The Freshman Project

FP

 

A couple of years ago I did a five post series called, College, Ready or Not?, that focused on finances, making friends, going Greek, stress management, and the importance of listening to your instincts in the collegiate environment. This was great foreshadowing for the opportunity I had to contribute to The Freshman Project: A Collection of Practical and Clever Advice About The College Experience. This book is for college students diving into their first-year of college AND for those people in their life who serve as their advocates, allies, mentors, friends, teachers, guidance counselors, mentors, and champions.

After serving as a Student Affairs staff member on the campuses of Duke University and Vanderbilt University for the past 9 years, I know that parents/guardians always want to know, “How do I prepare my student for college?” This book can help you answer that question with pages of expert knowledge that help you have the conversations that matter most with your student.

Gift this book to a student and they can spend some time preparing for their next incredible chapter.

Topics include:

  • Survive Failure
  • Build Healthy Love Relationships
  • Pick a Major
  • Be a Beginner
  • Navigate Depression and Anxiety
  • Discover Leadership Opportunities
  • Honor the Differences
  • Sleep Smart
  • Consider Fraternity/Sorority Life

All of these topics are critical for an incoming college student to discuss with a caring individual in their life AND there are still many more topics in the book. Providing them with this information will provide a strong foundation that will help support them as they navigate their first-year of college.

I’m honored to have a chapter in the book “Discover Leadership Opportunities”. Erin Fischer of The Leadership and Training Studio put together an all-star roster of expert contributors who give you top notch nuggets of wisdom.

If you’re a student or a supporter of a student and you want  deeper insight into the collegiate experience while adding some tools to your toolbox to help you both be successful, then this book is for you.

Want a copy? I’d love to send you some purchase information.

Want to develop a program around the first-year college experience?

Email me at krystalnclark@gmail.com so that I can send you purchase information and we can begin planning something positive for you community.

 

Want to read my series, College, Ready or Not?

Part 1

Come Back to Calm

Inconvenient Friends

Go With Your Gut

Money, Too Much and Never Enough

The Greek Thing

 

Thanks for reading.

Krystal

 

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College…Ready or Not? –The Greek Thing.

I only worked at schools that have had deferred recruitment so I might be a little late in getting to those of you who attend schools that have already disseminated bids aka invitations to join.  To those of you that have chosen to become a part of Greek Life, CONGRATULATIONS! To those of you have decided not to pursue Greek Life, CONGRATULATIONS! To those of you who had a less than desirable recruitment/rush experience…CONGRATULATIONS! I’m a firm believer that it all works out for the best. Trust the process. To those of you who are just confused…CONGRATULATIONS! Keep reading and perhaps I can offer some insight.

Let’s get clear…

1. I didn’t join my sorority as an undergraduate student. I was honored to be invited to join as an alumnae initiate. My decision not to join as an undergraduate had nothing to do with being anti-greek or an inability to acquire a bid. It had to do with money, racial identity matters, lack of understanding as to how joining a sorority could add to my already full collegiate experience, and a bit of skepticism of the whole pledging process. This one was not signing up to be hazed. Nope, no ma’am. My future was too bright for foolishness.

2. I worked in Greek Life for 8 years of my life as a graduate student and as a professional. I lived in a fraternity house (no lie), ran Greek Week and Greek Homecoming, and served as a Panhellenic Advisor for six years. If I can plan recruitment, then I can plan the world! [insert evil laughter]

3. I have loved my non-traditional sorority experience. I’ve been involved in my alumnae chapters in The Triangle and Nashville. I also had the opportunity to visit my EO this summer in Arlington, TX. Until I was 26, I wasn’t a member of a sorority therefore I do a pretty great job of staying objective on this topic.

Ahem…

This is an extremely personal decision. Don’t join because it seems like everyone else is joining. Don’t join because everyone in your family joined. Don’t join because of cliché statements such as, “Don’t you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself?” Answer: you already are –that feeling doesn’t require another membership.  Do your research by going to open events, chatting with current members, and setting up a meeting with the staff on your campus who advise these organizations.

disney

I can’t blame you for taking into account everything you see in the media when making this decision. Unfortunately, most things you see about fraternity and sorority life in the media is pretty dang bad, in fact, it’s pretty dang awful. What’s even worse is that a lot of it is true. What I will say is that not every chapter, member, or community has the makings of a Lifetime movie,scathing Huffington Post blog, or sickening TFM/TSM post. There are people doing Greek right. There is a whole other heartwarming and worthwhile side of fraternity and sorority membership. Friendship–brotherhood/sisterhood–service–philanthropy–leadership–scholarship–and all the yummy values-based stuff you can think of actually do exist. You can find your bridesmaids and groomsmen. You can find people who will stick by you through thick and thin. People who will help you when you’re ill and celebrate all your successes. You can raise an incredible amount of money for fantastic causes and you can serve entire communities through hands-on service. The possibilities are limitless. However, you often won’t be made aware of the full picture unless you give the Greek community a chance by attending an information session, tabling event, rush meeting, and other opportunities designed solely to create a space for people like you to become informed. Great chapters are working to recruit the best members; let them woo you.

Ask real questions. Request real answers. If you feel like you’re getting a canned answer then you’re probably right. Push harder. This is a lifetime commitment and you want to be real clear about what you’re about to pledge your life to. Think about what would make this joining experience worthwhile for you and then take the time to inquire about those desires.

Become informed about all of your membership possibilities. For instance, do you have to join during the first semester? As a first-year student? Are there opportunities to join during the next semester? Will going through recruitment as an upperclassmen hurt your chances? Many students would rather acclimate to their campus surroundings and academic schedule before joining a Greek-lettered organization. Make sure that you’re clear on what waiting might do for your chance at membership. At some schools being older greatly impairs your chances at a bid.

Gain an understanding of all of the possible fraternities/sororities you can join. NPC, NPHC, Multicultural, Co-Ed, Professional, Service, Academic…there are many ways to belong to a Greek-lettered organization. Perhaps a traditional “social” group isn’t for you and instead you’d be happy become a sister of the engineering sorority.

I joined at 26 for extremely different reasons than I would have had at 18.

At 18, it would have been about making friends, creating a smaller community on my campus, the cuteness/happiness of it all, the social opportunities, and some of that values stuff might have played a small role.

sorority why

At 26, I joined because I believe strongly in the values of my organization. I support our efforts at making women better women. I am an advocate for our stellar philanthropic work. Our ritual makes me cry. Our Purpose connects with my purpose. The women I have known since college from this group have always impressed me and I work to be like them. I love the progressive nature of my sorority. I was at a place in life in which I clearly understood that sorority membership is a reciprocal relationship. We make each other better. My reasons were a lot deeper than they would have been at 18. I joined right when I was supposed to and I’m glad that I didn’t become a member earlier in life.

Go Greek or don’t Go Greek. I know that you can have a fulfilling college experience without membership the same way you can with membership. I think people gravitate to Greek because it seems so instant and easy. For many, it is worthwhile and for others they realize after joining that perhaps they should have made a different decision.

What I would encourage you NOT to do is to knock it before you try it. I mean, some things you should knock before you try like drugs BUT I’m not going to make the leap to group Greek Life and drugs in the same category.

Don’t judge something or someone that you don’t know anything about except for what you see in the media. Make your own informed decisions.

Oh, and the above advice is just good life strategy.

Sign up for Recruitment and participate in a Round or 2. Go to a few Rush events and check out the scene. Make a few visits to programs being held by the Greek community or specific chapters. You really don’t have that much to lose by just seeing what’s available and collecting information.

I’ve met many women and men that were “Maybe Joiners” and after a few rounds of recruitment, they were sold on the experience. I’ve also worked with men and women who couldn’t wait to become a member but realized that during the process of joining that this didn’t really meet their expectations.

Disconnect from the blabbering of all  the so-called “experts”–myself included–and venture out to see what your gut tells you about fraternity/sorority membership. You know, I’m a firm believer in the gut.

If you decide it ain’t your thang. Cool. However, support your peers who have made the decision to join and live the Greek life. Yes, you might spot its flaws, but nothing in college is perfect. Respect those who are doing their best to add value to your campus, community, and the lives of fellow students through their membership. Don’t be Judgey McJudgerson.

I know that the process can be BRUTAL. I’ve watched it for years and know the toll it can take on students. What I also know is that you’ll come out okay on the other side. You’ll find other ways to make your college your home. Other groups, other people, and other parts of yourself will take center stage in your life in ways that you never expected. It’s such a personal “no”. Breathe and know that you’re enough. If you’ve given your authentic self and didn’t find yourself with a bid on Bid Day then I’d count that as a win. You gave them all of you. Why would you want to be in a group that doesn’t appreciate the unicorn that you are? Go find your people. They’re waiting…

For those of you that do join, don’t look down on those who decide not  to or aren’t able to due to the process.  Invite them to open Greek events and support them in their campus involvement. Don’t make a snap judgement because someone isn’t Greek. This doesn’t mean that they are less than you.  Your letters don’t make you better than anyone else.

better letters

No campus benefits from Greek v. Non Greek Battles. You aren’t Biggie and Tupac. Scratch it.

Whatever you do, join a fraternity/sorority for the right reasons. The values, the people, the service, philanthropy, leadership opportunities–no matter what you see in the media, the heart of Greek Life is a beautiful thing.

Alright, now go learn and figure out whether this world is for you.

Check out this blog on deferred recruitment and a few other blogs I’ve done on Greek Life.

1

2

3

4

5

Also, check out T.J. Sullivan  and John Shertzer

Thanks for reading. Happy First Year!

Lata Y’all.

College…Ready or Not?–College & Money: Too Much and Never Enough

College is a lot of things but one thing it can never claim to be is cheap.

One of the things that I’ve noticed college students often have issues with is money. We’re living in a time in which the vast majority of students are receiving some type of financial aide whether that be scholarships, grants, work study, and/or the dreaded loans. Room and board, books, student fees, and tuition all have to be paid. Costs vary depending on the institution. Private schools are often more expensive than public and going to school out-of-state will often cost you more than in-state. Community Colleges are a less expensive option and there is a movement of students who are starting out at the CC and then transferring to a four-year institution after completing their first two years of coursework. This helps save money while the student pays cheaper tuition, lives at home, and works to save up for the greater costs of a four-year college/university.

 

college money

A source of stress that is rearing its ugly head on campuses is that many students are able to find ways to be able to afford “going to college”. They get what they need to be a student. What they don’t get covered in their financial package is what I call ” [insert name of college/university] Plus”. This is all of the other “stuff” that college students want in order to take full advantage of the college experience.

This might include:

– Fraternity/sorority membership

– Participation in certain clubs/organizations/teams

– Spring Break/Fall Break trips

-Beach Week

– Study Abroad

– Alternative Spring Break

– apparel

-late night food, coffee runs, frozen yogurt, smoothies

– money to spend on the weekend excursions (cabs, festive beverages, dinners out on the town with friends, movie tickets, concerts)

and anything else that costs extra beyond basic college expenses.

This creates a class bubble and can lead to some destructive financial habits including the dreaded college credit card trap. Stay away! If needed, get one card! Only one! Emergencies ONLY! Pay it off immediately! Money also serves as a determinant of how and if students participate in extracurricular activities and it can dictate who they choose to include in their circle of friends.

Here are some financially healthier ways to figure this out:

1. Get a job! There are always offices on campus looking for student workers. Ask your Career Center about resources on campus to help you find openings. These are also usually in the school newspaper, on flyers around campus, and some schools even have Employment Fairs for on-campus jobs. The great thing about working on-campus is that your employer will make sure that you honor your identity as a student. At many of these jobs you can even do your homework during downtime and still count those hours on your timesheet. It’s convenient and you’ll learn about another aspect of the university as well as basic skills that can help you later in life. You won’t get rich BUT you’ll earn extra pocket change for those “plus” opportunities.

Of course, you can also work off-campus. Studies have shown that it is actually beneficial for a student to work 20 hours a week as it helps establish time management skills. Be upfront with your employer about your schedule as a student. Think about the proximity of your job to campus. Unless you absolutely need to, try not to work to the point that you’re actually missing out on your college experience. If you have to work, I get it, but you don’t want to resent your job and you want to make sure that whatever you’re paying for that you actually have an opportunity to be an active participant. Don’t forget, you’re in college to get your diploma. Make sure that you’re not working to the detriment of your academics.

Babysitting is often a clutch role that many students pick-up as a college student.

Check out the Psychology or Sociology department as they are often holding non-threatening and non-invasive studies in which students can serve as subjects and make a little extra money.

A great deal of students work extremely hard over the summer to bank their income in order to serve as their bucket of funds for the upcoming school year. This isn’t a bad idea and will certainly help you to develop and manage a budget.

Make sure to set up a checking account and develop a basic budget. What are your wants versus your needs? What is your family helping you pay for versus what are you responsible to pay for on your own? Keeping track will help you avoid those pesky overdrawn fees that I became way too familiar with in college.

2. Inquire about scholarships or payment plans. For things like sorority/fraternity membership, study abroad, and even some trips there may exist financial aide opportunities in the form of scholarships or payment plans. Connect with the person in charge of finances for the organization and be upfront about your payment concerns. I know that money can be hard to chat about with a peer but if you’re interested in the opportunity then you’ve got to do the work to figure out how to afford it. Just ask the general question, “Are there opportunities for payment plans or scholarships?” Believe me, this isn’t the first time this has been brought up by a student. Contact staff in the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life or the Study Abroad Office for more information. For many trips, you pay for it during a certain period of time and not all at once. If this is the case, figure out if the payment plan is doable for you and your budget.

3. Look for alternatives. Everyone has the ability to class pass these days. If obtaining the latest gear is important to you then it is important that you become adept at obtaining the look for less. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Target, Old Navy, H&M, Forever 21, outlet stores, ASOS, Goodwill,  consignment shops, Charming Charlie’s, EBay, and clearance sales are going to become your best friends. Don’t let me loose in a Wal-Mart–I will make that $15.00 dress look like a million bucks. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. All you need is the look and not the label. Learn how to make that $25.00 dress from Target look like that $150.00 Anthropologie dress. There are so many blogs and Pinterest boards that can assist you with getting the look you want for 1/3 of the price. You wear the clothes. Also, become aware of all the discounts stores offer college students. The movie theatre, J.Crew, LOFT, Kate Spade, and many local boutiques over 10-15% off if you have a college ID. Go for the high/low approach to fashion. Splurge on the basics and save money on overly trendy items that will only be “cool” for 5 seconds. My current outfit includes a Target dress, belt that came with a TJ Maxx dress, Anthropologie flats that were 50% off and I used my birthday discount to purchase, Stella & Dot bracelet, Longchamp Tote,  Old Navy Cardigan, and basic pearl studs from Macy’s.  I could throw on another basic Target dress and have a whole new look tomorrow. Rock what you got! Confidence is the essence of style.

confidence

For anything that people are buying that is exorbitant in price, you can certainly find a lower-cost option including the needed textbooks. Check out AMAZON or local booksellers before you settle on the bookstore prices. There are often previous students who also will cut you a great deal on their used textbooks. Don’t forget, you can make money on those at the end of the semester. The University will often hold a Buy Back OR you can sell to fellow students. Sometimes, I would get up to $250.00 back at the end of the semester. Granted that was certainly not anywhere near the amount I spent on them but I wasn’t mad at $250.00 to help celebrate the end of the semester.

Switch up your social plan so that you can still go out, but do it differently than your peers. Perhaps you engage in festive beverages before you go out, maybe you eat dinner on your already paid for meal plan as opposed to splurging on an expensive dinner, take the free student bus and not a cab, keep coffee or chai in your room so as not to make Starbucks runs that quickly add up. Have a stash of snacks for those late night urges.

4. Scour your campus for FREE opportunities. You’re in college and there is free fun happening EVERYWHERE! Make it a game and see how many free things you can attend, eat, and take home each week. Shows, lectures, t-shirts, movies, food, sporting events, and lessons, etc. can all be found underneath your nose. Take advantage of it and take a group of friends on low budget adventures.  Perhaps create a FREE STUFF resource through twitter, Facebook, or a blog to disseminate to your peers. I don’t care how much money you have, everyone loves free stuff.

5. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you can’t do all the things. I accepted that I’d never be off to Cancun for Spring Break or Italy in the summer. I accepted that I could not afford sorority membership or full-price items from J.Crew. I learned to be happy with what I had and to fill in any perceived “gaps” with all of the free or inexpensive stuff I could find. I had an amazing college experience. I’m eternally grateful that I even was able to attend college. When it gets rough, think about the bigger picture. You’re one of the privileged few that has the opportunity to receive a college education. Praise Him!

enough gratitude

The biggest obstacle is often communicating to your friend group about your finances.

What do you say when everyone wants to call a cab to go downtown to grab dinner and festive beverages at the new swanky speakeasy? 

What do you say when your girls have invited you to Vegas for Fall Break? 

I would encourage you to do this, TELL THE TRUTH.

If peeps walk away from you because of your financial situation then you might want to find new friends. College is hard enough without hiding your economic situation from people and lying your way through the day by making excuse after excuse about why you can’t do things with the group. The truth also trumps unsurmountable credit card debt that could haunt you long after you graduate.

“Y’all, that’s just a bit too steep for my budget. Would you consider [insert option here]?” 

“The old bank account doesn’t feel good about this one, y’all go ahead and I’ll see you in the morning for brunch at the caf.” 

“You know, this event is happening on campus tonight and that makes more sense for me financially right now.” 

“I’ll meet y’all there. It’ll be best for me to take the bus.” 

“Thanks for inviting me along for the trip. I’m all about it and can’t wait to celebrate with y’all, but I’m going to look into making my own travel plans.” 

“I’m going to eat dinner here and then I’ll be able to take the cab and grab a celebratory beverage.” 

“I’m planning next Thursday night. We’ll have a fun and low-key game night with my home cooking.” 

Once again living your truth invites others to do the same and it creates a learning opportunity for those that are completely oblivious to financial struggles of other students. Unfortunately, when money is not an issue for students they often assume that those around them –especially when you attend a prestigious institution that has a reputation of attracting economically privileged students–come from the same economic background and that money is not an issue for anyone and certainly not those they call their friends.

Don’t expect your friends to change their lives entirely for you but instead make the adjustments that will allow you to participate at whatever level makes you comfortable. A good friend will get it and will support you in your practices.

Money is something that we’ve been taught in the South to not speak about at the dinner table, but I think it demonstrates a great deal of maturity for a student to authentically address this matter with those who are important in shaping their collegiate experience.

Developing this practice now will also help you to not become an adult who struggles to “keep up with the Jones'”. This family has caused us all so many issues. The goal isn’t to keep up with anyone but yourself. Remember, money and stuff, will never bring you lasting happiness.

enough money

Class has to become a topic that college students become more able to discuss. College is the place to strengthen the skills to have what have been deemed “awkward conversations”. The more students can relate across class lines the better.

How are you managing your finances in college?

Hope the first year is going well. Thanks for reading.

Lata Y’all.

 

On Friday, I’m in Love

This week I’ m in love with…

Writing and receiving thank you notes. Make this a habit if you haven’t already added this practice to your life. Gratitude is the new black. They can totally match your style and personality since there are a huge variety available at all price points. I tend to collect them from Target, Paper Source, and Hallmark. Please know that you can make any blank card a thank you card simply by altering your personal handwritten message.

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

My new Kate Spade coin purse. I purchased it on a whim and it was on sale. I love the stripes and sometimes all you need are the essentials as opposed to the pieces of luggage I carry around called “purses”. Also, great color scheme so it is perfect for games in the fall :). Go ‘Dores!

Coin Purse

The new Civil Wars song, “The One That Got Away“. Just listen. Also, if you ever have the opportunity please see them in concert.

Hoda Kotb and this picture of her displaying her love of Delta Delta Delta.

Check out #4! DLAM

Check out #4! DLAM

A good breakfast. Thanks Sky Blue Café. If you’re ever in town, check this place out for delicious food and a charming atmosphere. I chose to create my own omelet with spinach, cheese, and chicken. It was delivered with breakfast potatoes, a small cup of fruit, and one of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten in my life. Yum! East Nashville does food well.

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe's Website

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe’s Website

The new buddy comedy, The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. I was able to see a sneak preview and did nothing but belly laugh the entire movie. Love these two sharing the same screen.

What are you love with this week?

Later Y’all.

I’m just really not sure…

Ambiguity- Noun
1.Uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language.
2.A lack of decisiveness or commitment resulting from a failure to make a choice between alternatives.

It is amazing how a nine letter word can cause so much anxiety and create great hesitance in one’s life. The “gray” is constantly taking hold of me these days whenever I’m presented with a new opportunity.

I turned down three awesome opportunities this week because I’m taking on a new job in May and I’m just unsure about what my day-to-day will look like in this role. Part of me is excited about that and the opportunity to sculpt a new work lifestyle for myself but the other part of me just wants to know my schedule so I can plug in the rest of my existence.

unfold

During my first post-graduate job search, I was asked on a phone interview, “How do you deal with ambiguity?” and I thought, “what an odd question” not fully knowing the ins and outs of working in Greek Life. I stumbled through the question and for some reason that moment has never left my mind. I always tell people that are job searching to be able to answer that question because it totally caught me off guard.

If I was asked that question now I might say the following: “While I don’t enjoy ambiguity, I am learning to trust the process and know that all I can do is make the best decisions with what I have at my disposal. All I can do is control my sphere of influence and I must let go of everything else. I go with my gut, trust my education and experience,seek advice as needed, and have confidence in the fact that at the end of the day I did the best I could. There is something exciting about ambiguity as you never know what might happen and that same aspect can also be quite frigtening. If you think about it, life is ambiguous. We figure it out as we go and if we make mistakes we do our best to fix them along the way. If we can’t fix it then we apologize and promise to do better the next time. There are always multiple versions of the truth and I just have to go with the one that seems the most accurate within my current context. Uncertainly is just that, uncertain and we can’t do much to change that. It is what it is.”

So, I don’t know what my life is going to look like past May 15th. I don’t even know where my office is going to be located. All I know is that change is coming and I better buckle up and get ready for the ride. We’ll see what happens and what doesn’t happen. I’m making space so that I can be a flexible passenger in this car. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be fine with Him all around me.

Later Y’all.

We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Badges!

So, I never wanted to be a Girl Scout. I didn’t have the least bit of desire to sell cookies and be one with nature. All of that sounded like it was for the birds. Those badges never appealed to me.

I danced. I cheered. Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, elbow. I debuted as a debutante. I was the Queen of the Freshmen and of Homecoming. Despite all of this ultra girl stuff, I was quite skeptical of the whole “sorority” thing. I didn’t run to it in college. Instead, I questioned it and watched it with a suspicious eye. Due to many of the things I witnessed, I decided not to make that so-called “lifetime commitment”.

Just my luck, I took a Graduate Assistantship in a fraternity house and immersed myself with one swift “Yes” in the land of fraternity & sorority life. Say what? Yeah, I took a job living with 34 frat boys while also advising Greek Week and Greek Homecoming. Don’t ask. I still don’t have a clue what I was thinking but…it turned out for the best.

I actually liked it and thus I decided to keep working with the Greeks for my first post graduate job at a little private school in North Carolina that I’m sure you’ve never heard of at all. I was an outsider on the inside and the students didn’t seem to mind at all.

Life was good.

On a not so awesome Wednesday at work I received the phone call that would change my Greek fate FOREVER! Some lovely people had gotten together and decided to nominate me as an Honor Initiate of Delta Delta Delta (yes, that sorority).

Say what? Yep, it happened.

Well, I decided to take them up on the offer and step on over to the crescent side of the moon. Why? Well, after some life reflection I realized that DDD has played a role in my life since I was 18. It was the first sorority I was drawn to in the W&M Sorority Handbook, it was the sorority that provided me with inspiration for my seminar paper during graduate school, it is the sorority that is connected with St. Jude that was created by Danny Thomas whose legacy and vision brings me to tears, it is the sorority who paid for my professional development at IFI. It is the sorority that focuses on issues of body image which is a topic that is dear to my heart. To be honest, it was also the sorority that hosted my favorite room at an SAE Progressive in college. Shh!! Don’t tell the Greek Advisor ;). The Tri Delta women I’d met after college were also some of my favorites and were always women of high caliber.

College Krystal had never really been clued in on the real nature of sorority. I didn’t know that the whole point was to empower me to be a better woman. It took me till I was 26 to realize that sorority was for me all along but I’d just needed more time to come around than others. Participating in ritual at 26 was probably the best thing I could have done because I actually listened to the words and was in sheer awe of what Sarah Ida Shaw and her girls had put together in 1888.

Delta Delta Delta Badge

Today is International Badge Day. With great pride I wear the badge of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity. I am a member of the Alpha Pi chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park. Happy Badge Day to all of my Tri Delta and Panhellenic sisters. DLAM!!!

On Thursdays, We Give Thanks.

How appropriate as today is Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble!

Keeping the post short today as I am on Holiday and I am doing this from my iPhone.

1. Smooth travels–not one hiccup at the airport yesterday. Thanks Delta! The Jamaican lady working my flight from ATL was AMAZING! Those cookies in the red wrapper and my Cranapple Cocktail Juice made it a sweet time.

2. Social Media– Love how it helps me stay in contact with those I love from afar. I am blessed with the best people in my life and I love being able to send a quick message and even view images from their lives. Connection and Community are so important. Twitter and Facebook help me keep those elements central in my life.

3. Delta Delta Delta! We celebrated Founders’ Day yesterday. 124 years of steadfast love for one another. I became a member at 26 and the layer of sisterhood it has added to my life is amazing. DLAM to all my sisters! 1888 – FOREVER! Still in awe of what our founders created 124 years ago.

4. My new read, Calm My Anxious Heart, which is helping me to explore my tendency to worry and to control things that are beyond me. I have to remember to look to Him and trust that all that comes my way, good or bad, is a gift from Him and therefore is good as it is a part of His plan. I must pray and not worry!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Gobble Gobble!!

Later Y’all!