by Gabby Rivera, Upsilon (U of Washington), 2019-2020 Educational Leadership Consultant
As a potential new member, I really enjoyed the recruitment experience. However, I had a hard time figuring out which chapter was for me. My recruitment counselors encouraged me to be patient, reassuring me that I would “just know.” When that overwhelming feeling of validation did not come before Bid Day, it almost felt like my invitation into AOII was an accident. When it came to being asked to share my “Why AOII” story, I was unsure on how to express my feelings from one simple moment.
Joining AOII is not an accident. Your “Why AOII” story is not always a singular moment, because your feelings of being chosen and wanted by your sisters cannot be boiled down to just one moment. Rather, it is a collection of moments throughout your time as a collegian and an alumna that remind you, you were purposely chosen to be part of this organization and further its development.
My “Why AOII” goes beyond the moment I decided to join AOII on Bid Day and take the risk to introduce myself to the girl next to me. My “Why AOII” includes moments like: the time I got my big and then my little, the moments I facilitated new member meetings, and my senior send-off.
It includes the moment I met the candidates during ELC interviews and was astounded by the caliber of women in our organization across the nation. It includes the discussions during ELC training about the importance of sisterhood, and it also includes the hour-long Facetime calls with my fellow ELC team members that I didn’t know a year ago, but now can’t imagine my life without. This experience has truly shown me that sisterhood knows no bounds and the opportunity for lifelong connections are available to me because of my affiliation with AOII.
Your “Why AOII” story is made up of all the times you’ve laughed so hard you cried and cried so hard you laughed. Your “Why AOII” story cannot be a singular moment, because it includes all the moments you have been and will continue to be reminded of the everlasting nature of our sisterhood. Maybe the moment you realized AOII was your home is just a chapter in your story, and because of our sisterhood, it is a story that keeps being written.
I am incredibly blessed that my role as Educational Leadership Consultant is the beginning of my time as an alumna. My “Why AOII” now includes all the amazing chapters I have been able to visit and the many true friendships I’ve been able to make along the way. I’m eager to keep adding to my “Why AOII” story, as there are so many moments of sisterhood that I will continue to experience in the years to come.
Look for those moments—the ones that remind you why you joined a sisterhood—and keep writing your story.