For those of you who know some of my story, you probably know that I called Plano, Texas home until I was a sophomore in high school. My parents and I moved to a small suburb of Chicago for my dad’s job when I was 15, so when I chose to go to OU, I was coming from a world that was very different and very much removed from the Texas and Oklahoma life. By the grace of God, I had cheered at Shepton High School in Plano the year before I moved, and met sweet Peyton Seidel who ended up altering my entire college experience by pushing for me to be a Theta as an incoming freshman eight years ago (spoiler alert – she also became my BIG!). I knew of Hunter Brothers through K-Colorado/Kivu, and with the power those two held (and again, by the literal grace of God), I ended up on the lawn of the big white house that August day in 2011 and never looked back.
I didn’t have a really strong community in high school. My best friends were my Kanakuk friends, and they held me together all the way from Tulsa, Cleburne, Wichita, and beyond. In those three years that I lived in Lake Forest, I simply wanted to make it to graduation. I didn’t help myself by proudly declaring my Texas pride, but I was ready to get as close to home as possible, as soon as possible. My prayer was for community and the Lord knew exactly what I needed and who I needed. He so lovingly placed me in Norman, OK, in the Theta house, with some of the most faithful and thoughtful friends who grew to know and love my heart. His sovereignty…wow!!!
My Theta sisters patiently walked with me through my long-term on-and-off relationship and the many subsequent heartbreaks and breakdowns that followed. They ran beside me at my first half marathon. They pushed me when I needed to be pushed – to be a better friend, a better student, a better daughter of Christ. They were next to me at Summit Church, praying over me weekly. They were some of my first models and clients, supporting and encouraging me in the pursuit of growing my business. They were there at Seven Forty Seven, O’Connell’s karaoke nights, and dancing next to me like crazies at Logie’s. They were my game-day girls, my go-to’s when I didn’t want to wear a single thing in my closet, and my tornado shelter buddies. My best friends were and still are my Theta sisters. As cheesy and dorky as it sounds, we share a bond that can’t be broken. The girls you meet and experience college with are the girls who will know you at your lowest point, your highest point, and live all of the in-betweens with you. That’s not something that can be taken away.
I could go on and on about all that these friends have meant to me, but I know there are about 1,000 girls who will receive their bids today that are about to experience it for themselves. My advice is advice that I am still learning and taking for myself now – it is advice I wish I would have held more closely and actually taken eight years ago when I pledged Theta:
Be a good friend. Be thoughtful and inquisitive. Take the time to get to know the girls you’ve joined a sisterhood with and make the effort. Love sacrificially and without expectation. Make the small victories a big deal. Celebrate each other well. Be slow to make assumptions, be open, and make everybody feel like a somebody. It’s easy to make it all about you – be the friend who makes it about their friends.
Looking back on my four years of recruitment, first as a PNM, then as a Theta, and my last two years as a Theta/Rho Gamma, I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything. I remember exactly how I felt each one of these bid days, and I’m beyond grateful to have shared them with girls who I love and adore still today.
FRESHMAN YEAR:The sweetest photos to me – hugging Peyton with Hunter looking on in the background + my sister saving the day and standing in as mom since my parents were all the way in Lake Forest for my first Bid Day!SOPHOMORE YEAR: RIP black & gold! ^
JUNIOR YEAR:My first Rho Gamma year – Walker 7 FOREVER!When your favorite hall girl from being a Rho Gamma becomes your sister, your kite, and your best friend on the same day. (And later, your G!) Momma finally made it!
There was a lot of pain underneath that smile of mine senior year. Just want to point that out because I was about to walk through the toughest year of my life and still made it seem like everything was fine and dandy. Just a reminder that these are highlights.
KIPMIF. KITKAT. TLAM. Thought Theta, Thought Right. Bless you OU and BLESS YOU KAPPA ALPHA THETA!!!!!
Take a look at some of my most recent seniors who share the Theta sisterhood with me! –