JUNE 2018: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS SUMMER?
By Lauren Smith
It’s Lauren this month! I am very fortunate to have a lot to look forward to this summer- an amazing internship, making new friends at UW, and traveling!
I’m stoked to spend my first summer in Seattle working downtown at a venture-backed startup called Versive- they use artificial intelligence to identify security threats for their clients. I'll be working as a Product Management Intern, helping with competitive analysis and developing version 2 of their user interface. Making steps to further my career has been daunting but extremely exciting as well, and I'm looking forward to a hands on experience in the work force that I envision for myself.
Once I'm off of work, I'll be coming home every day to Sigma Phi Epsilon! All of the upperclassmen in our chapter that have lived in at various fraternities over the summer have said that it's an incredible opportunity not only to grow close to great guys, but to bond with women in other chapters. I was stoked to learn that there are 48 women from 12 different sororities living in SigEp this summer! Part of the reason that I love being in a sorority at UW is because there's absolutely no bond like the kinds that form while living with someone, and I feel lucky to have that same opportunity that I have throughout the school year with other Alpha Xi Deltas to grow closer to other men and women in the Greek community. My friends and I have already made plans to explore Washington, consistently picnic at Gas Works Park and even go to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco!
And finally, my brother is graduating high school in a few days and studying in Switzerland for his first semester of college! Nobody in my family has ever been to Switzerland or studied abroad before, so we're taking a family trip to move him into his dorm and explore the country together. I’m really looking forward to this time with my brother before he embarks on his own college experience because we’ve always had a positive relationship and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.
Hope you all have a great summer!
MAY 2018: SENIOR SPOTLIGHT : WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE MOMENTS OF COLLEGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FOR THE INCOMING MEMBER CLASS '18?
Hi! I’m Katie, and I’m a senior this year. In my 4 years in Alpha Xi Delta, I’ve served as President and had the pleasure of being a Recruitment Counselor. In this time leading up to my graduation, I’d love to share with you all some of my fondest moments and some advice for incoming freshmen!
One of my favorite memories of being at UW is Dawg Saturdays!! I am a huge footfall fan and love getting to deck out in purple and gold and support our dawgs! The band will come through the Greek Community the Friday night before dressed up and play some of their songs and the music basically doesn't stop until after the game the next day. The Dawg Pack at the stadium gets wild and always helps the team get the W! Another one of my favorite memories at UW has been getting to meet some incredible people. I have made life-long friends here both in my chapter and outside of it. My friends have helped me to realized my full potential and have always pushed me to be a better person, and reminded me to have some fun along the way.
Some of my favorite memories from college have been the late night study group sessions. After too much coffee, energy drinks, and countless hours of studying for my pre-med classes, my friends and I tended to get a little restless. Dancing around classrooms and empty hallways, telling embarrassing stories, and heart to hearts are just some of the things that happened after midnight study sessions. Although studying for these tests was grueling and stressful, these long days and nights with my study group really epitomized my college experience, and even though I hate to admit it, I will really miss these moments.
My biggest piece of advice for anyone preparing to start this incredible journey is to try new things!! Take classes you are interested in, join new clubs, meet new people, try new foods, and put yourself out there. Some of my best days as an undergrad have been experiences I never thought I would have had. Embrace all of your opportunities and push yourself in your own comfort zone. Getting a good education is the reason we come to college, but remember to have fun and try new things along the way!!
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
When I decided to go to UW, I knew I was going to go Greek. Coming into such a huge school is extremely overwhelming, and rather than getting lost in the crowd I wanted to find a community here. I wanted to find a home in a sorority here, and be a part of the amazing Greek community that UW has. Being an only child also has a lot to do with why I decided to go Greek. All throughout my life I wished I had sisters, so joining a sorority was the perfect way to get what I had always wanted. Finding a home here and gaining so many sisters has turned out to be better than I had ever imagined. I’ve truly found a place that feels like home, and women who are the sisters I never had.
Being in my sorority has taught me so many things, but the biggest thing it has taught me is how important it is to lean on the women around me and have a strong support network. Before being in this house, I didn’t have a very strong support network and I took on a lot of things by myself, I didn’t think I needed anyone. Having so many amazing sisters here to support me has taught me that I don’t need to do everything alone, and leaning on other people makes life so much easier. Whenever I’m having problems there is always someone in the house wanting to talk to me and help me out, I never feel like I’m alone. Having sisters there for me and supporting me has been so important through all the ups and downs of my freshman year, and I know it’ll continue to be beneficial throughout college. Going Greek has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I can’t imagine my life without the home I’ve found in Alpha Xi Delta and the sisters it has given me.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
Hi! This is Lauren this week, and I could NOT be more excited to respond to this prompt. I love being a part of the Panhellenic community not only because of the incredible connections and bonds I’ve made within Alpha Xi Delta, but the opportunity to learn and grow from my relationships with women in other chapters. There are so many women that have played a role in my Greek experience, but I’ll talk about two of my best friends, Hanna and Rebecca.
On the first day of Early Fall Start last year, my roommate and I were determined to meet as many people as possible, especially because at that point I knew one person on the entire UW campus. The northeast wing of Lander Hall floor 4 served us well- we wandered the halls looking for people whose doors were open and poked our heads into the room kiddie corner to ours. There we met Hanna and Hallie- Hanna and I immediately clicked because we were both far from home and our roommates were from within an hour of the UW campus, and we knew we could bond over being lost together.
Before long, we decided to go to Bumbershoot together. We took weekend trips to the SAM and tried to track down restaurants we found on Seattle food Instagram accounts. We hung a sheet up in the Lander common room and projected a movie onto the wall. We took advantage of the warm and quiet August quad to play guitar and sing together. All the while, we were there to support each other through the initial transition away from home- I still know all the names of her closest friends from home and my dad specifically asked me to invite Hanna to dinner when he came to visit me in Seattle for the first time.
Though we ended up in different chapters after recruitment, the support and friendship Hanna and I have hasn’t ended. We don’t plan on shaking our non-Greek habits of exploring Seattle and getting meals together, and we’ve created new habits of attending each others philanthropy events and sitting together at Panhellenic PR roundtables. Though we formed our friendship before becoming a part of the Greek community, I feel so lucky to have her in my life and only a few blocks away.
Though I didn’t meet Rebecca at UW, she’s been a huge part of my Greek experience. She has been one of my closest friends since high school- we met in drama class my freshman year and I was inspired by her drive, goofiness, positive attitude, and ability to wear her hair a different way quite literally every single day. Throughout our high school years, she blazed a trail for me to follow. We auditioned for the musicals together and she led me through the pre-show rituals, we performed in the dance show together, and I watched her brave the college application process.
After her graduation and spending probably too much time together the summer before she made the move to Seattle, we stayed in close contact, texting each other life updates when something big happened and getting lunch every time she came home for a break. She told me about how much she loved being Greek and I told her about life back at our high school and my college admission experience, calling her in tears when I found out I had been rejected from the school I applied to for Early Decision, which happened to be the same school she was rejected from for Early Decision.
Once I found out I would be a Husky, we grew closer than ever and shared phone calls much more frequently. Her entire chapter knew when I had my first kiss because she screamed out loud on our phone call in her dining room, I was the first to know whenever her Greek fam grew, so it just made sense when I bought my ticket to visit her in Seattle to get a taste of life at my new school. I stayed with her in her chapter house and knew from that visit on that there was no doubt in my mind that I would go through recruitment.
I’m extremely glad that I came to a school that’s far from my hometown so I could have a clean slate and discover who I am outside of what I already know, but there’s something invaluable about having a supportive and judgement-free friend that knows you firsthand in the context of high school AND college. Rebecca and I cover each others’ bases entirely and there’s nobody that I’d rather have to double as my college and home best friend.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve seen Rebecca power through recruitment, slay amazing career opportunities, rock her job in UW Admissions, be accepted into her major, earn a position on her chapter’s executive team, and become chapter president. She inspires me every day to be ambitious and get more involved in the Greek and UW community.
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
Hey! My name is Natalie Schueddekopp and I’m a freshman in Alpha Xi Delta studying environmental science! My home town is Richland Washington, and I’m so excited to be here in Seattle going to UW!
When choosing to be in a sorority, academics were a big factor for me. I wanted to be around girls who were just as academically oriented as I was, and who would push me to become even better. Luckily, that’s exactly what I found in my house. I have never been surrounded by so many people who support me and encourage me academically. When I’m struggling and need help, my sisters are always there. In all the classes I’ve taken so far, at least one of my sisters has been in the same class. Besides providing me with reasons to always go to class, having sisters in my classes ensures I always have someone to study with, which encourages me to study more. Also, the study room in the house is always full so I’m never studying alone.
Environmental science is a smaller major at UW, but there are several girls in my house doing it as well, which is incredibly helpful. They always have advice about what classes to take, what professors are best, and they’re always willing to help me. I’m only a freshman, but I know as I get more into my major their advice and help will be even more useful. One of my closest friends in the house has the same major as me, and I love being able to take classes with her and talk to each other about our plans for our degrees.
When school gets overwhelming and frustrating (which it so often does), having a support system is so important. With every rough test or bad grade, there are always girls who have been there before and have words of encouragement for me. School is hard, especially at UW, and it’s even harder to do alone and without support. I don’t know how I would be able to get through it without my sisters. I know they’ll be there for me every during ever step of my journey, and will continue to push me and encourage me until I graduate (and after, too).
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Hi! I’m Lauren, a sophomore in Alpha Xi Delta here at UW. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and have completely fallen in love with Seattle and the people in it. I’m hoping to study either CSE or Informatics, in addition to being enrolled in the drama major.
My first new years resolution is to make more time for the people I love! My mom has always been so supportive of me, so it’s the least I could do to call her a little more often. This quarter my schedule doesn’t line up with my little’s very well, so I’m aiming to set aside a study break per week to grab bubble tea.
My second news years resolution is to be more conscious of my own health. Not only am I aiming to cut down on toast bar, but also to take time out of every day to meditate in some way, shape, or form- whether that means closing my eyes and focusing on my breath or losing myself in a run to Gas Works, I would benefit from taking time to focus on myself.
My third goal is to be more thankful. Gratitude makes it much easier to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than complaining about things that could be better.
I hope you all have a great winter quarter and a great 2018!