Growing up I always had a strong support system of women in terms of leadership and reliability. Doing gymnastics for nine years and all-star cheerleading for two, I was always surrounded by women who had a similar drive, passion, and schedule as me. I knew that I could always lean on a group of 30+ women for advice or just overall comfort when I was having a bad day or needed a laugh. By participating in these sports for a majority of my life, I also found a sense of leadership and accountability to be my best self for the sake of others. However, once I stepped foot onto UF’s campus, I quickly realized that the large support system of women that I was surrounded by almost every day of my life had vanished. As if moving to a new city and school without the support system of your family isn’t hard enough, being surrounded by unfamiliar faces and feeling as though everyone already knows where they’re going in life makes the transition to college that much harder. Most days I would find myself alone in my dorm focusing on schoolwork because doing well in school had always been a consistency in my life. I felt as though I was shifting into a different person, becoming more isolated and closed off from the few people that I had met at my new university. When the pandemic hit and the university shut down, I took it as a blessing and a way to reevaluate what I wanted from my college experience.
Deciding to rush as a sophomore was an easy, yet difficult decision for me. There was a level of uncertainty in the decision to participate in recruitment because the thought of immersing myself into a new group of women and becoming vulnerable to a new set of individuals frightened me. At the end of the process, running home to Alpha Delta Pi was one of the best things that could have happened to me. The women that have surrounded me in Alpha Delta Pi have become the support system that I was longing for. For me, the sisterhood that I have found within my chapter means that I have close to 300 individuals that would do as much as they could to help me be the best individual I can be, and I would do the same for them. When I chose to enter the sisterhood of Alpha Delta Pi, I knew that I would be surrounded by women who would inspire me to push myself to greater heights and expose me to new passions that I would have never deemed possible.
The women in my chapter amaze me every single day. Seeing women succeed in so many walks of life and turn their dreams into a reality whether it’s through academics, leadership, or involvement, motivates me in every way possible. Alpha Delta Pi has shown me that leadership is not benchmarked by holding a title, but the impact that an individual can leave on others is the true measure of leadership. I believe that every woman in my chapter is a leader and a role model in a sense, whether it’s being a friend, kind soul, inspiration, or mentor. Every sister that I have met when I walked in the doors of Alpha Delta Pi has had an impact on my character that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life.
The depiction of college shown in movies and TV shows depict college as the best four years of your life, but there is never a focus on the struggle that is encompassed in the shift from home life to life at college. Although my life in college is not perfect, the women and sisterhood that I have at Alpha Delta Pi makes it pretty close.