To fill my days with satisfying activity.
To find dominant beauty in art, literature, nature, and friendships.
To know the peace and serenity in a divine faith.
To love life and joyously live each day to its ultimate good.
This is my creed in Alpha Sigma Alpha.
-Wilma Wilson Sharp, President Emireta
It has been a long time since I really shared anything about my sorority. I can, without a doubt, say I have joined hands with my sisters and repeated those words at least 125 times. Some days, they meant the world to me, other days, admittedly, it was just another chore I had to complete to get through to the next chore. It wasn’t always easy. It wasn’t always fun. We fought. We bickered. We branched off into cliques and tried to pit our sisters against one another. We laughed. We cried. We held one another’s hands and we mourned together when one of us lost a loved one.
I still remember that day as clear as a bell.
And what does all of that make us, if not just like any other family around? Except that unlike most families, we chose each other. We chose to be a family. We chose to make a commitment to one another and to the values we all believed in and stacked against anything that tried to tear us down. I hear that it’s not like that anymore. That my beloved Zeta Pi chapter has fallen into disrepair and the current actives don’t have the leadership I had when I was in their position. It hurts my heart that I can’t do anything to help them. I don’t know any of them but they are still my family and I want all of them to succeed. As Alpha Sigs and as strong women. I want them to look at their letter badges and their ever-increasing collection of ladybugs and at a chain link on their keys and know in their hearts that those things represent hundreds of women who support them and love them, even though they’ve never met.
I miss my sisters each and every day. Each and every day I address challenges and triumphs in my life that I want more than anything to share with my sisters who are so far away. I’m getting ready to graduate from cosmetology school in a few weeks and I’m torn between a desire to take my shiny new career and strike out for big city lights and a desire to return to the place my heart feels most at home, which is where my sisters are close.
“The purpose of Alpha Sigma Alpha is to foster close friendships between members and to develop women of poise and purpose.”
But more than that, more than how much I cherish what they are to me today, I think a lot about what I gained from the sorority. Some of the truest friends ever, sure, but personally I learned diplomacy. I learned how to discipline a close friend without damaging that friendship. I learned teamwork. I learned deadlines. I learned how to be completely and 100% myself around people I’d never met because I knew they were part of a special, elite group who understood what kind of person I was.
I learned charity. I think that is the biggest lesson I learned through my experience. I learned to always look for ways to help others. Even now, with weeks to go before I can think about putting anything into motion, I am thinking of ways I can donate my newfound career skills to help people. I love the idea of Look Better, Feel Better, but I want to reach a broader community than just cancer patients and survivors. I want to help victims of domestic violence look better to feel better, car accident survivors and burn victims, sex trade survivors…anyone who could benefit from a fresh new page in their book. I don’t know if that drive to give back would be as strong if not for my time in Alpha Sigma Alpha.
I don’t know if I’ve sufficiently conveyed everything I set out to say. I don’t know if I ever could. I just want to say, to all my sisters, near and far, those whose hands I’ve held and those whom I have never met, ALAM and Mizpah.