By Ariana Brancato (Iota Lambda, Texas Christian University, and Gamma Zeta, Kansas State University)
It seems like yesterday that I sat in an auditorium with hundreds of women waiting to open my bid card. I’ll never forget the anxious anticipation of holding that envelope, but, most of all, the hope that I would see red and green when I opened it.
Alpha Chi Omega provided me my first sense of home throughout my freshman year at Texas Christian University. Whether it was becoming friends with my dorm-room neighbor as we walked to our new member meetings or raising $115,000 at the Real Chic Women Fashion Show, being an Alpha Chi Omega has provided me with so many exciting experiences and defined my college experience.
My friendships with my Iota Lambda sisters at TCU grew strong over my freshman year. They were the people I could count on to study with, to attend football games with and everything in between. At the end of my freshman year, I made the difficult decision to transfer to Kansas State University to pursue different major opportunities.
Despite walking onto a whole new campus, it was again Alpha Chi Omega that offered me an immediate welcome. When I entered the Gamma Zeta house for the first time, I was drawn to the large mural of the Symphony painted in our dining room. The words of the Symphony unite Alpha Chi Omegas across the world. The words that always stand out to me are, “To shed the light of love and friendship round me.” From knowing a smiling face on campus to counting on a chapter dinner each week, I was shown friendship and authenticity from my first moments in Gamma Zeta. During my initial months at K-State, I would call my friends at TCU on my way home from chapter dinners to tell them about how different, yet exciting, it was to be an Alpha Chi at a new school.
A few months after transferring and affiliating with the Gamma Zeta chapter, one of the seniors approached me and asked me if I had considered running for an executive board position. Having someone else see this potential for leadership within me encouraged me to run for an exec position, despite having only been a part of Gamma Zeta for a few months. It was also my sisters back at TCU who encouraged me and cheered me on as I decided to run. After being elected to the role of vice president membership programming, I had the chance to devote my time and energy to sisterhood. This was such a fitting position because sisterhood has been a constant throughout my entire college experience, even though I have attended two schools.
After my experience on Alpha Chi’s executive board, it was again a sister who encouraged me to run for a position on the Panhellenic Council. Getting the opportunity to work on the Panhellenic level as the director of public relations has been such a fulfilling role. I know that it is the love that has been poured into me from all of Alpha Chi Omega that has inspired me to seek the heights and reach my highest potential.