By Steph Stanglin (Iota Psi, Elon University)
Sara Alpert and I met in our sociology of education class in February 2012, the first day of classes after I joined Alpha Chi Omega at Elon University. She was a year older than me, but she declared her education major late, so she was on the same education track as I was. I was wearing my bid day shirt, so she called me over to her and introduced herself. We quickly became fast friends, studying together, eating food in the student center together and going on random car rides to nowhere.
A few weeks later, she became my big sister, solidifying our relationship as best friends. We did everything together, including traveling to and from Elon on breaks (we lived within a few hours of each other), being joined at the hip at every Alpha Chi event and celebrating our birthday week (hers is two days after mine). The first summer apart was one of the hardest times of our friendship, and we were so excited to see each other again in the fall.
The next two years continued like this, supporting each other through schoolwork, boy struggles, family drama and everything in between. By the time it came for her to graduate in 2014, we had become the sisters we never had, and I was devastated that we would no longer get to spend every day together. She moved back to New York to go to law school, and I started my final year at Elon. Although we didn’t get to see each other often, she surprised me for homecoming, and then I spent a weekend with her in NYC over the winter break. Sara came to my graduation, and my parents took us on a weeklong trip to Disney World as a graduation present.
The next four years we continued to live several states apart, but we stayed in frequent contact and saw each other at least once a year, making sure to always celebrate our birthday week together. In 2019, she was going through a difficult time in her life, so I decided to move to NYC to be closer to her and be there for her. Now, we just celebrated our nine-year friendiversary, and are planning to move into our first apartment together. I don’t know where I’d be without her continuous friendship, love, goofiness and support, and I know she feels the same way. She is truly my best friend and sister, and I owe it all to Alpha Chi for introducing us.