I’m scheduled to attend my first Alpha Phi Conference. Yes, I’ve been a member for over 20 years, but now that I’m an Alumnae Chapter President, I’m a voting delegate. I’m excited… and nervous. Why nervous you ask? Well, it kind of takes me back…..
….. to my early teen days when I told my parents I wanted to go to Girl Scout Camp – a two week, all girls sleep away camp. I’d been to sleep away camp for most summers, but the camps were co-ed and my brothers were there. After 4 or 5 days at Girl Scout camp, I called my parents begging to go home. Why? Because the girls were mean.
You see, I have three brothers and a few women who I can call friends. I’ve always been sort of a girly-tomboy. What I really dislike about all-girls gatherings is how girls (women) can often be… clique-y, catt-y, and mean. It’s really difficult for me and I get a little bit shy and frustrated.
To the many people who know me well, shy is not a word often used to describe me. But it’s true. I’m a good networker, outgoing, social, and yes, shy. Put me into a room full of people I don’t know, it’s unlikely I will start a conversation – unless I have a compelling reason to do so. This is how I was feeling heading into Convention.
So why am I a sorority girl? During college, it was a great way to meet people. I didn’t live in the dorms so I knew I was slightly handicapped right out of the gate. Alpha Phi was new on campus and didn’t have a dedicated house at the time. Rush was a blur for me, I mainly followed the crowd and did what I was told. I met some of my closest friends through that experience. I moved into an apartment complex that was full of sisters. I enjoyed everything Alpha Phi and the Greek system had to offer.
Since college, I’ve made two cross country moves and leveraged my sisterhood to meet new people in each new city. Most of my closest female friends today are because of this sisterhood. I love the values, history and sisterhood that being Alpha Phi entails.
All of that being said, going to conference is still making me nervous. Since I’ll know close to no one, it will be difficult for me to avoid being shy. I’m told I’ll have a roommate, someone I don’t know. This makes me even more nervous. But, deep down, I know it will be a great experience and these are certainly issues that I can learn to overcome. Especially since I won’t be able to call my parents and ask them to take me home!