What Sigma is to Me

This summer, I have said so many times “I miss Sigma,” and almost every time, I get asked, “What is Sigma?” Every time I am faced with this question, I have no idea how to answer it. I have decided that it is time to explain what exactly Sigma is to me.
Sigma is recruitment and discovering my sisters. It is the tears that fell during the final round of recruitment when I realized that I had found a group of women who would become my sisters. It is the pounding in my chest when I was handed that envelope with my name neatly written on it in purple and my invitation to join an amazing sisterhood inside. It is the rush of joy that flooded over me when I saw my sisters come running into the ballroom all decked out in their red, white, and blue. It is the hugs that I got from sisters who had no idea who I was, but still loved me just because I was one of them. It is bonding over “#shorthairprobs” and dancing back at the house. It is laughing as Erin Wood gushed about how beautiful we all were and how excited she was to have us. Sigma is finding a home.
Sigma is the getting-to-know-you phase during Homecoming. It is guessing at the words to all of the cheers during the parade, and laughing when all of us messed up the words. It is running into girls that I knew were sisters and asking them to go to the football game with me. It is that moment on the shuttle to the stadium when I discovered (as Savannah calls her) my “soulmate best friend” with the simple phrase, “What the hell is a Hufflepuff?” It is sitting through the first half of the game in the pouring rain, but laughing hysterically because the whole thing was just ridiculous. Sigma is the sisters that you discover.
Sigma is my relationship with my amazingly beautiful and fantastic Big, Lexi. It is the squeal that came out of my mouth when I got my first text from my Big before reveal, and having everyone in the house turn to stare at me. It is the crazy random questions that I asked her when I was trying to figure out who she was, such as “If we were in the cast of Mean Girls, what table would you sit at in the cafeteria?” It is guessing who she was on Monday night when she let something slip. It is figuring out that I had a twin. It is that moment during reveal when I heard her voice behind me during reveal. It is the first words out of my mouth after reveal: “You dirty liar!” It is the hours we spent together just sitting in the Hub laughing and talking about nothing in particular. It is the post-chapter Walmart run when we were wearing our white dresses with sweatpants, just because we didn’t feel like changing. It is the amount of glitter paint I used to make sure her birthday present was absolutely perfect. It is her instinct to scream at a lady who backed into her car, simply because I was sitting right next to where she hit. It is the hug she gave me when we said good-bye before summer vacation, when she almost didn’t let me go. It is the fact that her boyfriend had to hold her back so she wouldn’t keep me from leaving the day I went to visit her. Sigma is the unconditional love that you have constant access to.
Sigma is working with my sisters for a good cause. It is when we worked and raised over $2,000 in less than a week before TSNL. It is Beth’s manly voice in the voiceover for our skit. It is the cheers that came out of all of our mouths when they announced the total that night. It is the hours of dancing to the songs of Frozen when rehearsing for Lip Sync. It is Ashley telling all of us to pretend we are Idina Menzel on Broadway when we’re syncing to the songs. It is the cheers from the Delta Zetas when they heard the opening music of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” It is laughing at Sarah in her Olaf costume. It is being handed the trophies for first place performance and second place overall. It is piling into Megan’s car for GMA filming, with all of us wearing shorts when it was maybe 30 degrees outside. It is Sam telling us that we needed more “sass” and telling me to hair flip when I don’t exactly have hair to flip. It is watching Juhl get a shamrock shake to the face for the good of the video. It is walking out of the Kappa Sigma house with Grigsby after a long night of filming. Sigma is working together to promote a cause that is bigger than us as individuals.
More than anything else, Sigma is the little things. It is the conversations that I had with people I have never spoken to before that made absolutely no sense, but at the same time they did. It is laughing at Savannah’s rants in the living room of the house. It is Cara’s nicknames, such as “Red Velvet.” It is a sister who laughs as she helps you patch up your knees after falling down the stairs, and then gets you a bagel sandwich just to make you feel better. It is the late nights “studying for finals” with Buzzfeed quizzes and wings from Rosie’s delivery. It is having someone who just says to you “LOVE ME!” Sigma is more than anything the sisters who stand by you through thick and thin, who laugh at you when you fall, but are right there to help you up, and who drop everything to call you during a crisis, even if they are in the middle of something at work.
Marilyn Monroe once said, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” My sisters not only handle me at my worst, they support me and give me never-ending unconditional love. These amazing women do not just deserve me at my best, they are the ones who make me my best. That, my friend, is what Sigma truly is.
Ellen McDougle

Why I Went Greek

Favorite Memory: Getting to know my little Morgan and Finally being her big!
Why I went greek: I went greek because I came from 2 1/2 miles from Kent and wanted to make some friends.
Why I stayed greek: I have stayed greek because it has helped me branch out and experiance so much more than I would have. It has also made me a better person and friend to those I meet.
Lauren Raymond

Retreat 2014

April 20

When I was little I always wanted to go to summer camp. I thought that if I went I would for sure meet my long-lost twin sister like in the Parent Trap. It was my goal in life until I was about 11. By then I had developed an appreciation of the outdoors for hikes and such but wasn’t interested in spending the night there.

After my feelings towards camp changed, I spent one night in a cabin at a church camp when I was a junior in high school and had a miserable time. It was February so the ground was covered in snow and ice. At the time I was painfully shy and the fact that I didn’t know anyone there was crippling. I was the creepy loner girl all weekend.

This past weekend I made another foray into going to camp. My sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, was having our annual retreat at YMCA Camp Y-Noah in Clinton, Ohio. I had never gone on something like that before and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. If it was anything like the drive there, during rush hour traffic and an absolute madhouse, I was in for a bad time.

Sister from Tri-Sigma Alpha Beta at Camp Y-Noah retreat

The camp was 20 minutes from my house and only 10 minutes away from one of the busiest intersections in Canton but it still managed to feel very secluded, very out of the way. I pulled up to the cabins and the second I saw my sisters I calmed down. The stress of the drive melted away and I found myself really relaxed.

After a quick hike to the petting zoo where we all cooed over the goats and ponies, we headed to tetherball courts and soccer field where we reenacted our gym class days but with more laughter. I got a chance to get to know some sisters that I never had before and to catch up with those that I had lost touch with over the last several months.

At dinner I got to get to know some of the girls that had come through recruitment in the fall that I didn’t know at all. At first I was nervous because I didn’t want to make a bad impression on them but they are some of the most relaxed, down-to-Earth girls I have ever gotten to talk to. I love that we’re a part of the same organization.

Then we played some teamwork games that focused on communication. We passed a ball both overhead and between our legs without being able to talk or open our eyes, and then again without using our hands at all. The human knot presented a series of issues the biggest of which was that we were too tangled to fix it.

But the most amazing of the group activities we did was the white shirt activity. We all were wearing plain white shirts and sat in a big circle with our backs to the center which had several paper plates in it with paint on them. The retreat chair called out the names of four or five girls at a time who then out the paint on their hands. The retreat chair then called out statements such as “the sister who inspires you” or “the sister who motivates you” and then sisters with the paint on their hands put hand prints on the backs of the girls who they felt that way about. By the end of the activity everyone’s shirts were covered in hand prints as colorful proof of the fact that we all love and respect each other.

We made s’mores and some of us went a prayed at the chapel for Good Friday. It was nice to share my religion with my other sisters and I learned how to do the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It was a pretty fulfilling experience.

Then in typical girls-at-a-sleepover fashion we stayed up well into the night, talking, gossiping, catching up with one another. It will be probably one of the fondest moments of my college career. Some of these girls will be my best friends for the rest of my life.

Me and my little sis, Amy

The next morning we all groggily got up and went to breakfast before heading to one of the high ropes courses at the camp, Alpine Tower. I was planning on taking part in the high ropes course but when I saw how high the tower was I was really terrified and didn’t really want to do it. But the great part about sisters is that they pressure you into going out of your comfort zone.

The Alpine Tower at Camp Y-Noah

After a little bit of peer pressure, I strapped on a harness and a helmet and began to climb the ladder. I made it to the first platform and felt like quite the badass seeing as heights aren’t really my thing. I started to keep climbing using the rock-climbing rocks that were bolted into the giant structure and about halfway up to the second platform I looked down and started to panic.

I’m begged the girl who was holding my rope at the bottom to let me down. She kept asking me if I was sure but I was too petrified to say anything. Right as I was gaining the courage to open my mouth I heard cheers from the ground. It was my sisters encouraging me, telling me I could make it to the next platform. I hadn’t felt so capable since I was in high school swimming, listening to my parents and coaches cheering me on.

Before I knew it I had made it to the second platform and was on the rope ladder climbing up the rest of the way up. The girls were counting down how many steps I had left until I made it all the way to the top. I don’t think I could have done it without my sisters.

I made it to the top!

There are a lot of girls in the chapter that I don’t know as well as I’d like but that didn’t stop them from cheering me on or me cheering them on when they struggled. That’s what I really love about Tri-Sigma. We’re always there for each other no matter what and even though we might fight like a real family at the end of the day we’re all sisters. The weekend away with them was definitely something I needed and I felt so much better afterwards.

So I guess I went to camp and found my long-lost sister (or 30) after all.

By our wonderful Sister Katie Nix.