RYAN MORGAN — Managing Editor
Four years. Maybe more if you’re “lucky,” but for me, the good times end this May. When I came to Southern in 2008, I had no idea of the opportunities and memories that lay before me. In my mind, I was coming here to play field hockey and go to class. I figured I’d make a few new friends, but everything else would stay the same. Today, I now realize I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I’m so thankful because so many little moments added up to such an amazing college experience.
I still remember crying to my parents the fall of my freshman year. I wanted to quit mid semester. I was miserably homesick. I wanted my family, friends, and my high school memories back. College was different, and I wasn’t having the great time I had prepared myself for. Every day, I did exactly what I expected. I woke up, went to class, went to practice, went to the mandatory athletic study tables and went to bed. I thought that was all there was. I thought, I’m a student athlete, so this is all I can do here, and I knew it wasn’t enough to make me happy.
I applied to UCONN, ready to commute from home. One Monday night, toward the end of the semester, I sat in Morril Hall crying on the phone to my father before the study tables, and he shared advice that proved to change my life. He told me I wasn’t going to find happiness at any other school if I couldn’t even name what it was at Southern making me unhappy. Winter break went by quick, and before I knew it was time to come back, but I had a new attitude. It was time to create my own happiness.
I came back and was extended a bid to Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. At the time, I had no idea of the impact this group of women would have on my life. Over the years, the love that has grown for not only my sisters but the organization as a whole is truly remarkable. So many doors have opened for me since rushing and I’m so thankful. This semester, I can’t help but cry at nearly every sorority occasion, and when one of us starts to cry, all of us start to cry.
Last Wednesday, we held our final recruitment event. Because I rushed in the spring of my freshmen year, I feel particularly drawn to this new class. I look at the second semester freshman we are welcoming into our organization and can’t help but feel connected to them. So much lies in front of them, and honestly, at this point I don’t know if they fully understand what they are getting themselves into. They are signing up for hours upon hours of community service full of laughter. They are signing up for movies nights and date nights. They are doubling their wardrobe. They are meeting women who may one day stand beside them as bridesmaids in their wedding. They are meeting women who will have a forever impact on them.
I used to count down the hours until I could go home after Saturday field hockey games, and when I couldn’t, I’d cry my eyes out. Now, I’m counting down the hours to weekly chapter meetings, crying my eyes out thinking about all that I’m going to miss come May. Graduation is less than three months away. When I turn 22 this summer, I’ll be a college grad. Everything is about to change again. Sorority is my niche. Being a part of Delta Phi Epsilon gave me the discipline and support to work hard playing field hockey for the past four years. It gave me the courage and confidence to try new things, like join Southern News and become an Orientation Ambassador.
The one thing that has remained constant is the impact of my father’s advice. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I’m about to need it again. No matter where life takes me, I’ll need to create my own happiness, because that is what life is all about: accepting change and finding your little piece of happiness, no matter where you are.
RYAN MORGAN — Managing Editor