As the middle of the fall semester draws near, our calendars are full and our lives are bustling. Midterms are ending, officer terms are coming to a close, stress levels are high, and professors are already hinting at what will be covered on the final exam. We are being pulled in several directions, and sometimes Kappa Alpha Theta moves to the back burner. I believe reconnecting with Theta can help us stay calm in times of stress and lead us back to falling in love with "the first Greek-letter fraternity known among women."
Here are five ways every member can "fall" in love with Theta today!
- Service Opportunities: Day of Service is about taking time out of our busy lives one day a year to purposefully spread the widest influence for good to Thetas and non-Thetas alike. If you didn't get a chance to serve your campus or community on October 19 (Bettie Locke Hamilton's birthday), it's not too late! Gather some Theta sisters and donate a couple hours of your time to a local organization. It's a great way to reconnect with Theta values and, of course, Theta sisters!
- Theta Thursday: Sister Dates: Sometimes all we need is a short break to reconnect with the ones we love. Theta Thursday is a great opportunity to catch up with a sister over coffee, treat yourself (and your sisters) to an afternoon off, or take the time to de-stress and remind yourself of all the incredible relationships this organization has brought you over the years.
- Group Study Sessions: Whether you are a collegian or an alumna in graduate school, studying with sisters (even if you are studying a different subject) will always make the burden lighter. Your sisters will always be there to lend a helping hand!
- Find Your World Travel Companions: If a mid-year vacation (think winter break) is what you need, then plan a trip with some of your sisters. Theta brought me some of my best friends, and we all share the travel bug! A week in Mexico, a weekend trip to Canada, or a trip inside the United States ... those are some of my fondest memories of college. Think of a new place you would like to explore and take some Theta sisters with you. You're guaranteed to have the vacation of a lifetime!
- Live With Your Best Friends: Whether your chapter has a house or not, Theta gives every member a chance for a yearlong sleepover with sisters who love you. Whether you're living in an historic university dorm or the first Theta house in the country, the walls will speak of the history of generations of women who came before you.
Halloween is a fun and exciting time of the year. Friends get together to celebrate with festive decorations, lots of candy, and of course, dress up in costumes. Halloween costumes are an opportunity to be creative, but it is important to be intentional about a costume choice. Walk into any costume store, and you are bombarded with hyper-sexualized costumes that are anything but creative and do not support the image of a strong, empowered woman that we value as members of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Whether you are celebrating an historical leader or dressing up as a favorite female character, there are many strong women you can be on Halloween. Here are three costume ideas that are easy to make and celebrate leading women!
Hermione Granger: Hermione Granger, the leading woman of the Harry Potter series, is academically excellent, compassionate, and a fiercely loyal friend. Grab an Oxford shirt, pull-over sweater, skirt and tights, and a small stick for your wand.
Katniss Everdeen: The Katniss costume takes a little more work because you'll need to create a bow with arrows, but all you need beyond that is a braid and combat boots. Katniss put her own life on the line to protect her sister, and is a wonderful role model for young women.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Justice Ginsburg is the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Breaking countless legal and professional barriers for women, she is the perfect example of an empowered woman. All you need for this costume is an old graduation gown, white scarf, eyeglasses, and professional shoes. Throw your hair in a bun, and you will look as professional as Justice Ginsburg.
We would love to see your final costume! Post your image on social media, and use the hashtag #ThetaHalloween to show off which leading woman you chose this Halloween.
Some may call it fall. Some may call it autumn. Some may call it the season in between summer and winter. Whatever you call it, the season of chilly mornings and colorful leaves is upon us. Fall may be the official end of summer festivities, but it also brings many seasonal activities that can be enjoyed during these upcoming months! Here are some fun sisterhood ideas to share with your chapter:
1. It wouldn't really be fall if it didn't include a visit to a nearby pumpkin patch. Take a few friends on a search for that perfect pumpkin. Just remember, whatever size you choose, you have to carry it!
2. Fall is undeniably a beautiful season full of luscious colors and amazing outdoor scenery. Take this opportunity to snap some photos of you and your sisters enjoying the outdoors. It's a great chance to add some pictures to your chapter's website, social media accounts, or to a future scrapbook. You could even take a chapter photo and send out a seasonal card to the other chapters and organizations on your campus, or even your local alumnae chapter! (Theta headquarters would also love to receive your contributions as well! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
3. As members of Kappa Alpha Theta, no matter the time of year, it is always the season of giving back and helping others. Fall is a great time to reach out to your community and discover if there are any special events or organizations that may need a little extra help during these upcoming months. Grab a group of your sisters and make someone's day by lending a hand somewhere in need!
4. With the colder weather upon us, it is becoming more and more tempting to stay indoors. If that's the case for you, why don't you start a book club within your chapter? It is a great way to stay warm and spend time with your sisters! Whether it be fiction, fantasy, inspirational, or any other genre, choose something that the group will enjoy and dive right in. Check out the Reading Women book club as well!
5. Any sports fans out there? Get your sisters together for the next game (college football, NFL, MLB playoffs, cricket, etc.) and enjoy spending time together cheering for your favorite team. Have your chapter's human resources director bring some delicious seasonal treats (caramel apples, candy corn, apple cider, or any others) for all to share. You can even set up your own mini-games to play during the commercial breaks!
Whatever you decide to do this season, don't forget to enjoy it with the wonderful people around you!
However, it's not just my seasonal favorites that fall brings; just as the leaves change, I realize how my own life is changing too. Looking back to one year ago, I'm attending Miami University where I spent the semester student teaching and pursuing a degree in special education. I was wrapping up my term as Chief Executive Officer of the Gamma Upsilon chapter and anxiously waiting for our alumnae members to return for Homecoming weekend. Flash forward to today, and I'm walking in completely different shoes. I'm still serving the Fraternity, but in a much different context, currently not using my teaching degree and this time, it's me who is returning to Miami for Homecoming weekend. Change happens fast. But as I look forward to the leaves turning and watching the skyline light up with the brilliance of fall, I'm ready to turn the pages in my book of life and embrace this change. This semester, I'm looking forward to exploring the abundance of parks around Winston-Salem, cheering on the Demon Deacons at Wake-Forest University football games and watching the Zeta Omicron chapter evolve and grow. I'm reminded to spend some time reflecting on the changes occurring in my life and as the leaves fall, I know, everything is falling into place. Happy fall, y'all!
What are some of your fall favorites? What significant changes do you see happening in your life? How has Theta impacted those changes?