Delta Zeta is Opportunity.
When I initially became a member of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Delta Zeta, I was not sure what to really expect. Whenever I was asked throughout recruitment what I was hoping to gain from joining a sorority, I consistently stated that I was looking for a home away from home. As cliché as it sounds, I traveled 754 miles from the home I had lived in since I was born. It was a scary decision to pack up and move across the country knowing no one, which is why I hoped to find that safe, comforting feeling of home in a sorority at UA. I found it quickly within DZ when I met Sydney Anne Dove who discussed Shark Week, Chipotle, and puppies with me. She showed me that I would be welcomed and accepted for all that I was, including my strange mini pig addiction and my love for Crocs. Today, over three years later, DZ is still my place to call home when I’m in Tuscaloosa. I feel accepted when I enter the doors and it is an exceptional feeling that I hope every girl has when they join a sorority. While DZ gave me exactly what I was looking for, it also provided me with so much more than I anticipated. That is why Delta Zeta means opportunity to me. While I’m sure DZ has impacted many in more ways than I plan to discuss, these are the main ways in which Delta Zeta has given opportunities to me.
Firstly, Delta Zeta provided me with the opportunity to make new friends. Going to a university halfway across the country, knowing no one is a very courageous, but also terrifying decision to make. I had no idea how I would make friends at this school. While participating in recruitment helped me to meet new people, my initial pledge class consisted of over 150 girls. I was nervous I would still struggle to find friends at Alabama and within my sorority. Little did I know I would be placed in a small group based upon my last name and some of those people would continue to be my best friends to this day. Little did I know that I would meet my roommate, best friend, and future bridesmaid in the DZ house because she needed to borrow safety pins. The best part of the people I call my best friends today is that they are from all over the country. Because of this, I now have connections in California, Georgia, Ohio, New York, Delaware, Missouri, and even found a friend from a suburb near Chicago who I could then visit over the summer. Without Delta Zeta, I would not have met any of these people who make me a better person each and every day.
This brings me to my next point as DZ provided me with the opportunity to network throughout the country. Besides meeting friends from all over, DZ is a national sorority so there are DZ’s scattered throughout the entire nation. With Delta Zeta, you have the opportunity to meet people in whichever area of the United States that you end up. Delta Zeta also enables you to network locally as many alumnae in the area stay very active in the chapter. For example, Dr. Purcell is an Alpha Gamma chapter alum and she taught one of my honors courses at Alabama. Because of my membership in DZ, she and I grew very close. Not only did I make a close relationship with a professor, but I also found a mentor and someone to look up to. I now have an excellent connection to someone well known to the University of Alabama who will speak fondly of me, which is extremely beneficial upon entering the work force.
While Dr. Purcell has helped me to better myself through her resiliency initiative course, she also provided me with the opportunity to receive scholarships. Dr. Purcell knew me well enough to know that I paid for all of my DZ expenses on my own. Because of this, she recommended that I apply for a local DZ scholarship; I was chosen to be a recipient. Besides the local scholarships that Delta Zeta provides, the sorority also offers national scholarships. With Dr. Purcell’s guidance and recommendation, I applied for these scholarships as well and was lucky enough to be chosen as the recipient of a national scholarship. These funds came to be extremely helpful come the following semester.
In the fall of 2016, I planned to study abroad in Spain. It was bound to be an expensive trip, but it was extremely worth it to become fluent in a second language. Delta Zeta took this into account when choosing me as the national scholarship recipient, which leads me to believe that DZ provides the opportunity to travel. Due to the scholarship I received, I was able to explore all that Spain had to offer without financial worries the entire semester. Delta Zeta allowed me to fully immerse myself into the Spanish culture due to the funds they provided me, which shows how important Delta Zeta feels international studies can be. While I was in Spain, I made some amazing friends and in fact, the mother of my best friend in Spain was a Delta Zeta. Learning this showed me that this really was where I was meant to be and I would not have been able to be there without DZ’s help.
While I recommend that everyone travel abroad should they have the opportunity, it was not the only reason I was chosen as a recipient of a national scholarship. I was also chosen because of my involvement within the Alpha Gamma chapter, which is another way DZ provides opportunities. Through Delta Zeta, I became the Chapter Guard, which provided me with a leadership position within the sorority and something additional to add to my resume. Also through Delta Zeta, I received my current marketing internship due to a sorority sister posting about the opportunity online. I participate in this internship with two other DZ’s as well. Without Delta Zeta, I would not have an amazing internship that I love. My sorority truly gave me the opportunity to become more involved on campus.
While involvement on campus is crucial, Delta Zeta also provides the opportunity to STAY involved. After graduation, many people find jobs in new parts of the country far away from their families. In the same way that me traveling hundreds of miles to Alabama was and traveling thousands of miles to Spain was, this change can be scary and intimidating. However, Delta Zeta has local alumnae chapters throughout the nation that make moves such as this a little less treacherous. I have even seen members of the Alpha Gamma chapter that have graduated become members on the executive boards of their local alum chapters. I have the opportunity to be involved in something other than my work life when I graduate and make even more new, everlasting friendships.
While Delta Zeta encourages involvement, presently and in the future, it also heavily promotes giving back to our local community. Through our national philanthropy, Speech and Hearing, as well as our national philanthropy project, The Painted Turtle Camp, Delta Zeta is able to give back the world in exceptional ways. Beyond that, Delta Zeta asks members to complete community service hours, which are often beneficial to the local community. I have volunteered at the West Alabama Food Bank, helped to clean the chapel at the Phoenix House, and participated in events DZ held to promote our philanthropy. Delta Zeta provides immense opportunities to give back locally, nationally, and internationally.
Because of the campus involvement and philanthropy hours, Delta Zeta allows you to improve your resume each day; therefore, DZ offers the opportunity to be prepared for the workplace. Delta Zeta provides leadership opportunities, requires campus involvement, and offers volunteer options. All of these components are necessary to create a great resume. Delta Zeta also holds alumnae networking events to improve your professional speaking skills, networking efforts, and attire to wear in business settings. At the Alpha Gamma chapter, there is also a database of our resumes to provide examples for those uncertain of where to start and to improve the resume you currently have.
While Delta Zeta does offer wonderful opportunities, the last two are the most important to me, which are the opportunity to have a home away from home and the opportunity to have connections for life. Regarding the home, obviously it was the main reason I chose Delta Zeta. I wanted to feel at home in a place that was nothing like where I grew up. I was lucky enough to find it during the recruitment process and continue to feel this way today. I even found a sister who likes wearing Crocs as much as I do. Regarding the connections, I know that the people I am friends with because of Delta Zeta will be apart of my life forever. My big, my littles, my best friends. I plan to stay in contact with all of them no matter where life takes us. They say to find your bridesmaids in college, but I found mine in Delta Zeta.
While reflecting on the past three years has reminded me of all the opportunities I’ve previously received through DZ, it also makes me hopeful for the opportunities it will provide me with during my senior year and after graduation. Delta Zeta has provided me with so many amazing opportunities and I am forever grateful for the laughs, tears, memories, and friendships that I have gained through this experience.
All my life I attended small schools, so attending a university this large was quite the leap of faith. I was nervous I would not fit in, that I would not find my niche. I went back and forth about participating in recruitment, but I have to say that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. For me, the week was not stressful; it was full of new people and experiences. At the end of tiring recruitment week I ran to my now home away from home, Delta Zeta. The first semester was hard as I found myself feeling like I did not belong. That soon changed when I realized how open and welcoming this group of girls is. I broke out of my shell and allowed myself to be consumed by the fun, support, and positivity Delta Zeta has to offer.
My next leap of faith came the following fall when I decided to run for Treasurer, and I must say holding this position is quite a blessing and a curse. I have learned more from these past seven months as Treasurer as I have in a long time. It has really opened my eyes to the realities and truths of what it takes to be in a sorority, especially one at this magnitude. It may seem like a lot of money for people that do not understand, but without it we could not do all the fun stuff. We are so lucky to have food, date parties, sisterhood events, and so much more that allows us to bond with our sisters, making all the money worth it. At times it makes me hate sorority life, but then I allow myself to take a step back to understand all Delta Zeta has given me. It is a lot to run an organization of 300+ people, but that makes it all the more special. This is not just a social club, but a way to grow and find yourself; just as I did. Delta Zeta offers so much while also teaching each one of us how to balance fun and responsibilities- financial and school. Being Treasurer is not one of the fun, glamorous jobs sorority life has to offer, but it has taught me a lot and I now realize I would not change this experience for anything. It has helped me mature, grow, and understand how hard it is to manage your finances, while trying to have fun and please everyone. It is not easy.
Thank you Delta Zeta for giving me all the opportunities in the world, and allowing me to grow into a much better person because of it.
Delta Zeta taught me that working hard and making sacrifices will give you unbelievable benefits. My benefit was sisterhood.
College can be an immense financial burden on anyone, but luckily my parents can cover most of the costs – except my sorority dues. When my parents presented me with this responsibility, I never once thought to quit; my mind immediately traveled to wonder, “How am I going to stay in Delta Zeta?”. I found my solution. I decided to spend my summer working two jobs to cover my dues for the year.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. When I tell people the reason I work is so I can afford to be in my sorority, they laugh in my face. The only thing I say to them is: it’s worth it.
After moving to Alabama and joining Delta Zeta, I have never been in a better emotional, mental, and physical state. When I look back on this past year and my experiences with Delta Zeta, all I can do is smile. Before college I only had a few friends and I kept to myself; now I am a social butterfly that is involved in anything I can get my hands on. I have grown so much as a person, and I have my sisters to thank for that. Delta Zeta and my sisters have given me endless opportunities to better myself. I am eternally grateful for the gifts I have been given so far, and I cannot wait to make more memories over the next three years.
So, yes, I devoted my whole summer to working long hours. However, it’s all so I can have the best time of my life, with the best girls, in the best sorority. My summer sacrifices will pay off come August; and I cannot wait to return home to Delta Zeta.
-Ashley Kubisztal, PC '16
If you were to ask me a year ago before UA, before DZ, to write a blog about a best friend, it would be no means as meaningful as this one. I have many best friends who I love and am thankful for every single day- both back home in Boston and my many sisters and friends here in Tuscaloosa. But between all of these people, I have never been more thankful to the University, and most importantly DZ, for giving me my lifelong “big” sister, my idol, and my best friend.
Alyssa is the most thoughtful, most hilarious and all around best person I know. She made my transition from Massachusetts to Alabama as easy as possible. Being here a whole year longer than me, she completely took me under her wing. She invited me to everything, she introduced me to her best friends who are now my best friends, gave me countless advice, drove me everywhere (the struggles of not having a car as a freshman am I right), and genuinely cared about me, my grades, my life, and how each of my days were going. From dancing around in her apartment, grabbing lunch at DZ, facetiming each other in the mornings- there wasn’t a day that went by where she didn’t impact my day for the better. My past year at UA we did everything together- even spending thanksgiving together after knowing each other for only two short months. Going all summer long without her is of course impossible and I cannot wait to visit her in Chicago. I never had one of those older sister best friends growing up, but by sharing countless laughs, clothes, secrets, and all the new songs we find, I now feel like I do.
Delta Zeta is filled with people and friendships just like this, and I am lucky to be in a sorority where we are just one of the many. I can’t even believe I lived a life without Alyssa, and all of the other best friends Delta Zeta has gifted me with. This National Best Friends Day I am the most grateful of all, and will continue this feeling on this day going forth, as these are my sisters and BFFS for life.
Official blog of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of Alabama.