When I accepted my bid to Alpha Phi, an older member promised that I made one of the best decisions in my life. I never had a doubt about the decision, but it did take me seven years to realize the complexity of what Alpha Phi on a bid card would mean for me and I am willing to bet I have more aspiring moments to look forward to.
I have been working for the same company since my college graduation. When hired, my company’s policy was that new hires could not work where they were familiar (no hometown, no college town), and because the complexity of the business and rapid changes, it was common that a new manager would only know where they were headed to work a few weeks before their scheduled start date.
Sound scary? How did that work out for me? Well…
It was amazing!
Each time I relocated, I did not have a plan, I was in an unfamiliar city where I had never been before, and most importantly I did not have friends or family waiting to greet me and help me, but I did have Alpha Phi.
With each new city, it only took a few clicks online to find the closest alumnae chapter and just like that (click, click, click) I had a girls’ night out, I had a recommended hair stylist and honest real estate advice. Six years, three relocations, three different regions of the United States, two condos and many, many moving vans, packing crews and apartments later, I realize that home is wherever I am.
Over dinner with some colleagues, I discussed the journey we had been on since college, a whirlwind of a journey. When it was my turn to vent, I realized I had absolutely nothing to actually vent about. At that moment I realized that joining Alpha Phi truly was one of the best and significant decisions I have made. As important as my chapter sisters were to molding my collegiate experience, Alpha Phi on a grander scale is just as important to molding my entire life experience. Alpha Phi is the link to a new city being my home, friends right around the corner, and far less things to worry about in an unfamiliar city. Alpha Phi was yielding a completely different experience for me than my non-Greek peers.
In the end, no matter where I go, I am an Alpha Phi; no matter how much I give back, my sisters across the country will give me more than I could ever repay. Back then it was two words on a piece of stock card, and now a few clicks on the Alpha Phi website are the keys to my success in a new city, the next job or my next step in life.
So log onto to www.alphaphi.org to get reconnected, your sisters are waiting to hear from you.
Jennifer Hernandez (Iota Beta-St. Mary's) currently resides in Bay Harbor Islands, FL.