Life in Chi O

Growing up with three sisters, I used to think I was an expert on everything there is to know about having a sister. I knew people that were in sororities and had heard about living in a house with a bunch of other girls, but for some reason, I couldn’t quite comprehend the purpose. There had always seemed to be so much hype surrounding the idea of being in a sorority, and when it was finally time for me to start college about a year ago, I figured I’d give it a try.

         Walking through the red door of Chi Omega for the first time was an indescribable feeling. I was shocked initially, because I had never imagined sororities to be a place that people considered an actual home, but as I kept coming back each day, I slowly started to feel like it could be my home, too. I was drawn to the people I interacted with and how each girl I talked to was different from the last in the best way possible. I saw women that empowered me and challenged me to think deeper. When it came down to it, I took a leap of faith, and went Chi O, not even knowing how much these people and the chapter would impact my life in the years to come.

I went into freshman year not knowing a single person in my pledge class. As the months flew by, the strangers I was surrounded by on bid day grew to be some of my closest friends. I noticed myself gravitating towards them; planning study dates, reaching out to get coffee with them, and just wanting to be around them more often. These girls were ones I could turn to when I’d had the worst day, when I had received the best news, or when I just needed someone to talk to. By the time I moved into the sorority house at the beginning of this year, I was able to see exactly what older girls meant when they would say how they were super close with their sorority sisters. I now feel the same way—, and even more so. These girls have seen the absolute worst parts of me, and the best parts, too. They drop whatever they’re working on at the moment just to help me understand a certain concept in accounting, or to help me when I’m stranded with a flat tire. When I need someone to talk to, Chi Omega is always there. And when I say Chi Omega, I don’t mean just four or five girls in Chi O, I mean the entire chapter. I truly feel that I can confidently go to anyone in my house with any problem I have, and they’d be willing to help me through in the best way they know how. Each girl is unique, and embraces what makes her different with confidence and grace.

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THAT is why I love Chi Omega. And of course, yes, all of the sororities on Nebraska’s campus are special. But in Chi O, you don’t have to be best friends with someone for them to be a sister. We are all sisters here, and we support, encourage, and guide each other just as my biological sisters do all the time. Even though each of the women in my chapter is unique, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.  These girls accept me for exactly who I am. They see me for me, and also with all of the potential of who I can become, which is a rare quality. Chi O has enabled me to be authentically and unapologetically myself. Along with being closer with my sisters while living in, there’s an automatic support system in this house no matter who you walk up to talk to. Living here is not only inspiring and helpful, but also a ton of fun. Now, my best friends are only a floor away, and I’m able to pop into their rooms and see them whenever. There’s always something going on, whether it be our entire pledge class binge-watching movies in the TV room, crafts in the kitchen, or late-night trips to the store with girls I still want to get to know better. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to stop myself and think about just how lucky I am to have people like these in my life.

Roughly a year ago, I had just three sisters. Now, I have over a hundred (in just my chapter alone). My Chi O sisters have taught me to count my blessings, focus on the positives, and to keep aiming forward. I learn something new from my sisters every single day;, life in Chi O is a constantly-evolving adventure. For this, I could not be more grateful.

Elise Matthes

Lincoln, Nebraska

PC 2017

@elisematthes



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