What is a Delta Gamma?
What is a Delta Gamma? She is the essence of a woman--the essence of a woman.
This phrase has been a constant throughout each of our individual experiences with Delta Gamma. We hear it at Founders’ Day, at Initiation, and probably more times than we’d like during recruitment week practice. For many of us, it goes in one ear and out the other, with little consideration of what it truly means.
This phrase is difficult to define. What words can accurately describe all that it means to be a woman?
Womanhood. Hot topic right now, isn’t it? Everywhere we look, we are being discussed: from how much money we should make, to what we should wear. Am I surprised? No. What earthly force compares to that of being a woman? What is more complex, more powerful, or more enchanting?
My four years in Delta Gamma have helped me solidify my definition of what it means to be the essence of a woman. And while the lines in the original version about koolaid and cartwheels are charming, I have a slightly different impression I’d like to share with you.
The essence of a woman is poetry in human form. It is the way we swifty pull our hair back into a ponytail during a midterm exam, just as it is the way we let our hair down in preparation for a night on the town. It is the way the hairs on our legs regrow on the same day we shaved them because something was beautiful enough to give us goosebumps. It is the way our thighs squish out when we sit down--a width that definitely increases from freshman to senior year. It is feeling the sun on our skin and the earth beneath our feet. It is dancing and laughing and learning and crying and yelling and praying and singing and waiting and wanting and writing and running and eating and exploring and giving and receiving. It is everything good and everything whole.
Oscar Wilde once said: “To live is the rarest thing of all. Most people exist, that is all.”
The essence of a woman is saying yes. Saying yes to living, and not simply existing. Saying yes to joining a house of 170 women who are diverse and daring. To spending 6 months at sea in the middle of your junior year of college. Saying yes to joining the power lifting club, to running for student body president, and to ROTC. Saying yes to internships at Google, Hudl, and DisneyWorld. Delta Gamma teaches women to not simply exist, but to live. To do what is scary and hard, and do it damn well. It teaches us to fail gracefully and to win humbly. It teaches us to feel and forgive and flourish.
When I came to college four years ago, I was certain I would leave with a boyfriend. 1 of me and roughly 11,000 of them--my odds were looking good. It is now March of my senior year, and I do not have a boyfriend. However, with this comes not the slightest bit of regret. Every moment not spent on a boyfriend was a moment spent with a sister. I have three-fourths of my life to be married, but I only have these four years with my girls. What a beautiful investment it has been.
Washington, D.C., Houston, Kansas City, Portland, and New York City. These five cities are just a few of the places we seniors are looking to relocate come graduation. It is said that the only true constant in life is change. The next year holds great change for the member class of 2013. Some of us will be getting married, and some of us will be signing up for eharmony. We will be starting our careers, our Masters and Doctorate degrees, or our fifth year of college. But no matter how many miles come between us, the way we have taken care of each other the past four years will carry us through these changes. Indeed, change may be the only constant in life, but change is the one thing I am certain you girls will do to the world.
I will leave you with this. I recently attended a conference put on for women in business. Many valuable anecdotes were exchanged, but one in particular really resonated with me. And it is: “The only way to catch a wave is to put yourself in the ocean.” Of course it stuck out to me because we all know as soon as a Delta Gamma hears a quote with even the slightest reference to something nautical, we immediately go paint it on a canvas and give it to our little. But I think this quote perfectly captures what it means to be a Delta Gamma.
The only way to catch a wave is to put yourself in the ocean. To the graduating class of 2017, go catch your wave.
Member Class 2013