I graduated from the Eta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi at Chapman University last year (class of 2014!) During my last semester as a collegiate member, I kept hearing the phrase “Alpha Phi isn’t four years, it’s for life”. Honestly I didn’t think too much of that statement when I first heard it. I was caught up with graduation coming up, spending time with friends, and finishing my senior projects.
Since the second week of my freshman year, Alpha Phi had been a huge part of my entire college career. It had given me sisterhood and lifelong friends. It had given me leadership positions and opportunities for growth. It had given me formals, exchanges, Greek Week, philanthropy, rituals, and traditions. Most importantly, it had given me an identity in college.
I was a very nervous, homesick freshman who had trouble breaking out of my shell and finding my place at Chapman. I joined Alpha Phi because I knew it would challenge me to grow as an individual and come into my own, and that’s exactly what I did. By the time graduation came around, I was a confident, educated young woman ready to take on the “real world”, with Alpha Phi by my side. Alpha Phi had helped me find my voice and my confidence in college, so naturally I expected it to help me in my next chapter.
However, once I moved away from Chapman and my chapter, I realized I was right back where I was as a freshman; scared, confused, and nervous about what post-grad life had to offer. I had a great apartment, an amazing job, and a brand new city all at my fingertips, and I was terrified. Chapman and Alpha Phi were my comforts, and now I was far away from them and was never going back to my collegiate days. Then it really hit me; Alpha Phi wasn’t four years, it was for life.
Just because undergraduate years were over, didn’t mean Alpha Phi had to be. I joined a fraternity that I pledged my membership to for life and just because it wasn’t a huge part of my daily life anymore didn’t mean it had to end with my college chapter. Being an alumna now was just the beginning of my lifelong membership. I became an advisor for the Eta Upsilon Chapter, I spoke at a few sisterhood events, and met so many other Alpha Phi alumnae from other chapters around the country who had moved to Los Angeles to begin their post-graduate lives. All of these things had given me that familiar comfort I had missed dearly. I finally felt confident that I could take on this whole “real world” thing as a strong woman of the Alpha Phi Fraternity.
Alpha Phi taught me confidence. Alpha Phi taught me grace. Alpha Phi taught me class and sass. Alpha Phi taught me hard work and dedication gives positive results. Alpha Phi taught me how to work with all kinds of people and how to be a motivator. Alpha Phi beauty comes from within. I am so grateful for all these things I have become, and will proudly carry all of the qualities and values Alpha Phi had instilled in me during college throughout all of life’s endeavors. That’s why Alpha Phi isn’t just four years, it’s for life.
Special thanks to our Transitions contributor Hannah Brown –
Hannah is a 2014 graduate from Chapman University where she was a very active member of the Eta Upsilon chapter for four years. She currently lives in Los Angeles and works for Discovery Channel as an assistant for an executive producer. When she isn’t working on set or enjoying the sunshine, she serves as the programming advisor for her alumnae chapter.