By Emily Wind (Alpha Nu, University of Missouri)
In the spring, when I accepted the opportunity to be a chapter consultant for the 2020-21 academic year, I immediately thought of all of the exciting cities I would be able to explore. I imagined crossing state names off my travel bucket list. I had even started researching the best kind of clothing material for packing and frequent wear. Needless to say, I was ready to go out into the world!
And then…you know…plans change.
While I had been excited to get out of my Midwestern hometown and hit the road, I found that one of the more heartbreaking realities would be that I would not get to meet collegians, advisors, volunteers and the consultant team in person any time soon. Like many chapters welcoming new members they have yet to meet face-to-face, I wondered if I would be able to actually build relationships over Zoom.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Within the five weeks of virtual consultant training, I found myself part of the most amazing team of women. We Zoomed, we Snapchatted, we GroupMe-ed, we FaceTimed and we even sent good ole fashion snail mail. We are stretched across nine states, three time zones and hundreds of miles. And yet, these women have become some of my greatest friends and biggest supporters.
So here are some of the things I have done and the places I have gone with my consultant team…virtually:
- Saw all of the cool features of Holly G’s new apartment – Minnesota
- Stayed up late (definitely too late) with Natalie who never sleeps – Tennessee
- Gone on walks with Holly B and her dog, Apollo – Nevada
- Fed an unhealthy obsession about Kylie Jenner and Stormi with Avery – Iowa
- Heard the wonderful love story between Autumn and her new fiancé – Georgia
- Learned about overall wellness from Jordan (one of her passions!) – Texas
- Followed Macie through a hurricane and possibly adopting a stray cat (updates on that to come) – Louisiana
- Eaten countless meals over FaceTime with Sierra at the most un-mealtime hours you can imagine – Florida
I have not traveled in the way that I had hoped to, but I have still been able to be a part of people’s lives, nonetheless, and they a part of mine.
For any collegiate members or new members who have their own reservations about meeting your new sisters virtually – your feelings are valid. I understand and felt the same way. However, I offer my consultant experience thus far to you as a bit of proof that real sisterhood is still possible in this new normal. Oh, think of all of the places you’ll (virtually) go with them in this Bond.