When I was told I was going to be giving the preference night speech for my sorority, I didn’t initially know what to say. Kappa meant so much to me throughout my college experience. Strong emotions are difficult to put into words; this was no exception. How does one select the right words from our limited vocabulary and arrange them into sentences that evoke the true meaning of an experience? I’m still not sure my speech did my feelings justice, or that it made people “Go Kappa” for that matte.
If you’re wondering why I went Kappa, keep reading.
Preparing to give this speech brought me back to my first day as a Kappa. After a week of smiling, name tags and 100-degree weather, I was tired and sweaty. But more than anything, I was incredibly excited. I was also more than a little nervous, half because I was about to get to know my sisters and half because on the morning of bid day I discovered that the entire chapter was going bowling.
Now, I have nothing against bowling. In fact, I bowl frequently on Wii Sports. But holding a Wii remote is a lot easier than a bowling ball, so I was a little nervous that my Wii techniques wouldn’t hold up in real life.
On the ride to the alley, I forgot about my nerves for a while as I talked to other new members who would end up becoming some of my best friends. But, as soon as we entered the alley, and sisters poured out of cars dripping in glitter and rocking bright blue tutus, I knew it was time for the moment of truth. I swung my ball back, took a deep breath and landed one of the all-time most spectacular gutter balls.
I anticipated looks of disappoint from my sisters. Instead, I was greeted with high-fives and encouragement.
At that moment, I got my first glimpse of the sisterhood that awaited me at Kappa Kappa Gamma. I know that story isn’t a tearjerker. I didn’t want to tell a sad story because joining Kappa has made me happier than just about anything else. That’s not to say that sad stuff doesn’t happen. We all know that it does. But, the Kappa sisterhood won’t make you cry, unless you’re crying from laughter.
Instead, our sisterhood supports you through those tears or embarrassing moments or stressful times. The second I joined Kappa, I no longer faced those inevitable moments alone. I now faced them more confidently than before with a team of friends cheering me on.
While the daily support Kappas show each other speaks volumes about our sisterhood, my friends have helped me through my less-than-cute moments too. One month after bid day, when I was bedridden with Bronchitis, my sisters hand-delivered me a heaping bowl of chocolate mousse to remind me I wouldn’t be sick forever. How about two years later? I distinctly remember reading furiously in the Kappa study for upcoming tests at 4 a.m., my bloodstream mostly composed of caffeinated beverages. As before, I was not alone. At the desk across the room sat my best friends, in matching groutfits, furiously reading as well. While we may have forgotten which classes we were studying for (and likely every fact we crammed into our sleep-deprived brains), we will most certainly never forget those mornings.
Tonight you’ll make a special decision, and though I hope you’ve already decided to go Kappa, I also understand that many of you may be torn. So, I want to paint a picture of Kappa for you that you can’t find on our Instagram feed or in the composites in the house. I want to show you something real. In Kappa, I’ve met friends that transform mundane moments into hilarious memories, that turn stressful situations into opportunities for laughter and that support me no matter what.
These girls will belt with you to Keke Palmer’s “Bottoms Up” and synchronize a dance with you to Shakira’s fabulous “Hips Don’t Lie.” These girls will cross miles, time zones and the Russian border-control to visit you for a weekend abroad. These girls will defend you (no questions asked) to anyone that tries to tear you down and listen to you rant about how much you love your favorite author or mitochondria until your voice is hoarse. Most importantly, and at the risk of sounding cliché, these girls will become your home away from home.
Chances are I’d have fun in any social group I decided to join. And believe me, Kappas have fun, but at the end of the day, that’s not the only thing that defines this sisterhood. I considered telling a light-hearted story about that time we went to Miami for spring break or providing a cute anecdote about when my sisters visited me abroad. But I decided that though those memories are priceless and unforgettable, there’s been far more to my Kappa experience. This sisterhood is about holding each other up on nights out, and when someone loses a loved one. It’s about sending each other funny memes, and good luck texts before tests. It’s about wearing matching cheetah outfits to date party, and wearing out your car’s tires on road trips with each other.
When I was deciding which sorority to join, people told me to choose the women I looked up to. That’s one of the many reasons I went Kappa. I admired them because they seemed put-together, smart, ambitious, funny and loving. Since then, I’ve discovered that my preconceptions about these amazing women were absolutely true. And I sincerely believe that joining Kappa has made me the woman I’m proud to be today.
But I’ve also discovered other things about the group I’m proud to belong to, things that show Kappa has encouraged me to grow far beyond the girl with a gutter ball three years ago. With my sisters’ support, I now confidently hit strikes and help others do so (metaphorically speaking, of course). Kappa isn’t always glamorous, but neither is true friendship, or life for that matter. And it’s the less than glamorous moments that make me even prouder to wear my letters. I can tell you from experience that after recruitment, first impressions will be shed, sweatpants will be donned and makeup wipes will erase eyeliner. But what remains is far more attractive. What remains is an unshakable sisterhood that will last you a lifetime.