Growing up, I was a shy kid. I mainly kept to myself and to my books. Books were my lifeline and my glimpse into different worlds. Through high school, I had the same group of friends in my honors classes and never deviated. However, when I got to college, I thought I should try to get out of my shell. To be honest, freshman year was rough. The transition between home to a city filled with strangers was more than difficult. A month into the first semester, I called my mom and told her that I was going to drop out and move back home. Confusion and dread surrounded all of my thoughts. Luckily, I had a few close friends who let me lean on their shoulder and cry in the stairwell of my dorm (more than once).
Sophomore year, I thought everything was going to be different. I thought to myself, “I’ve already done this once before so I know what I should expect.” I was wrong. Sophomore year was even harder and at the one month mark during first semester, I called my mom again. I told her about all of my frustrations with my classes and how I felt like my friends were drifting apart. She comforted me and told me that she just wanted me to be happy which resulted in me crying more. The last week of fall semester, I decided that I would rush. My friend somehow convinced me to sign up and I figured that I had nothing to lose. At this point in time, I had no idea that I would end up in a chapter full of inspiring women that truly push me to inspire the highest type of womanhood.
I entered recruitment and had no idea of how the process worked. Every school is slightly different, but recruitment is always overwhelming. Visiting 15 houses in two days and deciding which one was your favorite on a 10 minute conversation was challenging. And to be honest, on the last round of recruitment, I was left confused. I loved two houses and could see myself growing and getting along with girls in both. I remember calling all of my friends when trying to decide which house to put first and of course, the only one who picked up was my guy best friend who had no idea how to help me. With a little help from fate, I ran home to Gamma Phi Beta.
Sorority life wasn’t what I expected at all. It was a confusing blur of themed gatherings, new member meetings, and trying to balance schoolwork. If I could sum up my first semester in Greek life, I’d say it was exciting and overwhelming. Last year, I had no idea that I would meet these amazing women and become so close with all of them. During recruitment this year I was struck with a realization. Every time we would talk about our philanthropy or our sisterhood, I realized how passionate I truly was. Not only did this amplify my own feelings about our chapter, but I also realized how I had been blessed with a support system during one of the most complicated times in my life. Each woman in my chapter is so amazingly unique and different, but somehow we all manage to complement each other.
As cheesy and it may sound, Gamma Phi Beta has become my home away from home. Every time I see a girl in my chapter or even someone in the Panhellenic community, it reminds me of one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Author: Anna Ling
Author Bio: Anna Ling is a third year at The Ohio State University studying evolution, ecology, and organismal biology. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting and exploring local coffee shops.
Link to social media or website: https://www.instagram.com/amling8/