No more lacrosse, new friends, losing friends, new school, new job, interviews, applications, loss of jobs, car accident, another car accident, funeral, another funeral, one more funeral, new major, new opportunities, new sorority, chief financial officer, one marathon, two marathons, new life, 2017. Needless to say 2017 was a year of changing, growing, developing, and altering my view of life. In 2016, my family took a trip to St. Croix. Amongst the relaxation I never knew that I would make a life altering decision that would affect my life in more ways than one. It was on a snorkeling cruise, as the calming sounds of waves resonated through my brains that I realized that the life I thought I wanted was not the life that I needed anymore. I was currently at a great school, Assumption College, playing the sport I cared so deeply about, lacrosse, and making some inseparable friendships. However, on that boat ride I was ready to give it all up in order to further my education. A little dramatic? Some may think; however, this was more than just a major change, it was furthering my degree, my experience, my life into something that was more than just hidden behind my love of lacrosse. I took the leap of faith, after talking with my family and friends I decided to come home for the spring semester of 2017 and explore my educational options. I thought the hard part was over. The decision to leave behind a life of comfort to something completely unknown. Little did I know the struggle only began. Only my close family really know this about me, but when I came home, I struggled with more than just the decision of what school to attend next, I was struggling with a huge mental battle, one that made me seek a counselor in the hopes of some reconciliation of what was going on. I am not psychologist, but I firmly believed that this counselor helped me in more ways than one. So, if you or if you know someone who might be struggling with something mental, I suggest to talk with someone just to let is all out. After talking with this counselor, I was more than ready, mentally and physically now to make my decision to attend Quinnipiac University. For months I was struggling with the decision between Springfield College and Quinnipiac. My ultimate decision to change was based on the idea that I was starting a new life, not based upon sports. I had found a love of running in the semester that I was home. In fact, I ran a marathon during the time that I was home and started to train for another one the summer going into my junior year. Was I scared? Yes. Was I anxious? Yes. Of course, I was completely unsure of what the future held for me, but there was only one way to find out, and that was just to do the damn thing.
On August 24th, I moved into my new life at Quinnipiac University. I went for a run that morning to try and shake the nerves that were flooding my blood streams. This move in day was no different from the day I moved into Assumption. I was speechless, shaking and crying. It was junior year, so must people already had their friends groups, their majors, aspirations, groups, whatever it may be, I was coming in as an outsider. However, when I set out to do something, I do it with all my heart one hundred percent. This year was not going to be anything less than just that. The first weekend I spent in sorority recruitment. I never EVER thought I would be a sorority girl. I thought it was full of cliques, hazing, and drama. What I did not know was that I would find not one sister but 120 other lifelong sisters. That weekend led me to become a Kappa Alpha Theta sister. Not for nothing, but Theta on the Quinnipiac University is known among other colleges as a great sorority known for its high academic achievements. I was so honored and blessed to be apart of something so amazing. The first semester started so quickly and I never felt like I got the chance to appreciate just how pure Quinnipiac truly is. From recruitment, to training for a marathon, to initiation, to all the events Theta had, to trying to still adjust and desperately missing my parents, I never got the opportunity to just sit. To just sit and see how beautiful the life at Quinnipiac really is. At the end of the first semester, I knew I was happy but I was not fully engrossed with the life at Quinnipiac. I knew there was more for me. At the end of the first semester, I was nominated as Chief Financial Officer for Kappa Alpha Theta. This recognition was something I did not even make myself available for. I was not expecting it in anyway and being a Health Science Major on track for Occupational therapy, finance was not something I knew a lot about. I was doubting myself, I was nervous and anxious for this role. This is when I met Laura Voisine, a true inspiration to me. Drunk one night we spilled our feelings about the roles we had for the future. She too, had an executive position. As we were both anxious for the year that lied ahead of us, we knew we had each other and that made it all better.
Winter break came and went. My position was in full effect from the day I stepped off that campus. I was already getting questions from headquarters about deposits, surplus, checks, etc. Surplus? What the heck is that? Logging into Billhighway for the first time and seeing how much money I needed to handle, I think I almost vomited. I knew Theta was special, but I did not know how special until NOW. Sending out dues, harassing people to pay for dues, sending monthly reports to headquarters, contacting my adviser, contacting Julia Mee (former CFO), having Billhighway on speed dial, it all started to feel natural. Sure, I had my ups and downs as CFO and I will still fall into some struggle with it; but it gave me this sense of pride and confidence that I have never felt before. I was in control of my own and my sororities destiny. I was in control of the money directed to philanthropy events, formals, t shirts, food, etc. I was in control of peoples happiness. If you are Theta you know that food is the key to our heart. Through the ups and downs, I had such a pure group of girls that had my back through it all. Nicole, Amanda, Hannah, Kelly, De, and Michelle. What a pure group of girls that take their job so seriously and only want the best for the other 120 girls that surround us each and every day. So if you are a Theta reading this, just know how truly blessed and inspired I am by you. If I have not directly thanked you, you should know that you have allowed me to grow in ways that I never thought I could. I feel like a new person. A person that is able to handle something even if it seems so big at the moment. A person willing to put themselves out there and be accepted. A person that sees the world as something so pure and wonderful and I just want to take every opportunity that I get. In particular, my big Sam, if you had made it this far, I want you to know that I would not be the person I am today without you. You have made me look at life in ways that I never would have. I am so thankful for your wisdom and advice. People come in at your lives at certain times for certain reason. You came into mine to show me that life is too short to be upset, to not look for the good in someone, to not laugh at all cost, to not focus on your studies. I am so humbled by the way you live your life. I am truly blessed for you. Theta for me, was my realizing point. My point in my life that I realized how pure and humbling life really is. From the day I came back to now, writing this, I am a different person. I have grown through the struggles, cried through the pain, and ran to my problems and not away. But one thing that I have done more than anything is smiled. I smiled day and night. I smiled through the pain, hardships, tests, quizzes, papers, and stressed. I smiled because Quinnipiac and Theta gave me a hundred reasons why to smile. I am smiling (and crying) while writing this because through the tough times there is always a light. There is always something to smile about regardless of your doubts and insecurities. If I have learned one thing, that is just to smile and to smile a lot.
So I leave you with this, why? Why do you care to read my story for the past year and a half? Honestly, I do not have a great answer for you. I do not normally share things like this on social media. Having my inspiring seniors go off and live their dreams got me thinking. It got me thinking about how and why I started this change in the beginning and looking back to see the type of growth I’ve made. I would not been able to do it without the support of my family and the love of my boyfriend. I am so anxious to see what the further holds for you Max, and you, Kelsey. Without the undeniable grace and wisdom shared by my friends and family, I would not be the person I am today. So why? Because everything happens for a powerful, uncontrollable, undeniable, beautiful reason.