I thought I would do a light-hearted post today as the start of the school year comes around. About four years ago, I went away for college for the first time and found myself joining Alpha Omicron Pi during fall recruitment. Unlike the movies there are horror stories during recruitment or rush week. Which was amazing, but to be honest I never even thought it would happen when I walked through the doors at the sorority house for the first time. I honestly felt like I was surrounded by family.
Alpha Omicron Pi's mission statement is "Women Enriched Through Lifelong Friendships." And there is no doubt in my mind that this is true. Though I moved away after being in the house for two years due to change in major and financial hardship, I still felt like welcomed in the house every time I came back to visit. Even from the new sisters that joined after I left.
One thing you somehow manage to get a lot of while saying at the house is stuffed pandas which is the mascot of Alpha Omicron Pi. And many are passed down through your sorority family tree. I know I passed down a lot of them before I left, but I still have six that sit next to my sheaf of wheat and other AOII collectibles like pictures and artwork.
Another thing I absolutely loved about Alpha Omicron Pi is the commitment to education, philanthropy, and community involvement. The main philanthropy for Alpha Omicron Pi is American Juvenile Arthritis Organization, but they also do events for other organizations like: Adopt-a-Highway, Breast Cancer, Cardiac Awareness, Child Abuse Prevention and Support, Domestic Violence Prevention and Support, Habitat for Humanity, Help for the Homeless, Holiday Toy Drives, Juvenile Diabetes, March of Dimes. Natural Disaster Relief, Nursing Homes, Ronald McDonald House, Soldiers' Angels Care Package Drives. Soup Kitchens. Wounded Warrior Project, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We did community service all the time, and I still find myself looking for new projects or organizations or charities that I can try to help out. And I think that's amazing, because anything you can do to help others is so uplifting especially when you do it for nothing in return. That's how people should live their life, in my opinion, once you're able to take care of yourself without worrying you should help others reach that same feeling. And maybe one day, no one will be worried anymore about anything going on in their life.
Though I'm no longer at the house, I've tried to carry these throughout the rest of my life. My sisters taught me more than I could ever express in words. I find myself thinking back to the brick house and wondering what my sisters would do if they were in my situation or how they would help me if I ever needed assistance.