Ten years ago, I sat on a bench in Bryant-Denny Stadium holding an envelope that held part of my future in it. Anxious to open it and find my bid card, I knew there was only one thing I wanted it to say. That day, my wish came true. I pledged Zeta Tau Alpha and became a member of an organization that would change my life. It has given more to me than I will ever be able to give back to it.
Nelson Mandela once said “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” When I look at photos from that day, I realize how I have grown and changed and all the ways that what many see as just a social organization has altered my life for the better.
It has given me friendships that will last a lifetime. Ten years later, my sisters are still the ones on my speed dial.
It has given me incredible advisors, who have stood by me, taught me and loved me. I still want to be them when I grow up.
It has given me the opportunity to make new friends – and learn a million different things from them, even though we cheer for different football teams.
It has taught me the nobility of serving. Breast cancer awareness was the first cause I connected to, but it has not be the last. Race for the Cure was the first event I volunteered at, but many more have followed. I have learned my life is better if I spend time doing things for others.
It has even celebrated my family right along with me, honoring my mom as our 2012 convention initiate.
More than that, it has given to my community, donating $25,000 to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund that benefits women in West Alabama who are in need of testing or treatment.
Today, a decade into my membership, I am proud to call myself a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. I am excited to be Nu Chapter’s new member advisor. I am grateful to be able to show our new women what it means to wear these letters and to live our creed.
And I can’t wait to see what the next ten years hold, because we are still just in the beginning of our journey.