With Girl Scout events I think it can be challenging to see the impact that we are having as a sisterhood. Different girls come to our events every time, with several months in between; because of this, it is hard to observe progress being made with the socials we host. This is why I am so grateful for our last event, the Fall Festival.
Before I get started, I’m going to rewind to exactly a year ago, when we hosted a fashion show for the Girl Scouts. That day I was paired with a 3rd grader named Lilly. It didn’t take long to see that Lilly was hesitant to be at our event. While her little sister was dancing around and introducing herself to my sisters, Lilly hid behind her mom and started to tear up when I asked her to come with me to play games.
As that event went on, Lilly started to come out of her shell a lot. She told me all about her friends, walked down a runway with me, didn’t want to leave, and even tried to take me home with her at the end of the day! But I did notice small comments, such as mentioning that her sister was the fun one, that told me Lilly was lacking in self-confidence.
Now flashforward back to this year. For our fall Girl Scout event, we hosted a Fall Festival with Autumn themed activities and a costume contest. I was at the pumpkin painting station with some girls when I looked up and saw Lilly grinning at me! I ran up to hug her and talk with her mom, and as the day went on, I was pretty confused. First of all, Lilly was in a very loud costume. It was a fuzzy cat costume, with a cardboard head that was bigger than her. She was incredibly talkative as well, asking to go to multiple activities, and introducing herself to several people. She wasn’t afraid to ask for help like she was last year.
I was interested in what had caused the change in Lilly’s behavior, so during some downtime, I went over and asked her mom if she had noticed a similar change in her daughter. She immediately grinned and said something that I think any Kappa Delta would want to hear, “Oh, she’s had a huge confidence boost, and it’s because of you guys!”
Lilly’s mother went on to explain that after seeing how happy she was at the last event, she made a point to keep Lilly around older girls that she thought would be good role models for her. She also did her best to bring Lilly and her little sister to any Kappa Delta events possible. She absolutely adored the Kappa Deltas after seeing the changes in her daughter, and did her best to encourage the troops to come visit us as well. After a year of this exposure, she explained that Lilly had developed an entirely new level of confidence, and was a different child.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the influence that we have on Girl Scouts, since we often don’t see the girls for more than one or two events. But I think this story is incredibly important, because regardless of whether we have the opportunity to witness it, Kappa Delta does have an impact on the Girl Scout troops. And that’s something that was should never forget to appreciate.
First things first: I never wanted to be a sorority woman.
I spent many years of my life with the mindset of being a “boys’ girl” - I thought to fully identify as a tomboy, I had to make friends with the guys and denounce girl friendships. I had a circle of my best girlfriends, obviously, but I’d always tell people I enjoyed the company of boys more.
I was raised an only child, a daughter to two “some college experience” parents. Neither knew what a sorority was or had any interest in learning about Greek life. I thought the 'chi' in 'Chi Omega' was pronounced “chee.” I remember reading an issue of Seventeen magazine at the ripe age of 12, looking at a picture of a delta made of pepperoni on top of a large pizza, held by several smiling girls. "That’s Greek life?" I remember thinking. "Pizza?"
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I actually started thinking about sororities. I was about to graduate, moving to a school where I knew very few people, and had no advice about how to handle a university. I was shy, inexperienced, and incredibly unsure. So I went home one night after school and signed up for recruitment.
“You’re going through recruitment?” That was the sentiment I heard endlessly, from graduation, through summer, and into the first few weeks of school. “Are you sure?” I wasn’t. I wasn’t sure in the slightest. I had no idea what a Pi Chi was, I didn’t wear statement necklaces, and I thought Lilly Pulitzer was a type of flower.
I went through rounds feeling drained, exhausted from small talk, entirely positive all those who’d said I wouldn't be able to join a sorority were right. And then I walked into Kappa Delta.
It sounds like such a cliché, right? I walked through the doors and a spotlight descended and angels sang. (That didn’t happen). It wasn’t obvious right away, but I had real conversations with real girls and I felt as though I was really, truly home.
“You joined a sorority?” I heard that 42 seconds after I posted a picture of my bid on my Snapchat story. I was bombarded by similar statements for months after: “I can’t believe you went Greek!” “Wow, sororities must be super chill if you could join,” “Do you even, like…like it, though?”
So, yeah. I never wanted to be a sorority woman. I never thought I could be a sorority woman. I knew nothing about the stereotypes, I don’t “look” like a sorority woman, et cetera. But here I am - a member of Greek life, someone who proudly wears letters around campus, someone with numerous appointed positions, someone who now craves leadership. A previous “boys’ girl” who now over 100 women as a support system. A tomboy who still isn’t entirely sure what Lilly Pulitzer is, and doesn’t have to know, because my sisters like me anyways. A daughter who will be not only the first member of a Greek organization in her family, but also the first to get her degree. An only child who now claims 143 women as her sisters, who let her laugh and cry and dance with no music and say stupid things.
Kappa Delta has gone from two words that, in the beginning, reminded me kind of like someone clearing their throat, to two words that carry lifelong meaning: friendship, faithfulness, acceptance, honor, beauty, trust, love. Sisterhood.
Kappa Delta isn’t just another obligation I have or another date to write down in my planner. Kappa Delta has shaped my way of life. As a senior, I wake up each day more motivated to make the most of my last active year as a Kappa Delta. Each day, I do my best to reach out to someone new.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “You get out what you put in?”
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. If I could write a list of things that I have given to the organization, and compared it to a list of things I have gotten out of the organization, they would be equal.
I’m a firm believer that several little things along way add up to an amazing lifestyle, and Kappa Delta is no different. An “ah ha” moment wasn’t necessary for me to fall in love with this organization. It was all of smaller yet meaningful moments that have shaped my four-year journey in Kappa Delta.
That being said, my favorite memory over the last four years was serving as the Vice President of Public Relations. It was the most amazing feeling holding such a large leadership position. Serving on council is like nothing else.
My main goal as the VP-PR was to make sure everyone on campus and in the community knew how great Kappa Delta is. I wanted everyone to love our organization for the same reasons that I do.
In February 2016, I attended the National Collegiate Training Academy (NCTA), in order to learn more about my position. It was an unforgettable experience: meeting hundreds of different Kappa Delta women across the country, and remembering we all share similar bonds and values.
I recommend that every member gets involved in some way because my term on council was the absolute best part of my four years. I learned more about myself and my leadership style, and I also learned more about the organization as a whole.
Always remember that every single member of Zeta Kappa has something to bring to the chapter. There is a reason you are a Kappa Delta, you just have to discover it. Always live honorable, beautiful and highest.
Going through recruitment and joining Kappa Delta has been the best decision I have made at Ball State.
In high school I struggled with depression and was often told to “fake it till you make it.” I wanted to be able to hide what I was dealing with. As a result, no one would have ever suspected what I was going through because I was “so happy and funny.” My family was my biggest support system and who I trusted with these details about my mental health. I knew that when I began school at Ball State it would in no way be the same as having the full support from my family that I had back home. I am so, so fortunate to have parents who took time to learn, understand, and get me the help I have needed, but I knew that I needed a support system in this more independent setting.
So, I went through recruitment the fall of my freshman year. Being in Kappa Delta has been so rewarding but it hasn’t always been easy. However, sisters have been willing to tell me the benefits of staying, that they see my potential to affect the chapter, and that they wanted me for a reason. There were times I didn’t always feel needed due to my own insecurities, but I had to remind myself of the bigger picture. It isn’t always about me. What if I am here because someone else will need me? That is just one thing that encourages me to stay.
I no longer feel like I am “faking it till I make it,” and feel so comfortable around my sisters. That isn’t to say that I don’t “fake it” sometimes – by this I mean that I have to focus on being positive and such. Contrary to popular belief, my extremely introverted self did not pop out of bed bright and early during recruitment with a naturally positive attitude. Focusing on being positive has been so useful in my life and helped me love recruiting.
I know that I can break down and cry in front of my sisters and be honest about how I’m doing. I can also eat way too many McChickens and talk about Stranger Things more than the average person with them.
Through being a member of Kappa Delta I have gained confidence. I have had numerous sisters offhandedly say to me “your tweets crack me up” and as ridiculous as it may sound, it has improved my confidence. Of course I love the “you look so pretty!” compliment, but to me the tweet one means more, because it is about my personality and writing. It has made me feel appreciated to know that people like my sense of humor and look forward to what I post. Even deeper than that, Kappa Delta has given me the confidence and drive to want to be a better friend, student, and person in general. I am confident enough to be honest about who I am and how I am doing. I love being surrounded by such beautiful women inside and out and it only encourages me to be the inspiration to someone else that so many Kappa Deltas have been to me.