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Thursday, September 23, 2010

DAY 16: Sorority Alumnae Chapter Sisterhood Dinner

I began college in the fall of 1999 at Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University) in San Marcos…all alone.  I chose that path because I wanted to start a new chapter in my life fresh and meet new people.   I didn’t want to have a crutch that would keep me from branching out, plus most of my high school class went to Baylor or Texas Tech.  Baylor was way too close to home and Tech was too far…SWT was just right. I remember the day my parents dropped me off in my dorm room.  I sat in my newly decorated dorm room and cried my 18 year-old eyes out.  Then I walked outside and introduced myself to the first girl I saw, who luckily had a car.  (mine broke down the day I went to college, lucky me!)  I had already decided that I was going to go through sorority rush, but now I had a friend to do it with me! 
My pledge class in 1999
 Rush was such a nerve-wracking process and unlike anything I had ever experienced, but I ended up pledging my first choice, Zeta Tau Alpha.  I absolutely HATE it when people say that girls who pledge a sorority are “buying their friends”.  You aren’t automatically BFFs with every girl in your sorority. You naturally become closer with the girls you have most in common with, while still being a part of a bigger family.  It was a good feeling to have that support since I was away from home and my high school friends, and being a part of ZTA greatly enriched my college experience. Being a part of this sorority encouraged me to make better grades, to be more involved in charitable organizations and to become more involved in the community.  Our philanthropy was the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation so this is how I first started getting so involved with it!  Best of all... I still call many of the girls I met in Zeta my best friends! 

Zeta 2010!!  (w babies and a few other friends)
Basically I had to start all over making friends again when I moved to New York after college and after 5 years there I made some pretty great ones!  I moved to Chicago this spring, and AGAIN find myself searching for girlfriends.  I think my experience of going to college on my own then moving to NYC has given me confidence when it comes to just putting yourself out there and meeting new people, but it gets a little harder the older you get. At this age…people are settled into their lives and already have their circle of friends.  It has been one of my goals to try and find some friends here so I don't drive my boyfriend crazy always hanging out with him!  Luckily I knew one girl here in Chicago that was in my sorority collegiate chapter and she encouraged me to join the City of Chicago ZTA Alumnae Chapter.  

I joined in August and so far I must say it has been so much fun!  I realized that the "family" I found in college actually extends all over the country! I tend to be shy around new people but I decided I would put myself out there and go to as many events as I could.  I have found that these women are very similar to my friends back in Texas and New York…all very motivated, successful and smart.  They are from all over the country and very inspiring to be around!   In the group are grad students, lawyers, architects, marathon runners and one girl just got back from studying Arabic in the Middle East!   The list goes on but most importantly they were very genuine and welcoming to me.

My new ZTA friends!
Tonight we had a fun “sisterhood” dinner at a little Mexican food place called Papcito's Mexican Grille in the Lakeview neighborhood and the food was delish!  (not to be confused with Pappasito's Cantina in Texas) I would consider myself an expert when it comes to Mexican food.  At least when it comes to is my favorite food and I have eaten a ridiculous amount of it over the years!  I think this place is my favorite Mexican food in Chicago…although it was BYOB. (I was looking forward to a margarita)    

In addition to volunteering at the survivor tent at Race for the Cure this weekend, we also have  a "Think Pink" event at a Chicago Bears game in a few weeks and a book club meeting!  I have been told that I keep in touch with everyone I have ever met in my life.  Maybe so...but even at 30 I will always have room for more friends!  

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