By Molleigh McCann (Epsilon, University of Southern California)
First off, I know you have probably heard it 1,000 times by now, but I am so sorry. I’m sorry that you aren’t getting the picture-perfect ending to your collegiate experience. But what I am here to tell you is that your Alpha Chi Omega experience is far from over! Even more importantly, you should not let this semester or quarter be the only way you reflect on your years in college. I am here to tell you, class of 2020, that you are SO much more than that! I want to take a second to help you realize the incredible difference you have made and will continue to make in the Alpha Chi Omega community.
As a group, you have recruited, educated and loved on thousands of new members across the country. In each class, there was someone who looked at YOU and said, “I want to be her. I want to be on exec like her. I want to be involved like her.” You sat with that PNM on preference night who was torn about her decision and told her how Alpha Chi was ready to welcome her with open arms. And then you hugged her on bid day and completely transformed her life forever. You shaped your chapter into what it is now and will leave a mark for what it will be in the future. Pretty crazy, right?
Through my two years on the road as a traveling chapter consultant, I have had the great privilege of working with many of you as chapter leaders, executive board members or those spunky members who everyone needed to blast music during formal recruitment and get them excited for their 2487985th party of the day. You all have made me laugh, made me beam with pride, and challenged me as a consultant and as a young professional. I would be lying if I told you that life post-grad is always easy, breezy, beautiful. If any of you are like me, I tend to get very comfortable in my bubble, and having to leave that can seem very intimidating. However, if there is one thing that being an Alpha Chi Omega has taught me, it is that being a real, strong woman is something you carry with you no matter where you go.
There are exciting things happening outside of the bubble! You’ll get job interviews and find yourselves using your recruitment skills and thanking whatever VP recruitment made you do conversation circles for hours on end during polish week. You’ll meet new groups of people (and hopefully some really amazing alumnae!) who will continue to support you and push you to be the best versions of yourselves, just like your collegiate sisters did. You’ll go back for homecoming games and alumnae events and feel like an ancient old woman, but then you’ll hug your friends you’ve missed and get to brag all about your new exciting life that you are living.
No matter how far out you get from your collegiate experience, those memories you made will always be there. I encourage you to take some time reflecting on your years as a collegiate member of Alpha Chi Omega during this incredibly weird time. Stalk yourself on Instagram, watch those Snapchat memories, and let yourself smile and laugh with your sisters about all of the ups and downs that made up the last several years of your life. And when you’re ready, there is a widespread, loving community of alumnae sisters in every corner of the world that is waiting anxiously to help you in the next steps of your journey.