Last week, I posted about my undergraduate experience in Alpha Gamma Delta, so this week will be my alumnae experience (so far!).
My first year as alumna member was spent in Dublin, Ireland for my MA, so I did not have the usual experience of a young alumna. I think that it was great for me because it easily allowed me to avoid the sensation of not being able to let go. Most chapters will have young alumnae who have a hard time letting go of their collegiate years, and will come out to a lot of chapter events. While as collegians we enjoy spending time with alumnae members, it can be a bit awkward after a bit. The other side of the coin is that if you spend all of your time with collegians, you aren’t starting your alumnae experience. And you can only hang on to fraternity parties and exchanges (well, I never enjoyed those, soooo…).
In Dublin, I met Liz, an Alpha Gam from Ohio, in Centra (a convenience store). I was wearing letters, she spotted me, and that was that! She was doing a term abroad, and I was so excited to meet her. This will be a later post, but I did not meet a ton of people at the beginning of my MA, so I was especially to have someone there that I shared so much with. I love Liz, and even though I am up here in the prairies and she is in Pennsylvania doing her Master of Physican’s Assistant (HOLY BATMAN, LIZ), she is one of my best friends and I love everything about her.
I also met up with an Alpha Gam from Belmont University (in Tennessee) in March when I visited London, confusingly also Liz. We went to St. Paul’s and as Sherlockians, we found the site of the fall!! I actually met her through tumblr, and it was very cool to meet someone from a Greek system that was pretty much the opposite of mine! My sister-daughter Angela came to visit me for three weeks, we visited in London and we met up with Liz again! We went to Westminster Abbey this time, and went to see Once (a fabulous show, if you were wondering). Angela and I also visited another Alpha Gam from our chapter, Tiffany, who was au pairing in Berlin. And that is pretty much the summary of my European Alpha Gam interactions.
Fast forward to me moving home- back to everyone I know. Except with how the chapter changed (graduating members and new members), I didn’t know many people in the active chapter. And I was okay with that! There was no alumnae group at that time, but I spent a year trying to figure out who was doing what with the old group, until I realised that if anything was going to happen I had to start something. So, really fast forward to September 2014- and Junior Circle is reborn! Junior Circle is an alumnae group for young alum- it is fairly streamlined, does not require too many officers, and is incredibly flexible. Essentially, it is what you want it to be. There are about 5 of us who are committed- meaning we come to meetings and our fun event for the month! The chapter will be having a milestone anniversary in the fall, so the planning for that is kicking up. We will also be planning International Reunion Day in the spring, which is a celebration of the founding of the Fraternity.
I’m finding it very interesting and fulfilling, I am enjoying getting to know sisters that I otherwise wouldn’t have known. Once you take everyone out of business meetings and the regularity of university life, people can change. I know I changed while in Ireland. I appreciate Junior Circle, I get to have fun and use my planning skills, continue giving back to the Fraternity, and improve my relationships with my sisters. Alumnae life is much more relaxed, and there is no making yourself going to an event you don’t want to (ahem, exchanges). I hope that we are able to show other alumnae that it is all in fun, and that it doesn’t have to be work!