I remember clear as day walking over to retrieve my bid envelope and ever so carefully pulling the card out just enough so I could glimpse the colors on the border. Yellow and Black. I swear on my life, I practically accosted my Rho Gam in joy. It felt different for me because I truly thought at the time my bid was going to go either way. I had spent what seemed like hours the night before debating whether or not to just put down Theta, knowing the chance I might not get anything at all. I didn't take that risk. At the end of the day, I told myself, I wanted to be Greek. The truth was that at the end of the day, I wanted to be Theta.
It's strange, looking back on my Bid Day now. I had absolutely no idea how that yellow and black border was going to change my life, what it was going to mean to me five years down the road. Yes, there were days, especially when I was neck deep in Ad Team and senioritis, that Theta was not the top priority on my list. But my affection, love, and gratitude for Theta never strayed. That same affection, love, and gratitude has never been more blindingly clear than in the past two days.
What I have seen over the course of this unimaginable situation is the complete and total unity of a community and a sisterhood. A sisterhood whose love for each other grew in strength to such Hulk-like proportions, it spread not just across Greek circle in Lubbock, but across every Greek circle in Texas, in the United States and across the entire campus of Texas Tech. People said it gave them faith in humanity, especially considering how easily the circumstances could cause one to lose faith entirely. They were right. And Megan and I could not be prouder to call ourselves a Gamma Phi Kappa Alpha Theta.
Right now, I know my closest friends and sisters are all together at the Theta lodge and they're hurting. The rest of us, scattered through out Texas, the states, and abroad are hurting with them, trying to understand, but so incredibly proud of what they have done. I'm sure I'm not the only one taking a few moments today to reflect on just what Theta meant to me and gave to me during my time in college.
Only a few months ago, when I sat in the chair for my Theta Senior Say in front of the entire chapter, I shared a list I had written of all the things that I believed Theta Sisterhood meant to me. It was a thrill as usual to make my friends laugh and get such a great response--especially from those, like May, who I never got the chance to know. In the wake of the events of this week, I wanted to re-share this list with everyone as a tribute to May, her family, and the incredible organization that was with her until the very end. It's my hope that it might remind you of your amazing friendship with her and her amazing friendship with you.
Theta sisterhood means…
-Being completely embraced, and tolerated for exactly who you are—no matter how much of an obnoxious freak you can be.
-It means meeting a stranger on Facebook months before arriving at Tech, living in the same dorm, rushing in the same group, getting a bid from the same sorority, and leaving college as roommates and best friends.
-It means spending a whole evening fending off live families of mice in the dorm room with broomsticks and peanut butter.
-It means pretending to be completely fine when a Theta sister beats you at Disney Scene-it.
-It means blindfolding a Theta sister on her birthday to hit a piñata and leading her to the wrong tree and watching her swing at nothing….and video taping the whole thing.
-It means Friday AND Saturday nights staying in marathoning Disney movies with bottle of Moscato and discussing at length how on earth mermaids make babies.
-It means football games that you can rarely make it all the way through.
-It means tortilla chip overdoses every Wednesday at Ruby’s.
-It means being bought a shot at Chimy’s on the exact minute you were born 21 years before.
-It means visually demonstrating the story of your birth in Chimy’s and nobody judging you...Openly.
-It means reenacting the scene in 101 Dalmations where Roger rubs the puppy back to life with a Vietnamese Chicken Salad Roll in Pei Wei and nobody judging you...Openly.
-It means late-night runs to McDonalds for absolutely no reason except to add to our collection of Happy Meal toys.
-It means knowing how to discreetly show each other prime Pinterest finds during class.
-It means having text conversations made purely out of emojiis.
-It means sisters having to survive your regular semester obsessions.
-It means an entire chapter receiving a Royal Wedding watching party invite 6 months in advance, the day they announced the date.
-It means sisters hearing you talk about the Royal Wedding for six months and not killing you.
-It means over 30 people showing up at your apartment with food and mimosas at 5:00 in the morning to watch Will and Kate get married.
-It means Theta sisters bringing back Royal Wedding memorabilia (like Will's face on a stick...) from London just because they thought of you.
-It means giving sisters rides to the airport at the buttcrack of dawn
-It means your little helping you find your keys that you’re convinced you threw away in the SUB, and then holding your backpack while she watches you dumpster dive through SUB garbage.
-It means going for Sakebombs and sushi on a Monday night.
-It means driving across town to the drive-thru Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon because we don’t want to put bras on.
-It means meeting a girl for the first time, sitting here in Theta study hall, and she swiftly becomes one of your closest friends, confidantes, and personal therapist.
-It means ending your freshman year and having no idea that there are girls who are going to change your life that you don’t even know exist on this earth yet.
-It means being a junior and dragged out to a party and meeting a brand new Theta baby in the driveway at a house party before Delt Mekong.
-It means that same Theta baby being essentially YOU in another body.
-It means not always knowing how or when you met a Theta sister—all you know is that you’re meeting up for pancakes during spring break and you watch her plow her mother’s Tahoe into another car in the parking lot.
-It also means being the one that she makes go out and assess the damage and leave the note on the car… because she’s too scared.
-It means 9 friends going to see the Lion King in 3D with you opening day and holding your hand while you weep openly through out the entire movie.
-It means, after months and months of begging, a certain Theta sister finally convinces you to read The Hunger Games. And we all know how that turned out. So in short, Theta sisterhood can also ruin your freaking life.
-It means talking about the Hunger Games movie incessantly and no one killing you. Pun intended.
-It means having a conversation with a Theta sister about straight up Nutella for easily five minutes or more.
-It means watching Conan from two separate rooms, but still texting each other as you watch it.
-It means EPIC Apples to Apples games.
-It means spontaneous road trips to New Mexico.
-It means fully reenacting the entire sequence of I’ll Make a Man Out of You with your roommate in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
-It means pulling pranks on your roommates by crawling up the stairs in the middle of the night making the sound from the Grudge.
-It means knowing that these girls are going to be there the day that some poor boy decides he wants to marry you—which is not happening any time soon unless he suddenly decides to be unfamous or nonfictional.
-It means learning that girls you thought you would have absolutely NOTHING in common with are just as weird as you are.
-Finally, Theta sisterhood means knowing that absolutely everything happens for a reason and everyone in this room is in my life for a reason and I couldn’t be more thankful. The love I have felt during my time here has given me confidence and courage in myself that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Remember that it is possible to grow up and still be in second grade. Remember to make a point to get to know people, to share yourself completely with others, never ever take yourself too seriously if at all, don’t be afraid to be yourself, be weird, be silly, be kind to others, make people laugh, and I promise with all my heart, it will be returned to you.
Theta love and mine. Always.
Please support #GreeksAgainstDrunkDriving
and any other group working to prevent senseless acts like this one.
Photo by: Theta sister, Melanie Watson