Last spring, I joined TBS because I wanted to give back to my university and get to know new people. Little did I know, I would become an integral part of a warm and loving community of musicians.
But I didn't jump on the opportunity right away. I waited until spring of my freshman year at Ohio University to look into TBS because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough time to devote to a sorority. I think, in the end, I joined right when I was supposed to.
After being cancer-free for almost 6 years, my grandma's breast cancer returned last fall, a few months before I found TBS. But this time, the tumors were in her spine and brain. She had a few strokes around Christmas time, and was barely holding on early in the spring. By the time April rolled around, her time had run out. On the day I travelled from Athens to Cincinnati to attend her funeral and spend time with my family, everyone else in my rushing class was finally pledging into TBS during their initiation ceremony. Together. Without me.
Blayne, our chapter president, reassured me that missing initiation wouldn't be an issue. I would have my own initiation a few weeks later during chapter. But even so, I felt left out. Like I would be missing a huge part of the Tau Beta Sigma experience by not sharing the first bonding moments of sisterhood with my rushing class.
But on my return to chapter the next week, I realized I hadn't missed anything at all. Sure, I didn't get to dress up and take pictures with my sisters on our special day, but they made sure to hold up my Facebook profile picture on an iPhone in their group picture so that I would be included.
After our chapter meeting was over, my big, Savanna, pulled me aside and handed me a card signed by everyone in Alpha Delta with their condolences about the death of my grandma. Savanna also gave me a jar, filled with happy thoughts, prayers, and good wishes from not only everyone in our chapter, but also from sisters in other chapters around the state. Tears rolled down my cheeks and warmth filled my heart as I read through the notes later that evening. That was the moment I knew I had found a place where I was truly accepted, loved, and appreciated.
Through TBS, I have become more confident in myself and more caring about everyone and everything in the Athens community. I can't wait to see what the next few years have in store for my sisters and I as we travel on this journey of sisterhood and community service together.