33,000 people. 3,000 women. 17 organizations. The summer before my freshman year, that’s what was constantly running through my head. In a campus so large, how will I know when I’ve found my home? A home I can run to and know I’ll be heard and valued. A sisterhood that not only encourages me to work hard, but also that encourages me to try new things, meet new people both young and old, and explore other clubs and organizations that interest me.
In high school, I was never a part of a set “group.” I preferred to make friends with people from different interests. I played volleyball and was an athletic trainer for my football team, all while taking Honors and AP-level classes. I was the 2016 Class President of an organization outside of my school - National Charity League - and found I had a passion for serving others. By the end of my high school career, I found that many of my best friends were from different schools and areas. My friends were diverse and encouraged me to think differently and see things from other people’s point of view.
Coming to Alabama would be a completely new world, especially having grown up just north of Atlanta, Georgia. Recruitment was daunting to me, as neither of my parents were involved in Greek life, and I am the oldest of my siblings and therefore the first one to go out into the “real world.” As the day of move-in drew nearer and nearer, I knew I wanted to be a part of a sorority who would encourage me and make me feel welcome, but what Delta Zeta gave was me so much more.
The women in Delta Zeta have helped me grow, lead, and find joy in even the smallest things. I have sisters who row, play field hockey, and lacrosse; other sisters who participate in beauty pageants and model. Each one of my best friends are so different, each one of them breaks the “mold” of a typical sorority girl. I have friends from as far as Washington, New York, and California; as close as Birmingham and Mobile. Around my best friends and DZ sisters, I can be myself. I can look to my Katie, my big, for advice about classes and boys. My “Bruno babes” and I have spent so much time studying in our favorite library and sharing cups of coffee - we’ve lost count. My grandbig Sam and I spent a weekend in Nashville exploring and making unforgettable memories before she graduated, and when I go on vacation this summer I already have plans to catch up with my big and a few other sisters, too.
In Delta Zeta, I found myself. In Delta Zeta, I found lifelong friendships and mentors. Each one of these amazing women made my freshman year unforgettable, pushing me to be my best self- whether that be acting as the Philanthropy Day Chair for Fall Recruitment or making the Dean’s List both semesters. It’s because of Delta Zeta that I have accomplished these things, because my sisters have encouraged me, lifted me up, and led with me every step of the way.
So, to each and every one of my sisters: Thank you. Thank you for friendships that will last a lifetime and for always encouraging me to be the best possible version of myself.
Sarah Lindsey “SL” McBurney
Official blog of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of Alabama.