Today's Photo a Day prompt is "this means a lot to me." So naturally, I started thinking about the items in my home that hold a lot of meaning to me. I really think I'm a minimalist. I don't like to keep an abundance of things because I don't like an abundance of clutter in the house. I like to be organized (or at least feel as though I am), so I try to clear things out once in a while. But I'm also very nostalgic. So even though I'm a minimalist, I'll keep it if it has significant value to me.
The stuff I've kept is not minimal.
So choosing ONE THING for my photo a day was difficult. I decided to concentrate on things, not people, and that made it a little easier. Then I narrowed it down to specific "turning point" moments. You know, those moments where you have made a significant decision or a direction you've taken that has really shaped who you are as a person. Choosing to pledge a sorority was one of those decisions for me.
The choice to come to Mizzou was a relatively easy decision. It was close to home, and I received a scholarship that paid for my tuition (see, easy). I was pretty familiar with the city of Columbia and campus. My cousin lived in Columbia, and we would come visit her often. One of my good friends from high school attended Mizzou, and I would come up and visit her as well. Both of these individuals also influenced my decision to pledge a sorority. The problem was they were members of different sororities, and the final decision was between the two.
In the end, I chose the house in which my cousin belonged - Alpha Phi.
When I went off to college, a left my home town of less than 1,000 people to a small city of more than 80,000 (it has grown to over 100,000 today). My first class at Mizzou was bigger than my entire high school. It was both exhilarating and scary at the same time. I knew pledging a sorority would help me meet people and find a place to fit in. But it wasn't all about the social aspects. Being a member also gave me many opportunities to grow as a woman. I learned valuable leadership skills as the Rush (or Recruitment) Chair, the importance of service through our philanthropy, and it provided networking opportunities that I still use today. I learned how an organization works and functions, and the value of sisterhood. My sisters are my lifelong friends.
And that's what being an Alpha Phi means to me. One of the best decisions of my life.
So why are there two pins in the box? One is mine (the one with the charms) and other belonged to my cousin. She passed away six years ago. It means a lot to me to have her pin.