There I sat in a sea of red – my hands trembled in my gown-covered lap, and my legs were crossed, one over the other, as my heart raced. Someone was speaking to the crowd, but I wasn’t listening. I looked to my right, then to my left. I recognized everyone, and yet no one. I had been in this exact auditorium before. First, for orientation, which was overwhelming and a complete blur. A few months later, for matriculation – when we started our college careers. It was only fitting, then, that this is where college would also come to an end.
It was a bittersweet day. I was crying both tears of joy and of sadness. I was excited, I was overwhelmed, and I still couldn’t find my parents in the crowd. At least an hour passed. Speeches were made, names were called, pictures were taken, and, then, just like that, it was all over.
My college life flashed before my eyes. I thought about my first night at BU, when I sat there on my uncomfortable twin-sized bed in my undecorated room on the 9th floor of Claflin Hall. I had no friends and no clue what I was doing. As I look back, though, the first semester of freshman year seemed like a void, because the final day of sorority recruitment (BID DAY!) was when my college life really started. I can remember so vividly pulling the card from the cream-colored envelope as I sat in a circle on the floor of Metcalf Ballroom. “Delta Gamma,” the card read, in a hand-written script. The excitement couldn’t have been contained for even the quietest, most timid of people. I screamed, ran, and admittedly, I think (know) I even cried.
This was my first real day of college, because nothing was ever the same after that. My time – aside from homework and exams and classes – was now filled with chapter and new member meetings and lunches with initiated sisters. The unfamiliar faces became people I knew and liked. I was no longer sitting alone in my classes, because I could typically find my way to one or two people from DG. I finally had things to look forward to – like my first date party and formal and finally getting my big (who, for the record, I still see at least once every two weeks and I still call her “Big” sometimes). I wasn’t panicking when the weekends came because I knew I had friends and people who would want to make plans with me, if I did not have something planned with them already. I finally felt like part of a family outside of the one I’ve always known.
I had my moments of stress or weakness; moments when I felt I was maybe not as connected to the chapter as I wanted to be. But I assure you, the more you put into Delta Gamma, the more you ultimately get out. Say yes to plans with sisters, even – and especially – when you haven’t met them before. Speak up at chapter and say what you feel at fireside. Participate, offer to help, and most definitely run for a position. Give DG everything you have and I promise you won’t be let down.
The girl I was at orientation is nothing like the woman I am today, and I certainly have DG to thank for that. The memories, the bonds, the moments I was forced to step out of my shell – DG helped them happen, and those are things I’ll carry with me forever.
~ Stephanie Pagones
DGZZ Alpha Xi
BU COM 2016