Post by: All Things Jennifer (otherwise known as Smithj2)
I just turned 40 years old and here I am blogging about my sorority? What? Mid-life crisis? Trying to relive my youth?
Nope. And nope. Trust me, I feel more alive and confident in my own skin at 40 than I ever did at 20!
Sisterhood doesn’t end at graduation…I’m an Alpha Delta Pi for life. And while “our story starts in Georgia in 1851…” (Dare you not to sing along with the next line…) our sisterhood continues to spread all over the world. Personally, since being a founding member of the WNY ADPi Alumnae association this past year, I’ve been able to connect with sisters of all ages and chapters and make new friends along the way. We all share the same special bond of sisterhood.
If you would have asked me back in High School if I ever imagined joining a sorority the answer would have been a resounding HECK NO. (Heck, not Hell, because I was a very good girl back in the day. Wink, Wink.) I wasn’t in the popular crowd, I wasn’t the homecoming queen, a cheerleader…I didn’t drink, I was overweight! I was the girl who was pretty much friends with everyone at some point during our school years. I’m certain I would never pigeonhole myself into sorority life, and I didn’t even consider it.
Even after visiting my future Alma mater Allegheny College for prospective weekend and staying with a house of Seniors (who happened to be ADPis at the time getting ready for Pledge Formal) it didn’t cross my mind. I was more concerned with the upcoming musical, my new, first boyfriend and upcoming prom…
Once I became a Freshman, I was on a floor with women who like myself, were pretty Anti-Greek. My RA was Greek, but only a very few women on my hall even considered rushing.
Honestly, that first semester of college my heart wasn’t into being on campus. I went home frequently to visit my friends still in High School and those who chose Fredonia State and became friends with people there. When not at home, I hung out with the people I worked with at Ponderosa who attended Edinboro College. I wasn’t considering transferring, but I realized I was missing out on something more.
During that Thanksgiving Break, I drove home a friend from High School, Sheri Mathewson, who was a year above me at Allegheny. Sheri is a person everyone loved: an athlete, leader, scholar, musical person, friendliest person you would ever meet. While driving home the song “Southern Cross” came on the radio and Sheri sang along…but with the words her ADPI sisters used the year before at Greek Sing. And that opened the conversation. SHERI was in a sorority? Even crazier, another woman who graduated from my High School and went to Allegheny—Michelle was also an ADPi. I knew Michelle because she rode my bus as a kiddo and I was friends with her younger sister in Middle School. Michelle and Sheri were both wonderful fun people, but neither one were “sorority girl types” yet they both were Alpha Delta Pi’s!
Very interesting…suddenly, ADPI was on my radar.
I still didn’t go through rush and figured even if I wanted to attend an ADPi party I wouldn’t be able to afford it and take time off from work…so I let it simmer in the back of my mind, until 2nd semester when I saw my new friend down the hall, Erin…joining her new sisters at run-out day. Almost immediately, I started to gravitate more towards Erin and learning all about Alpha Delta Pi. COULD I DO IT? Would it be for me?
I’m happy to say a week or so later, I was offered a bid in the same pledge class Erin just joined and I made sure I figured out a way to make it work. Instantly, I was surrounded by women who made me feel at home. Women will all sorts of backgrounds, majors, interests. Women who reminded me of myself and made me want to be a better person. Yep, home sweet home.
I’ve met some of my very best lifelong friends through Alpha Delta Pi . (At our weddings we always wear our ribbons…)
I’ve learned valuable leadership skills and was given the confidence/experience to join other boards in college such as Panhellenic and Alleghenians Committed to Service. Which has since led to community/leadership positions in Law School and in Western New York. (And seriously, you never know when you need to bust out those Robert Rules of Order.)
I’ve gained an unhealthy obsession with violets (I can’t even tell you how many I’ve sent to compost) lions, the colors azure blue/white and pretty, pretty diamonds.
Being a sister of Alpha Delta Pi has shaped me into who I am today. And on this day, our Founder’s Day I am proud to stand along with all of our sisters and thank Eugenia and her friends…for creating the first secret society for women back in 1851.
Today on Founder’s Day browse through old photos, catch up with a sister, send a gift of violets through a Facebook post. Take a minute to remember YOUR story.