JUNE 2018: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS SUMMER?
By Erin Higgins
I am counting down the days until finals are over and I am on a plane home to California for summer! I am always so excited to be reunited with all of my best friends and family for such a long period of time.
Besides adventuring in San Francisco with friends on the daily, attending workout classes, or working at SoulCycle, I am definitely most excited about my trip to South Africa this summer!
My mom and I will be traveling throughout South Africa towards the end of August and I can’t wait to explore such a new and exciting place. I think the reason I am so enthusiastic about going is because traveling to Africa is so out of my comfort zone. My mom and I travel a lot together; we’ve been to Peru, Mexico, France, London, Germany, Austria, and Italy, but these are mostly centered around sightseeing and guided tours. They are beautiful and have the best nightlife, but I have never heard of wild animals walking around the streets of small European towns. That’s why Africa will be so special.
Compared to these types of trips, Africa will be vastly different. We will be waking up at 5am to go on “game drives,” in order to see all of the wild animals on the safaris during their peak hours. We cannot leave our hotel room without a guide during certain hours, in case there are animals lurking around the camp grounds. WHAT?! While this most certainly terrifies me, I am also excited to explore somewhere so new and different than any other vacation I have ever taken!
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?
When I first came to Seattle from California, I was very shy and incredibly nervous about leaving my tight knit family and my friends who I had known since kindergarten.
In just a few weeks, I will be receiving a college diploma as a confident and capable woman surrounded by the most amazing support system I have been able to cultivate here. Reflecting back on the last four years of my life, I cannot believe how quickly they flew by. At the same time, I am beginning to understand how much I have grown in such a short amount of time. I am struck by the memories that have enabled this transformation and the people who hold the starring roles of my incredible experiences. Although it is difficult to choose my top three moments, these are some that I know contributed most to who I am today:
1. Like many sorority women, one of my favorite memories was Bid Day. However, not Bid Day my freshmen year, but Bid Day in 2016- my junior year. If you were to see me on that day you would have thought I was miserable because I hadn’t slept more than 15 hours that week and couldn’t even speak because my voice had gone a week earlier. These were the consequences of serving as my chapter’s formal recruitment chair, a position that had you asked me a year before I would never had seen myself in. Serving as FRC gave me a tremendous amount of confidence and organizational skills that I didn’t know I was capable of and made me realize the potential I had to leader. Even though it was challenging, I still look back at that moment as one of my favorite memories of college because I was surrounded by amazing people who believed in me which then allowed me to believe in myself.
2. Perhaps a little more typical, my second favorite moment occurred when I was studying abroad. I was lucky enough to go to the Czech Republic for a quarter my junior year where I traveled through Central Europe to learn about its history and politics. I met some of the most incredible people on this journey who I know will be there for me throughout my life, even if we don’t keep in constant contact. I was able to grow so much on this trip both as a person and in my perspective as I was forced to think critically about everything I was learning and how I wanted it to shape my worldview.
3. Finally, my third favorite memory didn’t occur in one moment or one particular night, but instead it was just something that happened throughout my time living in Alpha Delta Pi. The memory was simply eating dinner in our house’s dining room, sitting around the tables and talking with each other. It may seem mundanely simple, but those nights I talked with my friends about everything from how our days were, what classes we were struggling with, and what we hoped to accomplish with our degrees that we were working so hard to earn. Living and learning among some of the most inspiring, hard-working, and kind people was without a doubt the largest contributing factor to who I am today and creating the image of who I hope to become in the future. I know I will look back at my college career and the image that will come to mind will be sitting at that table and knowing that these were the people I needed to meet in order to understand who I was and who I wanted to become.
Thinking about these memories is so bittersweet, because I am scared of change and uncertain as to what the future holds. However, I am comforted by the fact that if my freshmen self had come into college having read this post and gotten a glimpse of all of the amazing experiences I would have, she would have been much less nervous. Something I’ve learned is that I need to have faith in myself and even if things don’t always go to plan, it is ok and you always have a little more time than you think you do to figure out what you really want. If I were to give my freshmen self any advice it would be this: give absolutely everything you can, failure isn’t something to be scared of, it’s an inevitable byproduct of challenging yourself and pushing away the boundaries people (and yourself) have set in front of you. These next four years are about nothing but learning. Take that to mean in every sense, use the resources that surround you and know that you can always try again. Finally, surround yourself with the people who will make you better, be kind, and don’t be scared to call your mom sometimes. I am so proud of the person I have become at the University of Washington and know that I will continue to grow positively because of the people I have met and my experiences here. Go Dawgs.
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
I have been dancing since I was three years old, so being apart of a team is something that has a lot of value for me. My best friends were all on my dance teams with me and we still talk about the memories we had while dancing together. Watching our old dance recital videos and performing our old choreography never gets old and allows us to keep these memories alive.
Going into college, I was nervous about the fact that I would not be dancing at all. I had stopped once I graduated high school, and decided that I didn’t want the time commitment of being on a dance team during my first year of college. With that in mind, I decided to go Greek at UW because I wanted to still have that team aspect that I had been apart of all of my life. I am also
an only child, so the idea of having over one-hundred new “sisters” was really exciting for me. I knew that being apart of a sorority before school even started would be extremely beneficial to me and would help make my transition from another state a little easier.
I have learned many things from being in a sorority. But the most important thing that I have learned is the value of getting along with all different personalities and ages. Being able to walk through my house and interact with so many different people has taught me to communicate with classmates, co-workers, and even strangers. Being in a sorority has opened my eyes to the
many unique life stories, values, and opinions that the members of my house have. After living in my house for a year and a half, I have learned about so many people and this has definitely prepared me to be open-minded when interacting with anyone in my path in college.
I am thankful for my experience in the Greek community because I have met so many friends in my house and I have learned to appreciate the varying personalities within the house. Learning how to get along with girls in my house ranging from Physics Majors to Communications Majors, from In-State students to girls from my own hometown, has been my favorite part of being in a sorority. In high school, I loved to hang out with people from each and every group, so being exposed to different types of personalities in my sorority has definitely been a great experience for me.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
BY ERIN HIGGINS
As a sophomore, I feel so honored and privileged when I get to connect and spend time with upperclassmen. I have been so fortunate throughout my time at UW to have so many role models. But, these role models are most definitely not limited to solely my own chapter. One person, in particular, has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration, ever since I met her over a year ago.
Argerey Stapakis is one of my favorite people ever. While she is always ready to tell the most dramatic stories, she is truly one of the most hard-working people I have ever met. Argerey and I met when we began training to work at SoulCycle, over a year ago. SoulCycle is one of the most amazing companies because of it’s devotion to promoting it’s unique and special community. SoulCycle Bellevue was the first ever SoulCycle studio to open in the state of Washington, so we all worked extremely hard in knowing our brand and community standards. Upon training to open our studio, all of our front desk immediately hit it off. We are still such a tight-knit group and I am so thankful to be apart of it.
I met Argerey our first day of training and I was so excited to see that there was another UW student who was apart of our squad. Right when Argerey found out I was also a UW student in the Greek community, she immediately said we should coordinate carpooling, since I didn’t have my car. I was in awe of how much kindness she showed me, especially upon just meeting one another. The whole way home, Argerey and I talked about my own experience at SoulCycle, stories about our chapters, and the fact that we were both from California. I felt so special that this senior was being so kind and welcoming. She was one of those people who I knew I was going to get along with from the moment I met her.
Flash forward a year, Argerey is still one of my favorite people to work with. Not only is she the best person to try new workouts with or discuss chai lattes (hemp milk only!) with, but her work ethic is so inspiring to me. It doesn’t matter if it is 6am or 8pm, Argerey’s drive to support the people around her and complete tasks smoothly and efficiently has influenced me to do the same. She provides support to everyone around her at all times, and makes sure that everyone is having fun. In addition to work, Argerey GRINDS for hours, majoring in Pre-Med and shadowing surgeons at local hospitals (GOALS). She is the perfect example of knowing how to juggle a million things at once while still radiating positivity. I truly admire her so much and am lucky to constantly be in the presence of her bubbly and energetic personality.
I feel so blessed to have someone like Argerey to look up to within the Greek community. Having a role model outside of my own chapter is really special and so important because it allows me to connect with upperclassmen who aren’t in my house. With these connections to other women in the Greek community, I have learned the value of meeting new people and trying new things. I know Argerey will go so far in life because she gets along with everyone and is one of the hardest working human beings I have ever met. I am so lucky to know her and to have her as one of my role models. LOVE YOU ARG!!
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
With a simple post in our sorority Facebook group, my question about Communications or Spanish is answered within minutes. There are so many resources available for me in my sorority. First and foremost, the girls in my house who are in my major are always there if I have a question about applications, classes, professors, clubs, etc. which is SO beneficial to me because I can hear about so many opportunities from upperclassmen who I look up to. Being able to ask questions and talk about specific professors has definitely motivated me to take risks and enroll in classes I usually wouldn’t take. For example, I wasn’t sure about taking a certain Communication class, but I ended up having five other girls from my house in my class.
This was great for me because we could study together or ask questions about homework. Having friends with you in large lectures can make all the difference in your opinion on the class. I can honestly say that this class was my favorite class I have ever taken and it was even better because I had people from my house to help me the whole way.Besides simply having people in the house help me with my own questions, my sorority empowers me when I hear about all of the amazing things they are taking advantage of here in Seattle. Whether that’s internships, jobs, clubs or organizations, the girls in my house are doing some REALLY impressive things. When I see what others in the house are doing in addition to their rigorous course load, I truly feel inspired to explore all Seattle has to offer in regards to Communications and Spanish opportunities. Seeing others take on internships has been the most influential thing for me while being in a sorority. I look up to so many people in my house and I love seeing what PR or Marketing internships that some of them have because it motivates me to pursue Internships as well.Finally, my sorority empowers me to simply do more at UW. I heard about PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) from one of my friends in the house when she told me to go with her to meeting. I went and decided to join the club because I loved feeling that sense of involvement on campus. In addition, I hope to pursue a career in PR and Marketing, so this club helps me to learn about professionals who have jobs in these areas. If I wasn’t in my sorority, I probably would not have gone to a PRSSA meeting and I wouldn’t have this resource to learn more about PR and Marketing.I feel very fortunate to be apart of a sorority where I can learn about so many opportunities and resources here at UW in Seattle. I get the chance to take advantage of great classes and clubs that I wouldn’t know about if I wasn’t in my sorority. I can confidently say that being in a sorority has made me more academically motivated and more driven to explore all UW and Seattle have to offer in the Communications and Spanish fields!
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
I’m Erin and I am a Sophomore from the Bay Area. I am majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish. I wanted to write this blog on behalf of my chapter because I want to explore careers in Public Relations and Marketing, so I thought this would be a great way for me to express my own thoughts, ideas, and opinions through media! There is nothing I love more than being a student at University of Washington and I am super excited to get more involved in Panhellenic through doing this blog!
Each year while creating my New Year’s Resolutions, I like to make a short list of things that I wish to accomplish throughout the whole year.
Personally, I don’t think long lists are achievable because it is not possible to commit ourselves to too many goals in 365 days. Focusing on 3-5 big goals for the year is definitely the way to go, in my opinion.
This year, I have 3 resolutions.
Explore new workouts in Seattle
Fitness is something that is SO important to me. At the moment, I work out every day unless I need a rest day. For me, fitness is something that makes me feel like my best self and it keeps me motivated to achieve new fitness goals and to eat healthy. I am at a point where I have to work out daily in order to feel like my energetic and positive self. I love trying new workouts, but feel like when I am at school, I don’t have a workout I am IN LOVE with. In the Bay Area, I find myself going to Barry’s Bootcamp, a high intensity, interval workout, at least 4 times a week. On top of that, I go to SoulCycle, yoga, and Lagree fitness classes. To me, there is nothing comparable to the Barry’s workout, community, and environment. But, I want to find something that I love as much as Barry’s here in Seattle, since Seattle currently does not have a Barry’s. I work at SoulCycle so I enjoy working out there and LOVE the community like no other but Barry’s is the workout that seriously makes me feel like an athlete. My workouts in Seattle are still high-intensity, but I seek to find a community and group-fitness class that I love as much as I love Barry’s. Working out makes me feel so good about myself and truly makes me so happy. But, I want to increase my current workout level even higher by ideally working out 2 times a day, every day in order to cross-train more and explore all of the workouts Seattle has to offer!
Get more involved in all UW has to offer (join at least 2 clubs, attend internship fairs, explore research opportunities, attend speakers…etc.)
In high school, I was the type of person that was CONSTANTLY busy. A typical day for me included waking up at 4:20 am to workout, then getting ready for school right after, driving to dance practice, attending school from 8:30-3:10, running to my high school Dance Team for 2 hour practices, driving to my dance studio outside of school, squeezing in dinner before classes, dancing for several hours, going home around 8:15 and doing homework until I was ready for bed. But, I loved every second of being this busy. I loved all of my dance teams and all of my best friends that I got to share every moment with throughout my packed day. I decided to stop dancing in college, so when I got to UW, I was shocked by the amount of free-time I had during my first quarter. To be honest, I HATED not being busy. I got a job at SoulCycle, and committed myself to a few more activities the next quarter, but still, I wasn’t used to simply working out, doing homework, and hanging out with friends. I wanted to do more. This year, I want to be more involved in everything UW has to offer. I joined PRSSA recently this year, but want to look into more clubs, leadership opportunities, and opportunities for more campus involvement, like being a Recruitment Counselor or a UW Tour Guide. Another goal I have is to get involved in Research opportunities at UW. My favorite class I have taken was Interpersonal Communication, so I really want to explore research opportunities, specifically in social interaction. I truly love this school and I love being busy so I want to be more involved in UW, not just my sorority, fitness routine, social commitments, job, and studies. I want to add more to my semi-busy schedule and make it jam-packed, because I truly thrive off of being extremely busy!
Dance at least 2 times a week
On top of missing my busy high school schedule, I miss dancing like WOAH. In high school, I was involved in our 5-level dance program, competitive dance teams, and my school’s Varsity Pom Team. On top of that, I was on 5 competitive teams each year at my dance studio. To be honest, dance was quite literally my life. I was sick of it by my Senior year, since I have been dancing since I was 3 years old. But, I instantly began to regret my decision to not dance during my first quarter at UW. I miss it way more than I thought I was going to. My goal is to dance at least 2 times a week. Whether this is attending classes at Westlake Dance Center, taking a Dance course through UW, or simply practicing on my own in a studio at the IMA, I need dance back in my life. Dance is something I am so passionate about and I want to continue by making it more of a priority in college.
These New Year’s Resolutions are extremely reflective of the things I want to accomplish in 2018! The New Year is such a great time to set new intentions and goals for ourselves because we are able to reflect on previous resolutions and discover what worked and what we can improve on. I am super excited for this new year and to explore where these resolutions will take me!
Alpha Delta Pi