Bid day can be considered a pivotal moment in any collegiate woman’s life, and I remember mine clearly. After a long recruitment week at University of Alabama, I was sitting on my bid in Bryant-Denny Stadium with a couple thousand other women all anxiously waiting to tear open our bids. With a deep breath, I closed my eyes and opened the envelope. Inside was a piece of paper that would change my life forever.
Alpha Phi. Those two words in a matter of a few seconds would become one of the most important things in my life. We all know that Greek organizations give you a home away from home, but on bid day, I didn’t realize how big of an effect it would have on my life. I came from a horrible high school experience filled with cliques, and as the new kid from Japan, it was sometimes hard to fit in. But when I pledged Alpha Phi, I was welcomed by women I barely knew with open arms. Beta Mu and my 93 new pledge sisters served as a new beginning.
From day one, I knew that pledging Alpha Phi was one of the best decisions I ever made. We immediately went on a pledge retreat, which helped us bond as sisters, and on that same retreat, I was also elected pledge class social chair. Having a title and major responsibilities from the start definitely helped foster and grow my love for Alpha Phi. It allowed me to become involved in every aspect of Alpha Phi and get to know my sisters as well.
I’ve also found that when you’re having a bad day, one of the most comforting places to go is the Alpha Phi chapter house. Whether its boy trouble, pressure from school or friend issues, one of your sisters is there to listen. Some of my older sisters should really consider getting a psychology degree because they have given me amazing advice through some difficult situations.
Also integral to my Alpha Phi experience is my godmother, Julie, who is an Alpha Phi alumna of Ohio State University (Rho). A week before recruitment started Julie showed me her pin and said if I pledged Alpha Phi, she would give it to me. Neither one of us knew which sorority I would end up in, but I still remember the look on her face when I saw her outside of the chapter house on bid day. It was probably the happiest I had ever seen her and there were tears in the corners of her eyes from pure joy. In November, she surprised me by initiating me, and right before initiation, she opened the palm of her hand revealing her pin, saying said that it was mine now. It’s an amazing feeling to know that not only is your biggest role model your godmother, she’s also one of your sisters.
They say that when you join a sorority you find your lifelong friends and bridesmaids, and I can honestly say that thanks to Alpha Phi I have found both. In just 10 months Alpha Phi has changed my life completely. There is no other way I would rather be experiencing college than as an Alpha Phi at the University of Alabama.
Cate Cullen is a collegiate member at the Beta Mu chapter (Alabama). Read her bio here.