For as long as I can remember, I knew that Tuscaloosa would be my new home after I graduated from high school. I grew up only an hour from Tuscaloosa in Mountain Brook and travelled with my family to Tuscaloosa every weekend to cheer on the Tide. I grew up with thoughts of Alabama, SEC football and sorority life. However, what I did not know at the time, was that DZ would become my real home as I started my freshman year of college.
When I was in middle school, my older sister pledged Delta Zeta after going through the long week of recruitment. I watched her throughout her years at Alabama and saw how much she loved it, how she made lifelong friends and got many opportunities to become involved in leadership and service through DZ. I think every girl can agree that they want these exact same things in a sorority.
I spent almost every weekend during the fall at my family’s tailgate surrounded by my sister and all her DZ friends and many game days we would walk over to the old Delta Zeta house to hang out. The DZ house definitely became very familiar to me as my sister spent the next four years making Delta Zeta her home. I could not wait for my chance to join a sorority as well.
When my own bid day finally came and I opened my bid and read, “Delta Zeta,” I was excited to run home to DZ where my sister stood on the porch and welcomed me into what is now our sorority. I could not be happier to be able to call DZ my home now too.
I have come to love and appreciate Delta Zeta so much as I get to share this experience with not only my own sister but also with all the new friends that I have made. When people tell you that you should trust the process during recruitment, you really should! Without sorority recruitment, I wouldn’t be where I am today with all my new friends and lifelong sisters. Delta Zeta has truly been a blessing in my life and I can’t wait to see what the next three years have in store for me.
When I came to the University of Alabama, I arrived a week early for a week long journey that would change my whole life. I, like the other 2,000 plus girls, came for recruitment. This was something I had dreamed about since middle school and it was finally here! After the longest week of my life I arrived at bid day. I was nervous to open my envelope but once I did and saw the Delta Zeta letters; my heart was happy. As we ran down the street to the Delta Zeta Castle, I saw my name on a sign that was being held by Madelyn McCormick! Seeing Madelyn, someone I had known since I was three years old, made me realize that Delta Zeta was about to become my home away from home!
I am for sure a homebody. I love being close to home and seeing my family and friends whenever I can. So being 8 and a half hours away from home was a hard adjustment. Delta Zeta made the adjustment 100 times easier for me. Anytime I walked in the house there would be a friendly face I could go talk to or someone I could sit with for lunch. No matter what pledge class a girl was in I felt like I could talk with anyone in the house. I started spending every moment I could sitting in the library or watching tv in the living room. It only took a couple of weeks for me to feel like Delta Zeta was my second home.
I wouldn't have been able to get through my freshman year without the wonderful women I met through Delta Zeta! Many of my friends from the bid day retreat are still my closest friends today. Meredith Coleman was my first friend I met and to this day she still encourages me to grow and do what I love. I am most thankful for meeting Emma Miller and Emily Rodgers on the bid day retreat. Both of them have been there for me through the good and the bad this past year. They were my biggest cheerleaders when I applied for positions within Delta Zeta and they were always up for a late night run for milkshakes when I was feeling down. Without Delta Zeta I would have probably never met these young women who support me through every single thing I do in life.
To all of those who are about to go through formal recruitment or considering recruitment here at the University of Alabama, I highly encourage you to do so. My freshman year was everything I wanted it to be and it all started with getting to school a week early to be a part of the recruitment process. It's true when they tell you to trust the process and follow your heart. I did and it lead me right to the wonderful women of Delta Zeta.
When I first came to college and joined Delta Zeta, I was truly intimidated. I had joined something that is apart of the bigger picture. There are more girls in my sorority than in my entire high school. The University of Alabama is literally 10 times bigger than my hometown. Obviously with that in mind, I didn’t expect to find my place on campus or in Delta Zeta so quickly, or even as a freshman for that matter.
Luckily, I had some amazing people help me find my path early on. I felt led to join positions in Delta Zeta because I wanted to be like the older girls. They were some of the smartest, most beautiful, and genuine people I had ever met. They were everything and more as to the woman I hoped to become one day. My love for service grew and made me want to make an impact on campus as well. Our current President, Hayley White, offered encouragement and guidance for the positions I desired to be in on campus. I felt so special to have someone in such a high position want to help me succeed, and I never expected to succeed in the way I did. After my first semester of college, I had joined SGA’s First Year Council, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and became an Avanti Orientation leader. I felt so passionate about and connected to the organizations I had joined, and I owe all of that to Delta Zeta and the sisters that helped me get there.
I started pouring my love into Delta Zeta more and more because it had already given me so much. I became an Assistant to the New Member Educator as well as the Freshman Standards Representative. And then one day my entire freshman year changed—I began serving as the Vice President of Programs on the Executive Board. Needless to say, the intimidation level rose to about 1,000. Of course I knew I could take on the position, but the sheer reality of being on Exec. as a freshman leaves you a little shocked. After a whirlwind of training and learning the ropes, I began to realize how much of an impact I could truly make, even as a freshman.
And that’s what I wish every woman in Delta Zeta; that they find where they fit and begin making a difference there. If it weren’t for some of my sisters, I couldn’t imagine how I would have left freshman year. Because of them I leave feeling inspired. I leave feeling encouraged. I leave feeling like I belong. And most of all, I leave feeling loved. Thank you Delta Zeta for giving me so much to be thankful for. I pray that every woman find her place like I have so she may walk truly in the light of the flame.
Dear Delta Zeta,
Being a twelve-hour drive away from the place I spent my whole life, Delta Zeta you are my home. Being an only child who never had someone to call a sibling, Delta Zeta you gave me sisters, and having a place I can run to with utter joy and in complete despair, Delta Zeta you are my haven. Never had I imagined that joining a sorority would give me the opportunities to be the person I have become. Delta Zeta you have given me the opportunity to be a leader, a light, a little and big sister. Because of what you have given me, I can only try to repay my debt. I have spent moments in our house and with my sisters that are irreplaceable in my heart and relationships have been formed that will last a lifetime. Out of all the amazing things you have put in my life, you have been especially generous in one way in particular, my big sister, Megan Welker. You knew what you were doing Delta Zeta, when I spoke to her during recruitment and when she held my sign on bid day, because from that moment, we were inseparable. You knew you gave me my forever best friend, someone to look up to, a bond that cannot and will not be broken. It is a privilege to call every single one of the girls in the house my sisters. I am surrounded by athletes, intellectuals, and the future leaders of America. DZ you have given every single one of us the opportunity to thrive. It is because of you, and my sisters pushing me that I have achieved jobs, leadership positions, involvement beyond anything I could have dreamed. You have taken a girl who never thought much of herself, who had three friends in high school and turned me into someone who is achieving goals beyond what anyone thought was possible. Being only a sophomore I know have much more opportunity to grow and blossom, but I am forever blessed to have been planted in Delta Zeta.
Julia Lynn Cornejo
Hi my name is Rachael England! I am a sophomore at the University of Alabama. As thousands of other girls have done in past, I packed my bags, headed to college a week earlier than most, and prepared my outfits for the infamous formal recruitment. After all the stress, heat and decision making, I didn’t find a home by the end of the process.
After that, I didn’t get involved on campus and had a hard time adapting to campus life. However, last March I decided to rush again. It was a last minute decision but I kept a positive attitude and “trusted the process.” I had a great recruitment and made some awesome connections through the whole rush experience. When I made it to preference round, I asked myself if I could see myself being part of each house. I walked into Delta Zeta and immediately felt so comfortable. I felt that I did not have to prove myself to anyone and I didn’t have to try to fit in. I walked out of the house thinking I could be a part of Delta Zeta sisterhood.
When I woke up that next morning the anticipation to open my bid day card grew stronger and stronger, I couldn’t wait to open it. When they called to open cards, I was thrilled to have looked down and see the Delta Zeta script.
It has been a whole semester and Delta Zeta has brought me best friends. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and has enabled me to become involved on and off campus. My sister attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando and was also a Delta Zeta. I am grateful we share a DZ sisterhood. Going to the house for meals or just to hangout genuinely feels like home. It’s a place where I can go during the day when I am stressed about school or to hangout with friends. I feel so comfortable walking into our house. I love Delta Zeta because it has shown me friendship, courage, and love. We are all so different but that is what makes our house so unique. I am so glad that I decided to go through recruitment because I have truly found my home away from home.
Official blog of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of Alabama.