Growing up, I always yearned for a sister and the unbreakable bond that came with the title. It was not until college that I found something of the sort; but even better – I found over 200 sisters at 832 West Panhellenic Drive. Automatically, I felt connected to all of these incredible people in more ways than one. I felt accepted, appreciated and loved right from the moment that I stepped into my new home.
I came into college knowing nobody at all. Within days, I had another family. I spent every day surrounded by my sisters at meals, in and between classes, at the gym, on campus and in my dorm room. Once COVID hit, the constant togetherness was physically ripped away from all of us. I feared that our friendships would fade away, just like our ability to do everything together. Moving back home to New York, I was so nervous that I would lose touch with everyone. That, however, was not the case.
Whether it was the 50 text messages from my sisters wishing me a safe flight home, or a Zoom surprise party for Logan’s birthday, or the daily phone calls with Taylor and Daphne, I never felt alone during quarantine. During my time home, my relationships with these women grew stronger than ever before. The bonds that we shared could not tell New York from Vermont, from Boca from Gainesville. We were all so determined to keep each other in our everyday lives that our lives became even more intertwined than we could ever imagine.
When we got word that we would be able to have an in-person Bid Day in 2020, I could not wait to get back and see everybody again. I felt as excited as I did when I first ran home on my Bid Day as I did when we were all back together again. Being able to reunite with all of my sisters after such a long and difficult time reminded me, once again, why I am happy to call the little house on the corner my home.
Even though things were not normal this year due to the pandemic, it was still a top priority for me to stay connected to my sisters. AEPhi provided me with many opportunities to still see and bond with everyone amid a pandemic. Whether it was a socially distanced picnic at Depot Park, or a chapter-wide Zoom sisterhood event, I never felt like I was missing out. This year more than ever before, I needed friends to turn to. I always had so many people in my corner when I needed it. Although the past year has brought about many challenges, it has only brought me closer to my supportive and resilient sisters. I know that wherever I go in the world, whether it is home for the summer, abroad for the semester or even living in a different state post-graduate, I will always have these women right beside me. I am forever thankful and indebted to AEPhi for giving me my lifelong best friends, future bridesmaids, and my people.