Transforming the College Experience

If you are a college student or a high school student entering college, you may have heard the statement that, “College is the most selfish time in your life.” This is oftentimes packaged as both a good and a bad thing. A benefit of college is that we get to focus on ourselves--who we are, what we are interested in, what we want out of life, time to try new things, and the like--and this is awesome. However, this new, exciting time of self-discovery can spiral into a pattern of only thinking about ourselves and neglecting the advice we heeded growing up, to consider others in everything that we do. I found myself falling into this way of thinking freshman year as I was always being asked about myself: What do YOU want to study? In what do YOU want to get involved? What career do YOU want to pursue? These are great questions; but, as I was asked them over and over, I could feel myself losing my grip on a reality of which I was not the center. I really had to consciously fight the urge to live in a world where only I mattered as that is what the outside world was telling me was acceptable.

Along the way, a different narrative was being written made me aware of this, and it was being written by my sorority sisters in Delta Gamma. My first day at the DG house during recruitment set the tone for my entire experience as a member. I spoke to a girl named Katie Grooms (shout out!) who asked questions that showed her true care for me and the things I had to say--and I had met this girl only minutes before!! I’d never felt more loved in such a short amount of time, and we became fast friends after I joined. Unexpectedly, the genuine care and selflessness I experienced at Open House continued through recruitment and my entire time as a member of DG. Freshman year, I was surprised by how much love I received from girls who didn’t know much more than my name--from rides to the hospital when I needed stitches, to a shoulder to cry on, or help with calculus homework, I never questioned that these girls unconditionally loved me as their sister. I have seen my dear friends love on students with visual impairments at TSBVI, come around one another in the face of loss, and celebrate others’ accomplishments as if they were their own. I am better because of the great people with whom I get to share this chapter, and I am so thankful that DG transcends the limits I placed on my own college experience.

Love and ITB,

Erin McWilliams

MC ‘14

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