Guest Post: Finding the perfect lock!

This fall marks the 7th anniversary of my freshman year of college. My how time sure does fly! I set off to college unsure of everything other than my very well coordinated bedding. I had talked to my new roommate a few times, and coordinated the necessary agreements (she bought the rug, I bought the mini fridge) and our families met for dinner the night before move in. In the blink of an eye my family left me hours away, and I was left to my own devices.

My school had deferred recruitment that took place at the end of January, and in all honesty I didn’t even think about joining a sorority until January. My fall was filled with new friends, tough classes, and lots of homesickness. I went home for winter break relieved to have some time with my family, although I finally felt like I “fit” at school.

Winter term began, and everyone (male and female) was talking about sorority recruitment. No one in my family had gone Greek, and to say that they were hesitant is the understatement of the century. (Dad may have seen “Animal House” one too many times) But I forged ahead, not knowing what to wear or how to talk or the importance of a good hair straightener. (In retrospect, I wore dorky clothes, talked about weird stuff, and still hadn’t realized the full potential of my hair)

I won’t sugarcoat my recruitment experience as a Potential New Member, because it pretty much stunk. Mostly because I was basing my expectations entirely on what other people were telling me, rather than asking questions of the right people and truly trying to find a place to call home. Luckily, the women of Alpha Chi Omega were persistent despite my hesitation to join their chapter. I am eternally thankful to the women who took the time to get to know me, looked past my dorky clothes and hair, and realized my full potential both within and beyond Alpha Chi Omega.

Here I am (Right) very excited for one of my first "theme" parties freshman year!
A couple years later while serving on my college Panhellenic’s executive board I would attend a national conference and have a speaker discuss the “Lock Key Principle” (I still have the notebook with my notes) What the principle explains is that you shouldn’t have to force yourself to “fit” and if you do, than it’s not the right place for you to be. Every key has a lock, but you have to find the right match to feel “at home” The speaker went on to say that, “Every rejection is a selection” And while my 19 year old self wouldn’t have appreciated that logic, the truth is I wasn’t selected by many chapters, and while it was disheartening to not be wanted by all, I WAS selected by Alpha Chi Omega. Others were selected by Alpha Xi Delta and Sigma Kappa, some by Sigma Sigma Sigma and still some by Alpha Omicron Pi. In the end, we all found the lock to our key.

Bid Day senior year with my New Member class!
I have had an amazing sorority experience, which continues to compound. While in college I served as our VP Recruitment & College Panhellenic Director of Education. Upon graduation I have served as a Recruitment Advisor, I am now a Chapter Advisor and House “Mom” (or House Director if we’re being PC) I also serve as a National Volunteer and have met countless other Alpha Chi Omega’s through twitter, facebook, and the blogosphere. (Who knew?!)

As so many of you prepare for Sorority Recruitment, remember to find the lock to your key. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the process and what everyone else is saying and doing. Remember to listen to your heart and look for the place that feels most like home to you. Look for other women who share your same values and will help to make you a better, stronger woman. Find the women who will help you to celebrate your victories and divide your sorrows. And most of all soak it all in and enjoy it! This truly is an amazing time in your life, and before you know it you will be crossing the stage collecting your diploma and moving onto the next phase of your sisterhood; which is the most beneficial aspect of your membership: Lifelong Sisterhood. 

P.S. - Since I didn't introduce myself, I'm Lexi and I blog regularly over at {Dishin' With Edna} where I write about just about everything, including my day to day sorority experiences as an alumna of Alpha Chi Omega. 

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kjpugs said...

YAY Lexi! I love that analogy. I ended up at a house I hadn't even really considered... I wonder how many people get exactly what they wanted. I hope more people will be really open during recruitment.

PS- we had such fun timesss :)

Kelly said...

This is such great advice for PNMs!

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