September 4th 2017: The day I found my home at the University of Iowa. While I didn’t have to be at the IMU until 2:30, my excitement woke me up at 8 and I couldn’t get myself to fall back asleep. Kate and I spent the morning blasting music, jumping up and down and getting ready to meet our new sisters in a few short hours.
The time finally reached two and it was time to head down to the IMU. As Kate and I left Hillcrest, hundreds of other girls filtered out of their rooms with their roommates with emotions from head to toe wondering what house they would be able to call their own. Upon reaching the IMU, all of the PNMs (potential new members) pushed their way through the crowd to find their Rho Gammas, or Recruitment Guides. After lots of searching, screaming and panicking I found Rachel, my Rho Gamma, and my group and I gathered around the amphitheater. All of us girls were uneasy, nervous, and excited all at the same time.
By 2:30 the ceremony began. Katherine Clarke, Vice President of Recruitment, led the ceremony. All of the Rho Gammas handed out our bid letters and we had to sit on them until the ceremony was over. While the ceremony was about twenty minutes, it felt like eternity. All I wanted to do was open my bid. The ceremony was finally over! Before opening up our bids, Katherine counted down from ten. Ten…nine… oh my goodness butterflies are taking up my entire stomach. Eight…seven… My palms are getting sweaty. Six…five… my heart is racing. Four…three… CAN IT BE ONE YET? Two…one… IT’S TIME! Girls ripped open their letters! Tears, screams and smiles overpowered the area. “Alpha Phi cordially invites Samanta Bly to become a member of our sisterhood Delta Epsilon Chapter.” I freaked out! I ran over to my friend, Kennedy, and gave her the biggest hug. We found out we were sisters! I quickly called my mama to tell her that her baby is continuing on the tradition and is an Alpha Phi just like her.
After all of the girls found their new sisters, each chapter took their girls and ran over to Hubbard Park to collect our new shirts, meet some girls from our chapter, and take some pictures. Since Alpha Phi is an outhouse (an off-campus house), we had to take a bus back to our house for a bid day welcome party. The bus ride felt like forever. I just wanted to get to the Dollhouse. As the bus approached 906 E College St., my happiness soared. All of the other sisters who stayed at the house were cheering, singing, and jumping around waiting for us to get off the bus.
The theme for Alpha Phi’s Bid Day was “sweet life.” I felt like I was in candy land. There was candy everywhere. From giant lollipops to cotton candy and everything in between, Alpha Phi had it all. All of the girls energetically got off the bus and found their bid day buddies. There were good vibes all around. Everyone was laughing, enjoying themselves, making new friends, and taking lots and LOTS of pictures. My entire Instagram feed for the next three days consisted of Bid day, Bid day, and guess what? Bid day! The excitement went on for hours. The entire house was filled with glitter and hair spray.
There isn’t doubt in my mind that this process of recruitment isn’t real. It works. I have never been happier than when I opened my letter and saw “Alpha Phi” written across it. The recruitment process is full of awkward and uncomfortable moments, forced conversations, and lots of girls going all
out with their hair, makeup and outfits. But, at the end of the crazy two weeks, you find your home, sisters, and lifelong sense of happiness.