Posted On: Friday, October 19, 2012 03:12 PM, by Karen Goldburg
Emma Oschrin, Delta Delta/Whitman, and Karen in front of the Barron Falls in Australia.
Theta is truly a home away from home...away from home. Even when I was in the Australian rainforest with a small study abroad program, finding out that another student in the program was also a Theta was the most comforting thing that could have happened to me.
This past summer I studied abroad in Australia. There were only 18 other students enrolled in the program with me, all of who came from different home universities spread throughout the United States. Because the program was focused on the rainforest, the center was located in a very remote location. Arriving on the first day, I was excited but at the same time also very nervous—I knew that the experience was probably going to make me feel very homesick for at least the first couple of weeks.
That being said, the best surprise of the entire program came on the second day of the program when, as an ice-breaker activity, the student affairs manager instructed each of us to write our name on a notecard and then draw three things that are very important to us. Naturally, being the sorority girl that I am, one of the symbols that I drew was a kite. When it came time for me to explain my pictures, I told the group that I had drawn a kite because it was a symbol for my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. The rest of the students also went around explaining their pictures, and nothing really caught my attention until it was a girl named Emma’s turn. “I drew a kite as well,” she said, “because I’m a Theta too!” Just like that, I felt so much more at ease in the program.
Meeting Emma in Australia was unexpected but so comforting. Without knowing each other personally very well, we already knew that our sisterhood meant that we shared many of the same values. This experience truly furthered my appreciation for Theta, because it showed me first-hand how membership in Theta means that you can have a home away from home, even when you are on the other side of the world.
Karen is a junior at the University of San Diego and is majoring in chemistry. She is serving Eta Iota as chief marketing officer.