soul, about to begin a recruitment process that I knew absolutely nothing about, it was scary, to say the least. But it was also exhilarating and new too. And I was so excited to see what was in store for me.
I had no clue what to expect from recruitment. I didn’t know if it was going to be small interviews, presentations, or something else. So of course I felt scared and unprepared when I walked into Littlejohn Coliseum that first day. No one knew me and I knew nobody. I could choose to be anybody I wanted to be, and I decided to just be unapologetically me. I reminded myself of every time I stepped into a new room, meeting new women from different sororities. The fear that was weighing me down started to lighten and I began to have fun.
Gamma Phi was not the first sorority I had met, and I’m actually thankful for that because, as the long day wore on, I got more comfortable with showing off who I was. So when I walked into that Gamma Phi room, and the woman, who would later become my Big, scooped my arm, I felt at home. And yes that sounds so cliche, but there’s really no other way I could describe it. I felt like this is the place where I could walk around with no makeup, in a baggy t-shirt, and still feel loved. Jayme was the first woman I talked to, and we discovered that we’re both from Pennsylvania and bonded over the fact that Wawa is way better than Sheetz. The next round, I met Liv, who was surprisingly from my small hometown. I had known Liv for all of 2 minutes and I felt so comfortable talking to her about how scared I was leaving home. Gamma Phi made me feel like, not only could I find my place at Clemson, I could find my home.
It’s been almost two years since those conversations and I can still say that I am beyond grateful that I chose Gamma Phi. In that time, I’ve made friends whose homes are far away like mine and friends whose families live just around the corner. I’ve made friends whose parents took me in for tailgates and dinners when I needed family time the most. I’ve made friends who go on adventures with me and know how to make me laugh when I’m feeling homesick. I’ve made friends who I can’t live without so decided I need them as my roommates. I’ve made friends who push me to be my very best, as a Clemson student and as a person. I’ve made friends who are my family. And I have Gamma Phi to thank for that.