While I was abroad most of this year, there were quite a few things I missed about campus. I missed walking into Norris and running into friends. I missed football games. I missed Dillo Day. But above all, I missed my sorority sisters.

I didn’t always speak so openly about my sorority. I worried others would make assumptions about me, like the way my family and friends from high school did when they found out. I was asked: Do you just party all the time? Do you feel like you’re paying to have friends? Over the past three years though, my sorority sisters have made Northwestern feel more like home and I couldn’t be prouder of my sorority.

One of the most valuable lessons my sisters have taught me is the importance of self-care because it’s one of our chapter’s priorities. When I’m busy with classes or extracurricular activities, it’s easy for me to overlook my unhealthy habits. I may skip a meal running from one meeting to another, or I may not take many breaks while studying, but my sisters are always there to reinforce healthy habits. They share their food with me, they remind me to take study breaks and they give the best pep talks. It might sound like small gestures, but I’m grateful for their love and support.

My sorority is smaller than most – we have 12 members now – and our organization depends on everyone to keep it functioning. I’ve been the vice president and co-chair of public relations. I’ve helped plan our scholarship banquet, which is when we give two scholarships to students. I’ve become involved in social justice work. Everyone has a role (or two) and different passions, and my chapter has allowed me to develop my identity. My roles within my chapter have taught me how much I value my community and after college, I’d like to work for a non-profit organization.

Some find their support from their a capella group, dance troupe, publication or one of the other 500+ student organizations on campus. Your support system on campus might be a roommate or someone you met in class. Wherever you find your support system on campus, just be sure to find one because your college experience will be more meaningful if you share it with people who matter to you.

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