As someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, you might wonder why I would even consider joining a sorority much less living in a castle where you are surrounded by at least 70 girls during any time of day. Looking back at this past semester I can’t tell you how many times God has blessed me with making the decision to live in the house or within the past three years of being a member of Delta Zeta at The University of Alabama. This past semester was one of the most challenging semesters that I have had while at UA and during it all, I was lucky enough to have some of the most amazing souls to get me through it.
From the outside, you probably can’t tell that our house is different from any other house on campus, but for me this house holds some of the best memories and experiences I will ever have. When you have depression, it can be hard to live an everyday life, but it can be even more difficult to do it while in college. I have had days were everything feels like it is too much for me that I can’t even make it out of my bed. All of the sudden I can hear laughter from the next room over. Little things like this that you would think might annoy you, gave me the strength to just get up out of my bed. Especially in a society where you constantly feel like you have to be the prettiest girl in the room, my sisters made me feel confident whether I looked like I was going to a formal or I had absolutely no makeup on and on my second day of dry shampooed hair. Y’all they don’t even complain when I watch Friends for the thousandth time and blast the volume all the way up. That’s true sisterhood.
This is the part about sororities that you don’t really hear about. It’s being able to be around a large amount of people and feel like they are making you a better person while also accepting you for who you are. From my little, Miranda, who understands my vulnerabilities and was there for me at a time when all I wanted to do was block the entire world out, to Danielle who made me feel safe and who is one of the strongest women I know. I have no idea where I would be without Hannah and Amy who look out for me and have seen me in the middle of a panic attack yet got me through it all by just reminding me to breathe. I can’t tell you the amount of times Jamie and Madi have made me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and make any bad day completely better. I can’t forget about Emma Kate who makes getting up at 6 a little easier knowing that she’ll be the first person to always make me smile at breakfast. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to Mollie, who was there to listen to me and understood my fears and helped me to face them. I cannot fathom where I would be if I did not have her holding my hand every step of the way. And I can’t even tell you how many times Brantley Morris has been there for me when I tried to shut the world out, yet her precious soul would come in my room, give me one of the biggest hugs and tell me that she loves me through it all. I could keep going on and on about countless other women who have helped me in so many ways while living in our house. They took a girl who felt broken and feared the world and showed me a way to feel whole again. They made me understand what “a love that is ever steadfast” means.
On the outside, you might see just another house, but it’s the sisterhood that our house stands on. As I get ready to start my senior year living in the house again, I am more confident, joyful, and healthier than I think I have ever been. I have a light that is surrounding me and every time something negative tries to bring me down, I know that it won’t last long because its immediately overshadowed by the nights filled with laughter, binge watching Love Island, meals filled with stories of our eventful days, and a mansion that is our home away from home. This is what keeps me going.
So thank you Delta Zeta making me whole again, for taking me as I am and loving me anyway. Thank you for never giving up on me and pushing me to overcome every fear I have. Thank you for making me feel safe and as each day passes helping me to live knowing that you, my sisters, will always be there through the good and the bad, with open arms. Thank you for being there for me even when it’s not the easiest thing in the world to love someone with mental illness yet choosing to do it anyway. Thank you for giving me a place that I can seek refuge in from the world. I couldn’t have made it to today without you.
-Brooklyn Worthy PC’16
There I was, ripping open the seal of my letter from Alabama, anxiously waiting to see “Congratulations!” at the top of the page. Suddenly, I realized my dreams were coming true. Now I faced the inevitable question for many girls preparing for college, “Are you going to rush?” Honestly, I didn’t know. I knew that Greek life was a huge part of Alabama, like many other schools, but was it for me? I have never seen myself as the “sorority type”, and with no family member being connected to Greek life, I really wasn’t sure what I was in for. Alabama’s Greek life is the largest in the country! After giving it a great deal of thought, I finally decided what the heck? I couldn’t assume it wasn’t for me without at least trying it out?
After months of preparation, it was finally time, and I was ready for my first day of rush. It seemed intimidating and every possible insecurity raced through my mind. What if I wasn’t good enough? Smart enough? Stylish enough? What if I said the wrong things? Having come to Alabama from Northern Virginia, I just wanted a place to feel like home, especially being so far from my home. The moment I stepped into Delta Zeta, I felt an instant sense of comfort. Everyone was so welcoming and kind. It was diverse and unique, yet there was a commonality. I felt the girls I talked to actually wanted me there and wanted to engage in a real conversation with me. It felt like home, which was exactly what I needed- a place to call my own.
Choosing Delta Zeta was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have met so many amazing people that will be my lifelong friends. I really do not know where I would be without such a supportive group of women. It is up to everyone in a chapter to make it a loving and happy place to run “home” to. That’s what Delta Zeta is to me, my home away from home, and I’m so grateful to have this group of ladies to do college life with. Being a “sorority girl” has been an amazing experience. Every woman brings her individual qualities, and together we weave them into a beautiful tapestry. It takes a strong sisterhood to accept every kind of woman for who they are, and DZ has done just that. Looking back now I do not know what my freshman year would have been like without this amazing sisterhood, and I cannot wait to see what the next three years bring!
During the months leading up to my move to Alabama, I had several people ask if I planned to join a sorority. My answer was always a quick no followed by a laugh as I never saw myself as the “sorority type”. Additionally, I was coming from far away where Greek life is not as big. Basically, my idea of a sorority was a bunch of preppy girls trying to outdo each other but I began to see there was a lot more to them than I originally thought.
In January I received an email with information on continuous open bidding, COB, and rather than just deleting the email I decided to fill out the form. Throughout my first semester, I watched friends from my classes who were involved in Greek life be given lots of opportunities. They always had a place to study, information about getting involved in the community, formals, etc. After submitting it, I called my parents to talk it over, explaining it didn’t mean I had to go forward with the process but wanted to see what opportunities were out there. Later in the month I had received emails from several sororities to learn more about them. I had met with members of a couple different sororities before meeting some from Delta Zeta. After the meeting DZ was by far my favorite and I had hoped to hear back from them. Soon after I got a call that I had received a bid and after talking with my parents I accepted.
I then became part of the Spring Pledge Class along with several other girls. When I was first pledging, I had only met a few other girls in my pledge class and hardly any actives. Luckily, over the course of our new member period we received diamond leaders, s/o Meg Moll, who helped us meet other girls in the sorority, especially from that years fall pledge class. Additionally, I had English class with Lauren Lukowicz who introduced me to her friends that were initiated earlier that year. They were a huge part in finding the feeling of sisterhood in DZ as I felt included from the beginning and they would introduce me lots of other actives which made me feel more at home.
After several weeks of weekly meetings, me and twelve other pledges were initiated on March 24th. I was so happy to finally be an active member of my new home. Even better, a few weeks later I got the best big who has helped my love for DZ grow even more.
I’m excited to see what fall recruitment is like as I haven’t gone through it myself but I’m even more excited to meet even more sisters through work and rush week. I can’t wait to be back home in less than a month!!
Yes, you should.
I debated all summer before my freshman year whether or not I should go through recruitment. I didn’t think greek life was for me. I didn’t know much about sororities because none of my family or friends were in any, but I knew the stereotypes: rich, blonde, shallow, only cares about boys and partying. I’ve always taken my academics seriously, I like to be involved in more than one thing, and I like to surround myself with people who are going to push me to be better, not drag me down in the wrong direction. None of what I wanted in college seemed to match what I thought I knew about sororities. So, I didn’t go through formal sorority recruitment.
Once I got to Alabama, I found my way around college: I had my classes under control, I had joined a couple organizations, and I was making friends. A lot of those friends being sorority women. The more I heard them talk about their sororities and their “sisters,” the more I thought about joining one. I was still a bit hesitant, but I decided to fill out a COB form and at least meet with a few of the houses to get a better idea of what it’s all about.
DZ was the first house I heard from. I went in convincing myself it was a bad idea because I just knew a sorority wasn’t for me. Boy, was I wrong. When I walked in the house, I didn’t see all blondes wearing Lulu Lemons and gossiping about boys. Instead, I saw girls of different backgrounds and hair colors studying, eating lunch, and just hanging out. As I talked with Katie Beth (the VP of Membership at the time), she told me not only about the social aspect of being in a sorority, but the academic, philanthropic, and sisterhood.
Since joining DZ, I’ve learned that there is no mold to being a sorority woman. Sororities aren’t just for certain girls, they’re for every girl. No matter what you’re looking for in college or after college, I think a sorority is a great place to start.
DZ has been a place for me to (yes) meet people and have fun, but also a place to help me in my classes and future career choices, to gain leadership experience, and to give back to others in our community and around the world. It wasn’t a place that took away all my time like I thought, instead it just helped me to allocate my time to the right places.
Before coming to The University of Alabama and going through recruitment, I had heard girls talking about their sorority as their “home”. While I didn’t know exactly what that entailed at the time, I knew I wanted to find that. Through Delta Zeta, I have found a home, but I have also found so much more. They say a house is just four walls, and that it’s what is on the inside of that house that counts. I may be a little biased, but I think we have the most beautiful four walls to create our Delta Zeta house. That being said, I can honestly say it does not compare to the almost 400 girls that make our Delta Zeta house a home. Delta Zeta is filled with some of the most brilliant, driven, diverse, loving, and fun girls I have ever met.
They say you find your bridesmaids in your sorority. The girls that will be standing by you on the biggest and happiest day of your life. But they don’t tell you about what else you’ll find. They don’t tell you about how you’ll find friends who show up with a milkshake after a tough day, or who will text you before a big exam telling you that they believe in you. Through Delta Zeta, I HAVE found my bridesmaids. More importantly, I have found a support system who will be there to celebrate every victory and be ready to fight any battle.
As I think about the past three years in Delta Zeta, I can see how my home away from home as shaped me into the person I have become. Because of the encouragement of Delta Zeta, I have applied for and held numerous leadership positions across campus. Because of Delta Zeta, I have become connected with numerous alumna who want nothing more than to see my sisters and I succeed and are willing to help in any way possible. Because of Delta Zeta, I have grown both socially and professionally.
Winnie the Pooh says it best. “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” Because of Delta Zeta I have found my forever friends. If I could turn back the clock, I’d choose Delta Zeta a hundred times over.
Emily Truchon PC '16
Sophomore, PC ’18
Right after school ended, a group of 37 students and I went on a medical outreach trip to the city of Cusco, Peru with the Volunteers Around the World club. The long, over 24-hour journey to get to the Southeast of Peru which is located in the Northwestern part of South America was well worth it for the amazing trip that we all experienced.
Lucky for me, I was fortunate enough to be able to get a spot on this amazing trip. Not only did we set up medical clinics in the city of Peru, but we also all got individual chances to shadow Peruvian doctors, take vitals like blood pressure, temperature, hemoglobin and blood glucose levels, as well as work in the pharmacy where some of us, such as myself, got to administer shots to some of the patients who needed them.
Doing these things, especially when you’re in a medical setting, is extremely hard to do in the United States because of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws that we have in place, but in Peru we could experience all of this and more!
Not only did we have the chance to learn from these medical experiences, but we also were given the chance to learn about the history of Peru and their culture. Some of the really fun and interesting things that a lot of us were able to take part of were:
Also on this trip were a few other Delta Zeta’s that I got to experience this trip with. Here are their stories!
Recent Graduate of 2019, Delta Zeta Alumni
“I really really liked being given the ability to pretty much act as a doctor on my own and I especially liked how we were able to give injections with the help of Rosa (a Spanish doctor that helped us in the pharmacy). I loved how the people in Peru were so connected to nature and gave offerings to Pachamama (‘The Mother Earth’ - the goddess of the Andes mountain range), but was also intrigued as to the contrast in how they so willingly polluted the Earth by littering and the amount of smog everywhere. I also liked that the doctors gave me the freedom to learn by actually doing things like Dr. Juan taught me how to listen to the abdomen and the lungs and just let me do it all by myself when I was shadowing. I felt like I got so much hands on experience with that and being able to give an injection, that was priceless.”
Recent Graduate of 2019, Delta Zeta Alumni
“I think it’s always a great learning and growing experience to go to another country and experience a different culture, especially in the way that we do through Volunteers Around the World. These trips always allow us to not only help and make a difference but also be more than just tourists in the city that we’re in and really see what other cultures are like. I really learned a lot about medicine in Peru and in general, as practice and exposure are both always helpful and great learning experiences. I also learned a lot about the people in Cusco as well and this experience was also great for practicing my Spanish too!
Overall, we went to Peru to help in the clinics and help the people in the city, but in return we learned a lot and got a ton out of it! It was a lot of fun being with the whole group and being able to explore and work in the clinic all as a team!!!”
Sophomore, PC ’18
“My trip to Peru was a once in a lifetime experience. I gained valuable information about medicine, which only made my passion for medicine and working in the medical field grow. While on the trip I learned what it was like to not only work in a clinic setting, but in a completely different part of the world with a whole different culture as well.
The experience in the clinic was fascinating. I learned first hand how to manually take blood pressure on different types of patients, I was able to test children for anemia and adults for diabetes, and I also had the chance to travel around different parts of Cusco. With this opportunity I learned about the culture in Peru, tried different types of food, and was able to learn how to bargain and use bargaining to shop. I saw Machu Picchu, which was in itself a once in a lifetime experience, as well as Lake Humantay, which was a beautiful piece of nature, but a difficult hike. Overall, the trip was one I will never forget.”
Sorority recruitment is only 2 months away, and it has me thinking of my time as a PNM. As a PNM, I found myself thinking of things I wished I’d known to bring to Tuscaloosa. First, don’t underestimate the heat of an Alabama Summer. You will sweat. I never used to sweat a lot, even during sports, and I found myself dripping after house number six on the first day. So, I’m going to make a list of things to bring to recruitment that I wish someone had made for me.
Official blog of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of Alabama.