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  #1  
Old 08-10-2003, 01:18 PM
LouisaMay LouisaMay is offline
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Smile LouisaMay's Long Search begins...

Dear GreekChat Gurus,

I have been a GreekChat regular observer for months, but it has taken me forever to finally take the first step in the AI process. I am feeling both a fear of rejection and a fear of regret. I know that if I don't go for it now, I will always regret having not pursued initiation in this fine sorority. At the same time, I think maybe I would feel better just knowing that once this sisterhood wanted me.

Here's my story:

I was an extremely DRIVEN high school student, and I didn't let up for a second in college. I was academically focused, but I was also searching for ways to gain experience in my field in hopes of having a dazzling career! I dove into college life head first--signing up for many activities and constantly looking for community service opportunities, while maintaining a full course schedule. Of course, being the go-getter that I was, I looked into sororities. In the campus sororities, I saw a chance to make lasting friendships, serve the community, and develop ties with alumnae. Perfect!

Well, I went into Rush my freshman year with NO CLUE. I had no idea what I was doing, so when I was asked back to all the sororities for the second round (of three rounds), I was dumbfounded. My Rho Chi said that I had to drop one group, and I had no idea what to do. I dropped the group at the bottom alphabetically. Stupid, I know. I had enjoyed all the chapters so much during my first night of Rush, and I figured I could be happy in any of the houses. I hadn't expected to have to make this choice, so I was really unprepared. I had to choose on the spot.

When it was time to pick up invites for Pref, I was in for a big disappointment. I had not been invited back to any of the chapters. In my opinion, the Rho Chi did not handle this well at all. She was like, "Oh! This never happens." How was that supposed to make me feel?? So, I left the Greek Life office, acting like everything was fine.

I went on with things. Kept busy. Made friends. Then, in the fall of my sophomore year, I was invited to an informal rush party at the house I had dropped the previous winter. I was so excited!! A sister came right to my dorm to pick my up. She walked me to her chapter house, showed me her room, and introduced me to a lot of the sisters. I discovered that I knew many of the newest sisters who could have been my fellow pledge sisters if I hadn't dropped. It was the most fun I had since coming to college! The girls were all so genuine and hilarious! After that night, I did a lot of research about that sorority, and I learned that I had a special connection with this org that I hadn't realized before (I won't explain 'cause that would give it away).

A few weeks later, I got a bid. But of course, it's not that simple! Just a few days prior, I was offered a top editorial position with my college paper. This was a huge deal for a sophomore, and I saw my chance to really excel. Writing and editing were my career goals, and I was so torn between my drive to succeed and my desire for sisterhood.

The sisters kept asking for my response, and I kept stalling. It was awful! Finally, after consulting with my family and my new boyfriend (who was decidedly anti-Greek), I declined my bid.

Now before you pull out your hankies, let me just say that I had a fabulous time in college. I continued working for the paper, and I am now using those skills and experiences in a wonderful career. However, I still regret having missed out on sisterhood. When I read about the great experiences on GC (especially in the forum of my goal organization), I feel so left out...and so stupid!

So anyway, here is my chance to redeem myself. I am going after this with everything I've got! No holding back.

Here's why this is the "Long Search." I am moving in about 9 months, and I don't feel that it would be fair to pursue the support of an alumnae club, only to leave in the near future. So in the meantime, I am connecting with a couple of my college friends who were members. I am hoping that these women can help me meet the local club near my new home when the time comes. I am also learning as much as I can about the sorority, its philanthropies, and its activities in the region to which I will be moving. There is a college chapter there and at least one alumnae club.

Well, that's about it. Sorry this got so long. I am really really really really really excited, and I've just been holding all of this in TOO long. I talked to my husband last night, and he supports me in this. He knows how much I regret missing Greek Life.

To avoid the generic ABC or XYZ, I am calling this sorority-of-choice Little Women (hence the screen name), after my favorite book.

Thanks for all of the wonderful information here. I feel well prepared, and I will be around a lot to cheer on all the PNAMs.

Go Little Women!
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2003, 01:26 PM
GeekyPenguin GeekyPenguin is offline
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LouisaMay, thank you so much for sharing this with us - I really hope you find your home in Little Women. I think your approach with your friends sounds great - that way you will know a lot about Little Women when you move to the new town, and your friends can help connect you with the Alumnae Chapter there.

Good luck!

-Kathleen
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2003, 03:01 PM
tinydancer tinydancer is offline
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Good for you, LouisaMay!!! Since you have been "lurking" for a while, you know that there are many sisters here to help you. Just ask - no question is too small.

Best of luck to you with Little Women ( gotta love another book analogy)

Lizz
PNAM tinydancer ( hoping for Gryffindor)
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2003, 03:58 PM
navane navane is offline
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Hi LousiaMay!

Thanks for sharing your story with us! Having those "narrow misses" must have been difficult; but, you now have a new opportunity! I wish you the best of success with "Little Women".

Welcome to the PNAM club!

PNAM,

.....Kelly
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2003, 05:39 PM
adduncan adduncan is offline
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Boy, I sure see a lot of similarities between your story and mine, LouisaMay!

I am a firm believer that there are no coincidences: things happen or dont' for a reason. I'm approaching AI myself about 15 years after my initial rush, and I am sure that the time is finally right. Maybe that's the case for you too!

Welcome to GC! Be prepared to give updates of your AI pursuit-- that's become a tradition around here: to guess which PNAM is going where.

Adrienne
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2003, 08:22 PM
PsychTau PsychTau is offline
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Location: Out of Arkansas, into VIRGINIA!!
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Lots of luck, LouisaMay!!!

You say that your're moving in 9 months, and don't want to get started with the alumnae group in your current area. Will it take that long for AI in the group you are interested in? If it would only take a month or two, I say explore your options with the current alumnae club. I'm sure they would love to have you, and having sisters in your new area would make the move that much easier!! Of course, I don't know all the details of your situation, so you may have checked all of this out already.

Keep us updated on everything!!
PsychTau
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2003, 12:00 AM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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I would agree with PsychTau. The year is about to begin for most alumnae chapters and the events should be heating up. Even if you ran out of time to make it completely throuh the process with the currently loacl chapter, you would have a great rec and a superb "in" for the chapter of your new hometown.

I'd say to inquire with your local chapter before you move and see what happens.

Good Luck!
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2003, 03:25 AM
GPhiBLtColonel GPhiBLtColonel is offline
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I echo what Melanie says -- go for it now! We're behind you and let us know if any of us can help -- Houstonchica and Cluey are both Gamma Phi Beta AIs now because we "met" first on GreekChat.

Only one more GreekChatter PNAM to go!
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2003, 10:15 AM
LouisaMay LouisaMay is offline
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Do you really think I should?
As you can see, I'm really torn on this!

I would LOVE to get started now. I really really would, but I'm worried about a few things. Isn't the biggest challenge of AI the process of waiting to see if you click with the local alumnae since they are the ladies that you will be close to? Winning the support and confidence of one group then trying to join another seems like a good way to get my heart broken again. On the other hand, just having contact with any of the classy Little Women would be so exciting and I would feel like I was actually getting somewhere. I'm just afraid that joining one group when I KNOW that I am leaving will seem a little shady. Or do you think if I am upfront about it, the sisters would understand.

Also, I've been wondering ...should I even contact headquarters since the request for Initiation of an Alum must come from a local club? I am oh so tempted because I just want to feel like I am DOING something. (I hope I didn't give anything away with that comment!)

LM
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Last edited by LouisaMay; 08-11-2003 at 11:40 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2003, 11:31 AM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Be upfront about it without a doubt............

And yes, you should at least try to get going now. Contact the local alumnae chapter and see what their reaction is. All of us can only tell you what WE would do, the important thing is how they react. They may also agree with us.

The alumnae chapter should be having a number of events coming up and you should have plenty of time to meet the members. In my opinion the worse case might be that they invite you to all of their events but tell you that you'll have to wait until you get to your new home to actually initiate.

If it was me <putting back on my AC President's hat> I would not care too much (we have members who move ALL the time) that you were moving PROVIDED I was convinced you were going to stay involved at your new home. Our AC consists of younger women and we have quite a few who move here, get involved for a short amount of time, and then move and get invovled somewhere else. As long as you remain involved, I don't see teh big deal.
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2003, 12:45 PM
bsp-mich24 bsp-mich24 is offline
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Just my .02 cents (sorry it's long)

Hi LouisaMay,

Welcome to GC and the AI forum.

If you haven't already, you may want to read "Cutiepie2000's thread on the AI process. In summary, she says its better to contact the national HQ office and let them put you in touch w/ the local alum group near you and they can let the Prez or VP of the alum chapter have heads up that you will be contacting.

Before I found out about this thread and GC, I contacted a GLO's Prez that knew nothing about AI process and said no only collegians can join (after I read about it on that GLO's national webpage). They HQ might be able to put you in contact with an alum contact in the area you our moving to or let you know if there are any alum chapters .

Needless to say there is no chance on getting into that GLO after that. All other contacts I made to GLO's were made after contacting the HQ. I'm in a non-academic service GLO now (and just like others have said) you transfer your membership to other chapters across the US where ever a chapter exists. I know of 2 military wives in Beta now & it hasn't been a problem.
I'd say go for it & ditto what SmartBlondeGPhB said. Good Luck!

Michelle
PNAIM 2003
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2003, 01:01 PM
pinkyphimu pinkyphimu is offline
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hurray!! one more ai story!! best of luck to you louisamay!! btw, i love your idea for calling the group little women!

if you are sure that there is an alum group in the area that you are moving to, i think that it would be great for you to get in touch with the women in your current area. depending on how far away you are moving, they may even have a contact person in the new chapter. if you do contact them, definately be upfront about the fact that you will be moving. as many others have said, there are plenty of people who move every year, so it is something that alum groups are used to!!
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2003, 01:01 PM
LouisaMay LouisaMay is offline
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I'm on a lunch break now, and I just thought I would check back AGAIN. Ahh! I can't stay away.

Okay...so first off, thank you to everyone who has already responded. This is so exciting, and I already feel a little more confident about this process.

So here is what I guess I'll do...I'll write to Headquarters about my situation and my hope of being an Alumnae Initiate. Perhaps they will help me get in touch with my friend who is a member AND the local alumnae club. I've spent several hours searching for my friend's contact info with no success. I'm thinking of contacting my college Alumni Office too since they may be able to put me in touch with her. I've already composed the letter, and if anyone would like to read it (with specific details deleted of course) and offer advice, let me know. I'll PM you.

And I found out about a club about 10 minutes from here and one within 15 minutes of the town I will be moving to. There is a college chapter about 35 minutes away. Yippee!!

LM

P.S. I have read CutiePie's post. Very helpful!! Thanks.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2003, 01:20 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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The Alumni Office of my college was very helpful in giving me the contact info for my little sister a few years ago.
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  #15  
Old 08-11-2003, 01:26 PM
Jill1228 Jill1228 is offline
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Hey a fellow PNAM! Wishing you luck!
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