I just had the best surprise! Yesterday afternoon, a sorority sister from college e-mailed me saying she was going to be stuck in Charlotte for the night due to flight snafus. “Can I crash with you?” So late last night, I picked up Denise at the airport and we went and grabbed a few beers, listened to music and caught up on everything that’s been happening since I saw her last summer. We might have only had nine hours, but it was an awesome visit. It ended with late night flipping through old photo albums and laughing hysterically.
And just like every time we get together, Denise said, “K, we’re so lucky, you know that? We’ve really got the best friends. It doesn’t matter how long passes – it’s like we never left. I know that no matter what, you girls will always be there for me.”
I love that about us. I love that we know that about each other. And I love that we’re not afraid to say it. And it’s all because of ZTA.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have picked the right college for me. Nearly fifteen years later, there are not many places that I love more than Washington College or Chestertown, Maryland.
The thing about WC was that it was small. When I started, the total enrollment was somewhere around 850. FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL. By the time I graduated, it was up to a little over 1,100. Even at that size, it was still smaller than a lot of high schools. Some people would have suffocated in that environment, but it was perfect for me.
Like many other schools, we had sororities and fraternities on campus. Just a handful of each. And because the school was so small, it didn’t have Greek “houses,” but there was preferential housing on certain areas of campus. Basically, what that meant was that a fraternity might have most of the rooms in one dorm, but they were required to leave a certain number of rooms open for freshman, transfers and non-fraternity members. Each of the three sororities had a “hall” in one dormitory.
My freshman year, I was placed on the ZTA hall.
From the very moment I met some of the girls, I knew they were going to be my friends. But I never imagined I would join a sorority. I was not the sorority joining type of person.
Unlike other schools, WC had deferred rush. That meant that freshmen couldn’t rush their first semester of school. Kind of a wise decision, if you ask me. You’re so overwhelmed by being in college, you’re not ready to make those kinds of decisions. Plus, deferring rush for a semester meant you had time to get to know the organizations.
By the time spring semester rolled around, I wanted nothing more than to be in ZTA.
Now, I know what some people think of fraternities and sororities. But for me, it was never a popularity contest. It was never about “paying for my friends.” I wanted to be part of what the girls I had come to call my friends over the past five months shared. I adored them – they were kind, intelligent, fun and hilarious – and each of them was their own person. No “group think” mentality – the girls I met that fall changed my mind forever about sororities.
Luckily, the girls felt the same way about me and extended a bid to me that spring. I was initiated a few months later.
Of course, ZTA means something different to me now than it did in the Spring of ’93 when I accepted that bid card. Now, the Creed is something that I understand and believe in.
As with all friends, you lose touch with some of your sisters. But there are a group of us that have stayed really close. They are friendships like no other; there’s something about those bonds you have with people that were there as you figured out who you are going to be. ZTA and my sisters were such a huge part of that for me. I love all of them unconditionally for that, for the women they are, for the way we accept each other for our gifts and our flaws, support one another no matter what our decisions, and for always knowing how and when to be there for the others – almost intuitively.
Love you, ladies. I am so lucky to have you in my life.