We Are Powerful Beyond Measure

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

-Marianne Williamson

Hi everyone,
After months and months of careful planning, I’m very happy to say that my hard work has paid off. I’ve known for a while now how busy this weekend was going to be, so luckily I’ve been able to mentally prepare, but I never expected I would learn as much as I did. I’ve never felt so empowered, so motivated, so inspired. This weekend showed me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever thought of. Now that I can let out a sigh of relief and enjoy some downtime, let me tell you a little about my weekend:

Impact Summit at Bellarmine UniversityIMPACT SUMMIT:

Bellarmine held its first annual Impact Summit leadership program on Friday evening. I was able to attend the first committee meeting and assist with foundation planning of the event, but was unable to attend the remainder of the meetings as I had two other big events I was responsible for in the two days after the Summit. I was truly impressed with how the Impact Summit program turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented emerging leaders within our University. We all came from different backgrounds and different student organizations, but we all had similar experiences.

What stuck with me the most was learning the importance of making a difference. Even if you impact just one person, that’s positive change and your act, whether you’re aware of it or not, may trickle forward to other acts of kindness.  I’m a huge fan of random acts of kindness, as well as letting my friends and family know how much I care about them, so this program really meant a lot to me.

KY Phi Mu Day

Phi Mu National President, Kris Bridges, and I at KY Phi Mu Day

KY Phi Mu DayKY Phi Mu DayKy Phi Mu DayAfter months of planning, countless meetings, late nights and crafting, it was finally the big day!  I was so happy to finally welcome almost 200 Phi Mu women from across Kentucky and southern Indiana to Bellarmine’s campus. It was a wonderful opportunity getting to meet new sisters and swap ideas with them, as well as listen to our oh-so-elegant National President speak. All of the hard work for this event, especially this past week, became so worth it getting to sit in awe knowing I was surrounded by girls who have gone through the same things I have and share the same special bond.

After Impact Summit and KY Phi Mu Day I was ready to close my weekend with the Phillip Phillips concert. One of the countless reason why I love Bellarmine so much is that they provide us with so many opportunities. Whether it is to help us develop professionally at the Impact Summit, allow us to celebrate our sisterhood at Phi Mu Day, or to enjoy a relaxing evening in the Quad accompanied by Phillip Phillips’ wonderful performance, they give us opportunities. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful.

Song of the day: Home by Phillip Phillips. This weekend proved to me that Louisville is my home, reaffirmed to me how Bellarmine couldn’t have been a more perfect choice, and that this is where I truly belong.

It’s for a Lifetime

Phi MuIt’s truly astounding to be a part of an organization that is so much bigger than myself, and to be able to embrace the support of sisters who have been in the organization long before me. This past December, I applied for and was awarded the Louisville Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarship. I was one of two recipients and we were recognized this weekend at a special scholarship luncheon. It was an incredible experience getting to be surrounded by women with whom all had one special thing in common: regardless of how old we were, what chapter we were from, what sorority we were from, and what school we came from, we all share the bond and ideals of sisterhood.

Me and KaylaI’m absolutely honored that this wonderful group of alumnae picked me to be one of the scholarship recipients. The women represent all sorts of sororities but still believed in me and chose me. It was heartwarming to know that they have faith in me and my abilities and want to help me succeed in school.

The luncheon was absolutely wonderful. We had a great professional image consultant come and speak and I enjoyed getting to spend time with Phi Mu alumnae as well as with new and old friends. It is so surprising how sorority life can open doors and connect you with people you may never have had a chance to meet. I’m really glad I got to see my old friend, Kayla! (See photo on the left.) After she moved to North Carolina for high school and then came back to Louisville for college, I never expected that we would both be sorority sisters! She’s in a different sorority, though.

On another note, this year’s Outstanding Alumna Award winner was also a Phi Mu alumna, and I was able to sit by her at our table and talk with her further. When she went up to get her award, she spoke about how her twenty years of being a Phi Mu alumna was more significant than her time as a collegiate member. That left me wondering and hopeful for the future. I hope to give back to my chapter and my organization in the future, especially because of how much it has helped me. Phi Mu has given me countless opportunities to grow professionally, academically, and socially, and I cannot be more thankful for the support from my collegiate sisters as well as my alumnae sisters. Phi Mu is not just for our collegiate years, but a support system from a wonderful group of girls that lasts a lifetime.

Fun fact: did you know Bellarmine has many Greek professors? In fact, we have five Phi Mu’s on staff! Leave a comment with your guess on who they are :)

Song of the day: I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons. I was so happy that they won so many awards at the Grammy’s last night. They deserve it! Such a great band.

New Semester, New Changes

“First Day of School Pic!”

I’m so happy to be starting my spring semester of junior year. I always enjoy starting off new semesters- getting new and fresh notebooks, organizing and updating my schedule with new syllabi, and seeing which friends are in my classes. I’m lucky to even have some classes with my Phi Mu sisters!

With new semesters, though, often comes change… normally for the better! One of my biggest changes is that my schedule is completely reversed from what I’m used to. Nearly every semester I’ve had in the past has had a pretty consistent schedule- I’ve normally guaranteed myself at least a Mon/Wed/Fri class from 11:00-11:50, as well as a 9:25-10:40 on Tues/Thurs. I’ve grown used to doing all of my schoolwork and classes in the morning, then my internship in the afternoon. Now, it’s completely switched. For the first time ever, I don’t have Friday classes, and my Mon/Wed classes begin in the afternoon. This leaves me to work in the morning, then go to class in the afternoon. It’ll be a schedule I’ll surely have to adjust to, but I can already tell that I’m going to enjoy my classes. I’m taking Marketing, Interpersonal Communication, Writing for New Media, Advanced Graphic Communication, and Contemporary Cinema.

Another cool change I’m liking this semester is the new soda fountains in Cafe Ogle. Have you had a chance to use it yet? You can make nearly any soda/flavor combination out there! Ps. thanks girls for letting me take your picture!

Song of the day: Scream and Shout by Will. I. Am. and Britney Spears. I’ve heard it several times today and can’t get it out of my head!

Gaining Wisdom by Losing Wisdom

One of my dogs, Lillie, giving me love on my first night after surgery.

One of my dogs, Lillie, giving me love on my first night after surgery.

This semester was a rollercoaster full of thrills and challenges, and I’m proud to say that I survived and received my first 4.0! Now that the semester is over, I’m so happy to be home for a little while. Once finals were over last week, I went in for my first surgery ever. I got my wisdom teeth removed and it sure led to an interesting weekend. For not knowing how I was going to react to anything since it was my first time, I was anxious to see how it turned out. Luckily, my only complication was a bad reaction to the pain medication. It left me really, really sick until it got out of my system. Being stuck in bed for a couple days gave me some time to think, making me realize that there have been many life lessons I’ve learned through this semester, giving me much insight into what life is all about. Check out some of the things I’ve learned.

There is so much out there to explore.
My intercultural class, combined with my volunteer shifts at Ronald McDonald House, afforded me the opportunity to work with so many people from all walks of life that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. Through my field work, I helped a Somali woman prepare for her naturalization test, a Chinese father and daughter strengthen their bond, a Vietnamese woman simply practice her conversation skills, an Uzbekistan woman share her love of American reality television, and an Iraqi man transition into a new culture. Every session was incredible and unique, as I was always encountering a new situation and having to adapt to different cultures, and I am incredibly thankful for this experience.

Doing good creates good.

I am the first recipient of the Dan R. Ison scholarship. I was able to meet with him today and give him and his family some Christmas goodies!

I am the first recipient of the Dan R. Ison scholarship. I was able to meet with him today and give him and his family some Christmas goodies!

This holiday season has been full of warm feelings for me. I volunteered my December shift at Ronald McDonald House and loved getting to help out the families. Also, my hard work truly paid off as I got my first 4.0 this semester, despite an 18-hour courseload, my internship, and my extracurricular activities. My internship even asked me to stay through next semester, so I will have been there over a year! I gave Christmas cards to my teachers, thanking them for such a great semester, and also sent more out to other deserving people. In fact, I got to meet with my scholarship donor, Mr. Dan Ison, today and bring him and his family a Christmas card and some of my homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Especially at this time of year, it’s important to me to show those around me that I truly care for them.

It’s always nice to be with your family.
Sometimes I find myself so caught up with college life that I get overwhelmed, and it’s nice to know that my family is always willing to welcome me home with open arms.  I love living in the Phi Mu suite with a bunch of great girls, but sometimes it’s nice to just go home and be with my family. I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the help and support they have given me not only though this semester, but in the past week as I have been healing from the surgery. To me, Christmas isn’t really about the tree, or presents, but getting to spend much-cherished time with my loved ones.

Well, that just about wraps up my blog post! (Haha, get it, wrap, like Christmas presents? ;) ) My agenda for next semester is to continue to intern at the Foundation, to enjoy some fun classes, like Marketing and Writing for New Media, and to plan for some awesome Phi Mu events. Stay tuned!

Song of the day: Take Back The City by Snow Patrol. It’s been stuck in my head today! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY_hkrQNAQo

Stress Relief During Finals

I must admit that this has been the toughest semester for me so far. It seems like it’s been one challenging task after another. Luckily, this constant sprint is almost over and we will all soon be able to relax! To help you get through the next couple days, here are some of my favorite ways to de-stress during finals!

Puppy Love

1. Get some puppy love. Sandy’s Pet Shop off Poplar Level Rd always has a great selection of animals to go check out and play with. The employees are very nice and friendly too and understand that sometimes us college students just need some puppy love. You can always check out their website and see what puppies they have there, and they normally have cats, rabbits, and other furry friends too! I’m sad that Bellarmine isn’t able to do their “Canine Exam Proctors” like they have the past couple semesters, but I hope they’ll be able to this spring!

Joe Creason Park (As seen on Joe Creason Park’s Flickr)

2. EXERCISE! While the weather is still fairly mild, Joe Creason Park is a great place to go get some fresh air. Whether it’s doing a round of ultimate frisbee with your friends, walking your dog, or taking on the challenging hills, exercise is a great way to de-stress. Also, we can’t forget our wonderful SuRF. Get your warm-up in by walking to the SuRF from your dorm room, then go enjoy all of their great facilities.

Happy Holidays from Phi Mu!

3. Hang out with friends. Don’t forget we’re all in the same boat here! Though it seems like we’ve become antisocial as we bury our nose in studying, it’s nice to get to see our friends and relax. Phi Mu just had our annual Tacky Sweater Christmas Party and it was a great study break and a fun time to just be silly with my closest friends.

And, to wrap things up, here’s one of my favorite study tips: did you know that our brains recognize the highlighter colors yellow and green the best, and actually pass over the colors pink and orange? It helps to color code our study guides, highlighting different concepts with different colors. I know it looks a little weird, but I personally highlight terms in yellow, with their supporting information in green. It has helped me break up my terms so studying isn’t as overwhelming.

What are some of your favorite de-stressers? Have any special study tips? Leave them in a comment!

Song of the day is Don’t Stop The Party by Pitbull. Make time to have some fun and dance during studying! :)

 

Chance made us friends, choice made us Sisters.

Phi Mu Rho Zeta Big Little Reveal 2012This weekend was full of great memories. On Friday, we had our Sisterhood Retreat, which was exactly what I needed. Our Sisterhood Committee did an absolutely amazing job planning plenty of activities and exercises to strengthen our chapter’s bond, from having us decorate paper bags for us to all write “warm and fuzzy” notes to each other, to crafting mason jar lanterns to show how bright we shine. It was a very deep and meaningful night and it reminded me of exactly how special it is to be in this organization. These girls are my sisters and mean so much to me, and I am so thankful for their love and support.

Yesterday, we finally had our Big/Little Reveal! After weeks of anxious waiting, I was finally able to tell my girls who I was. I gave them gifts every day of the week, from stuffed animal lions, to blankets, to tote bags, and even a special box of all of their favorite things plus a couple of my favorite goodies thrown in, too! My favorite part was making them two mix-cd’s: one of all of my fun, party music, and another of my chill, studying music. I feel like I can best explain myself through my taste in music and they’ve told me how much they loved it, too!

Our Reveal was very special: All of the Bigs decorated candles for our Littles to bring to the event and, once they got there, all of the active members stood in a circle where they would walk in one at a time and pass their candle around for the Big to blow their candle out. We made it very exciting by passing the candle in different directions and also tricking the girls by starting to blow out their candle, then passing it to another sister. I loved getting to see my Littles’ reactions when I blew out their candle. The smiles and hugs that I got from them made me so happy! And yes, that’s right, I got TWO! Meet Quinlan and Kayla :)

Phi Mu Rho Zeta Big Little Reveal 2012Not only do we consider the relationship between big sisters and little sisters important, but we also find the “family” important as well. Our Houndstooth family loves spending time with each other, even when we are out of school, and we all support one another too. We just went from four girls to TEN!

Phi Mu Rho Zeta Family Tree

Now that all of the excitement of recruitment and big/little week is over, it’s time to get back to the real world! We have initiation in November, so more information to come on that! I hope you all have enjoyed getting a look into our sorority life at Bellarmine through my blog posts. I feel as though it’s something that many people don’t know much about, but should. Phi Mu is a wonderful organization that has truly made me a better person. :)

Song of the day: A Drop in the Ocean by Ron Pope. This song was played at our Sisterhood Retreat and it makes me think of my sisters.

Big/Little Week Has Begun!

Big/Little Week 2011, anxiously awaiting to see who my Big would be!

Hi everyone! The time has finally come for Big/Little week to begin! I surely don’t want to ruin any of the surprises, but I came across this sweet poem and thought it’d be a great allusion into what this week full of fun and excitement will lead to. I can’t wait! But until the end of the week, my lips are sealed. :)

“One is here, one lives there. One is
a little taller than the other. Two
different colors of hair, two different
outlooks on life, two very different
views from their windows. Both
have different tomorrows ahead.
Each is unique in so many ways.
Each has her own story, with all
the busy things going on in the
present. Each has different work to
do, and different demands on the
day. Each had separate destinations
and a distinctly different path to
get there. But…

For all the things that might be
different and unique about them…
these two sisters will always share so
much. They will always be the best of
family and friends, entwined together,
through all the days of their lives.
Their love will always be very special:
gentle and joyful when it can be,
strong and giving when it needs to be,
reminding them, no matter how
different their stories turn out…

They share the incredibly precious
gift of being “sisters.” And when you
think of some of the best things this
world has to offer, a blessing like
that is really… what it’s all about.”

-Laurel Atherton

Song of the day: It’s not a song, but a hilarious skit from Saturday Night Live where Kristen Wiig is very excited about a surprise party. This is how I feel right now. :)

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/surprise-party/1119104

I never thought this weekend would have been so interesting.

To me, time is best spent in the presence of family and friends, making a difference and making unforgettable memories. This weekend was definitely a weekend to remember.

My weekend started off on Friday with dinner with Michael at Old Chicago Pizza and then to see Pitch Perfect at Stoneybrook. I absolutely loved the movie, the soundtrack was awesome and I was always laughing. In fact, I think I’ll be taking my mom to see it over Fall Break because it was such a good movie, and I know she will love it too! Michael was such a good sport for taking me to such a girly movie, but secretly, I think he liked it a little bit :)

St. James Court Art Show

We spent our Saturday afternoon at the St. James Court Art Show and really enjoyed it. We were surrounded by captivating and simply amazing artwork, from photographs, to paintings, and more, but unfortunately most of it was out of our college student budget. It was great, though, having the opportunity to get some fresh air and enjoy walking up and down the streets of Old Louisville. It was a bit colder than I expected so I ended up buying an incredibly soft grey pashmina scarf, and even bargained with the vendor for a student discount :)

After we finished up at the art show, we made it over to the Iroquois Library for their first Conversation Club of the year. Remember how I mentioned that for my Intercultural Communication class, I needed to do field work? I did end up deciding to work with a wonderful woman named Sophie at the Iroquois Library and participate in their Conversation Clubs. These events are held to help people from around the city improve their English-speaking conversation skills. Many of these participants speak English as their second-language, and their knowledge of our language tends to vary.

It was an incredible experience for me, as I was paired with a Somalian woman, who was quite shy and looked nervous. After working with her for a while, I learned she was preparing for her naturalization test and she slowly started to open up to me. It definitely opened my eyes to how much I am given, and the privileges I receive by being an American citizen, and also that I can truly make a difference for someone else by helping them learn our language. I can’t wait to go back next Saturday and see who I will work with next week!

Lastly, my Saturday night ended with an appearance to a Republican fundraising dinner event with Michael and his family. I’ve never been to any event dealing with politics, nor have I been one to affiliate myself with a lot of politics, so I’m really glad they invited me along. It was great being there as a student as I had a lot to learn. There were a couple speakers there, including former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.

To be honest, I’m not even entirely sure where I stand politically, so watching the debates and attending this event is certainly helping me get more educated, so my vote in our upcoming elections will be meaningful.

To wrap up my weekend, I will be finishing up this blog post and studying the rest of the day! I had two midterm tests last week and a couple more to take this week! I do have an update though: got some great news about Phi Mu’s Big and Little, but to keep it all a surprise, my lips are sealed until our reveal on October 27! More to come!

Song of the Day: Feel Again by OneRepublic. I just came across this song and already LOVE it. For some reason it just makes me so happy. Enjoy!

When in doubt, Tom+Chee it out!

Hey everyone,

It’s around that time where the weather is changing, tests are stressful, and my immune system seems to take a hit. At this point, after battling an awful sinus infection, on top of taking two midterm tests, all I want is some comfort. Some of the girls in my Phi Mu “family,” as in the girls that are of my family tree when it comes to big’s and little’s, suggested we go out for dinner after one of our chapter development meetings on Sunday night. After a busy weekend full of studying and volunteering, I was thrilled to get dinner with my girls. We ended up going to Tom + Chee, a new restaurant off of Bardstown Road, and it was absolutely delicious.

Tom + Chee focuses solely on preparing delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soups. They also offer salads and other options, but based their name off of what they do best. What sets them apart, though, are their wild and crazy ingredients. They offer an assortment of breads, cheeses, and tomato soups, but what I found most interesting was that you can even order a grilled cheese on a glazed donut! They have different specials every day, and they always look really unique!

I ordered just a simple whole-wheat grilled cheese with american cheese, with a cup of creamy tomato basil soup, and it was exactly what I needed. I had not been a big tomato soup fan until just recently, as I never really had it as a child, but the grilled cheese has always been a comfort food of mine. The grilled cheese and soup paired together was incredible and under five dollars! I look forward to visiting Tom + Chee more often now as the weather gets colder :)

Well, I’m back to enjoying my night off of studying. My two big tests of the week are done and I’m enjoying being able to do some crafting while watching movies with the suitemates!

Song of the day: Ho Hey by the Lumineers. Love the lyrics :)

Looking for a Little!

Wow, what a week. I had a great time meeting new girls through sessions upon sessions of recruitment, and I’m incredibly proud to announce that we are welcoming 24 new women into our Rho Zeta chapter of Phi Mu! We couldn’t be more excited to expand our chapter by nearly double and make chapter history.

Now that we have these wonderful new members, it’s time for us to pick out Bigs and Littles! For those who aren’t familiar of Bigs and Littles, our sorority does this special process where our new members get to know our initiated members and pick their top five girls that they’d like to be their big sister. Those selections get paired with the top five girls that the Big would like as their Little. Being someone’s Big is quite an honor and responsibility because it means that someone chose you and wants that special bond.

I loved getting this opportunity last year, and it was a blast getting to meet all of the initiated members and receiving all of these little gifts and hints as to who my Big was. For our big/little reveal last year, we were given a special crazy sock to wear on one foot, while our Big was in another room wearing the other sock, holding up a sheet so we couldn’t see them at first. Once we walked into the other room, we were able to see who had our matching sock, and I couldn’t have been more excited to see when the sheet dropped that my Big was Ashley, wearing my matching sock!

Big/Little Reveal 2011

Big/Little Reveal 2011

It is my only hope that I can give one of our girls the same experience that Ashley gave me. Having a sister is something I’ve always dreamed of: I want to be a role model and special support system for someone as Ashley has been for me. I’ve got a lot of love to give and I can only hope that there’s a Little out there looking for it! Fingers crossed :)

My song of the day is more of a movie: if you happened to see Phi Mu girls around campus having fun with a camera in hand the past couple of weeks, you’ll enjoy our finished product: check out our recruitment video: