My Personal Goals for July

Hey, babes!! Can you believe it’s July already? Summer is flying by and I’m not sure how I feel about it…but there is some good to come from the swift passage of time: I have a newfound energy and determination to better myself. Here are 5 life goals I have set for this month!

1. Improve productivity

The job I have at college allows me to work from home and on my own time…it’s basically a teenager’s dream come true and I love it! However, the flexibility can easily lead to laziness of the Netflix kind. So this month I resolve to set a semi-structured”schedule” where I dedicate a few hours a day to getting work done (and give myself a day or two off as well). Once I get the hang of it, sticking to the plan should be simple and I’ll hopefully feel like a more productive person!

2. Develop and stick to a night routine

Ever since the busy high school days of extracurriculars and homework, I’ve been terrible at making this happen. I can’t remember the last time I regularly fell asleep before 11 p.m., and during the stressful college semesters I consider it a blessing if I’m in bed by midnight. I want to get accustomed to a night routine so I’m prepared when I go back to school. Sleeping is already one of my favorite things to do so this goal shouldn’t be too much of a challenge as long as I commit to it! Plus, studies show that teens who get the same amount of sleep….etc. So finding a night routine that works for me is a win-win situation!

3. Plan for the fall semester

I’m moving into my first “big girl apartment” off campus this year, so I need to start furniture and decor shopping ASAP! Thanks to my constant Pinterest planning this task will be a breeze; it’s just a matter of finding pieces that are inexpensive and still quality…but hey, that’s what the Internet and secondhand stores are good for, right? I also need all of your typical college school supplies: textbooks, notebooks, an agenda, and pens. So yeah, the list is pretty intensive. And to top it all off I have my heart set on studying abroad in the spring (I don’t want to share the location yet but it’s one of my dream travel spots), which means I need to start researching and calculating every last dollar and tidbit of information and stay up to date on program application deadlines. Time to get a move on!

4. Read more books

This has been in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Ever since I learned how to read as a child I’ve had a love for books and the amazing wonders contained on their pages. In elementary and middle school I was a library fiend, and I even received school wide recognition for my bookworm habits! But life seems to get increasingly busy and fast-paced as you grow up, and somewhere along the way I swapped reading for staring at a laptop screen for hours on end in my free time. I have a decent sized “book wish list” saved in my phone notes and this month I want to buy as many of the items as I can, and then some! Knowledge and perspective are two of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves as humans living in this world, and I intend to expand upon them.

5. Be grateful for every experience

I am already appreciative of so many moments in my life, big and small, and I hope I always will be. With all of the exciting little events I have coming up in July (and one super exciting trip) I want to make sure I take a few pictures to capture the memories, but more importantly, I need to unplug and focus on making real memories that are genuine and free of interruption. This is an exercise that will help me with my lifelong goal of mindfulness and benefit me here and now. I am blessed to have good health, loving family and friends, and the very joy of existence itself — these things should be recognized and truly felt in my heart every day, and I will try my best to achieve this level of sensory awareness about my surroundings and experiences. As Eliza Schuyler so fittingly put it in Hamilton, “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

What are your personal goals for the month of July, or for 2016 as a whole? How do you plan to make them happen? Let me know in the comments!

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

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Music Monday: Florence + the Machine

Every once in a while a musician comes around who changes your life and the way you go about existing in the world. I’m not quite sure how they do it (it must be magic), but in an instant they open your eyes and revitalize all the parts of you that had been fading away for so long. These special people are a rare few in the music industry, but you know them by the indescribable feeling you get every time you listen to the words they sing. This is my love story with one of these such artists, Florence + the Machine.

“You are flesh and blood, and you deserve to be loved and you deserve what you are given.”

This single line alone is my a-ha! moment from the How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful album. Each time I hear it I feel my skin tingle and my eyes tear up, and I suspect it will resonate with me permanently. I have never before received such a direct message from the Universe, a reminder of my unconditional worth. I deserve to be loved and I deserve what I am given — we all do. That is my first of many favorite things about Florence + the Machine: they draw on the human condition and its universal experiences.

It is surprisingly easy for me to explain what Florence Welch has done for me in the nearly six years that I have been listening to her music. She brings out an effortless confidence in me that courses through my veins like a winding river on a lazy summer day. The sound of her voice is sweet freedom and unabashed power and quiet comfort. Through her music, Florence has become my dear friend. Her records have saved me, enriched me, and carried me through life, and that is awesome to me.

It began with “Drumming Song.” A modern dance class at my studio performed a wild routine to the song during a past recital, and it absolutely stunned me. I was hypnotized by the primitive power and immensity of every beat and I knew I had to look up the song. This led me to the Lungs album and every FATM video that I could find on YouTube. Over the course of my middle school and high school years — trying times for every teenage girl — I always kept Florence close to me so her lyrics could serve as a reminder of the kind, patient, peaceful, mighty presence I wanted to put out into the world. Shortly after my grandmother died, my family went to the beach for a week. There, I did a lot of struggling and grieving, but I was not alone. It was Florence’s albums, the endless ocean, God, and me. That was a transformative time in my life, and I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without my favorite songstress.

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I still cannot listen to “Shake It Out”, though, and that is my only regret. I remember having a moment of breakdown a few years ago while the song was playing and ever since then, something closes up inside when it comes on shuffle. I have to skip it. It breaks my heart that this glorious anthem has suffered from my tendency to deny myself happiness. Maybe one day I’ll be able to dance to it again and heed Florence’s call to let the light in. I hope so.

Still, I want to continue this on a positive note. I am beyond grateful for the things this band has done for me. Every time I glance at Flo’s glorious Instagram account I get a tickle in my throat and a smile on my face because I am reminded of who I want to be: a free spirited faerie girl whose aura projects light, confidence, and independence, but who also remains young at heart. FATM’s lyrics have taught me that it is okay to feel, to really feel all of the emotions on the spectrum of life, because that’s the only way to stay alive. I have learned the importance of a creative mind and an open heart in every situation. I’ve learned to wake up and count my blessings, from loved ones to the simple joy of coexisting with nature. I am much more honest with myself in my journey to let go of the pain that weighs me down. I cannot express all of the bigger and better ways I have grown as a woman, friend, and human being since the day I discovered FATM.

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Florence + the Machine is holding hands with your best friend and skipping along a winding road to “You’ve Got the Love.” It is closing your eyes and feeling goosebumps on your skin as you envision a blazing sacrificial rite during “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).” It is the internal connection you feel with some strange holiness as you listen to Ceremonials.  It is the messy, truthful narrative of life that is told throughout How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

So there you have it, folks — the story of my passionate spiritual love affair with Florence Welch. I am planning my first tattoo right now and I’m almost certain that it will be related to the band I love so dearly. I can only hope that one day I get to see the Queen herself perform live in concert, because that will be the day all my dreams come true! Until then, I look forward to dancing down the paths of life with so many beautiful songs in my soul.

Thank you, Florence Welch. Thank you a million times over.

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

P.S. If you ever need to restore some of your faith in humanity, watch this incredible video of Florence singing to a young hospice patient. Grab a box of tissues.

 

To My Sister, On Her Graduation Day

Dear Little Sister,

You’re not so little anymore! Wow, when did this whole growing up thing happen? It seems like just yesterday we were chasing each other around the house and having secret conversations in Nintendo DS chatrooms…now I’m halfway done with college and as of today, you are a high school graduate!

I know this time in your life is full of uncertainty and so many goodbyes. I know you have that bundle of nerves, excitement, and fear in your gut; I remember feeling the same way when I graduated two years ago. Once you realize that a part of life you grew so accustomed to is ending, every day is more bittersweet than the one before it. But I am not writing these words to make you cry even more tears than you have today. I am here to tell you that this is where it all begins.

The moment you crossed that stage tonight in your cap and gown (and you looked beautiful doing it, by the way), you closed a chapter full of memories, academic and personal achievements, hard work, friendships, and laughter. But you also opened a brand new chapter full of the exact same things. You did a lot of growing in high school, little sis, but you will grow leaps and bounds in college. You are entering some of the most important years of your life, although you might not realize it as you’re living them. Higher education is a whole new ball game — it is the place where you finally get to explore your passions and discover your potential. It’s where your social circle expands to include your roommate, floormates, classmates, and party acquaintances (and yes, your best friends since childhood will still be with you). It’s where you’ll spend many sleepless nights studying in the library or your dorm for a difficult exam you may never be prepared enough for.

All of the ups and downs that lie ahead of you are worth it, I promise. You know why? Because the one feeling that will stick with you through it all is the incredible sense of independence. Your time at university benefits no one as much as it benefits you. I can tell you from personal experience that there is nothing better than waking up, walking to class, and taking in your surroundings at the place you will soon call home. You may not feel ready, and that’s okay — thirteen years of education have prepared you for the transition to adulthood, but no one is ever really ready for anything. You just have to jump into freshman year headfirst and have faith that things will work themselves out. Making a life for yourself is hard work and scary as hell, but it’s also more exhilarating than you can imagine, and you never have to do it alone. I can’t wait to watch you do so many amazing things tomorrow as you build on the strong, successful woman you are today!

So, little sister, as you lie in bed tonight and process the culmination of your high school career, I hope you feel accomplished. I hope you look back on the past four years with immense pride and joy while also anticipating the next four years. It’s okay to be sentimental and nostalgic and teary-eyed, as I demonstrated so well after the ceremony. And throughout these summer days before everything changes, I hope you remember some very wise words from Taylor Swift: “It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age.”

Long live all the magic you made. Happy Graduation!

Love always,

Your Big Sister ❤

Spotify + Summer = Music Bliss

I’m not sure what it is, but every song I listen to sounds sweeter in the summertime.

Music sets the scene for so many precious moments that take place throughout the season, from road trips to beach days and backyard celebrations with sparklers and lemonade. I firmly believe that the perfect playlist can have the power to transform small events into unforgettable memories. And so, naturally, I’ve taken it upon myself to create playlists for almost every occasion and reason you can think of. Not to brag, but I’m kind of a big-shot Spotify connoiseur — at least in my mind, haha!

Anyways, summer is my favorite season and therefore a great excuse for me to go into playlist-making overdrive. There’s just so much good music out there waiting to be heard! For me, this time of year brings out my folksy hippie side so I tend to gravitate towards soft, uplifting tunes that make me want to get up and go on an adventure. I wanted to share some of my Spotify mixes with you all so you can get a better idea of the genres I love and how my personality is shaped by what I listen to. Check out my playlists below!

Summerdays

 

i’m a wanderess

 

Hot Summer Nights…

 

What song, album, or playlist is your summer soundtrack for 2016? Which artists are you loving right now? I’m always looking for new music so feel free to leave some recommendations in the comments 🙂

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

** This post is NOT sponsored by Spotify or any other music-streaming service. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Thoughts on the Insta Obsession

Hello, lovelies! I know, I know, it’s been a while and I’m terrible at keeping this blog up to date, but I’m on summer break now so I hope to write a lot more!

As a journalism major and teenager I am prone to a not-so-slight social media obsession, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. One popular app in particular comes to mind: Instagram.

When I first joined Instagram a few years ago, I just saw it as a cool way to share photos and moments of my life with my friends. Not once did I think of the potential it had to become a digital juggernaut for photography, networking, and even business. If you’re looking for a social medium where it’s possible to gain a sizable following by posting edited photos, the ‘gram is the place to be. In my opinion, the professional and personal opportunities through this app make it the most exciting platform to use right now. How crazy is it that “Instagram model” is a legitimate phrase and that people can go on amazing trips, get connected to a future employer, or spread the message of a movement, all with a few taps on a smartphone? I see more #sponsored and #ad hashtags in people’s posts than I ever thought possible. Technology is a marvel, folks!

But as with most things in life, it’s wisest to take what you see online with a heavy grain of salt, especially when it comes to Instagram. The harm is done when viewers believe that the photos someone posts on their feed are a completely accurate reflection of that person’s life. Let me stress one thing: This is NOT true!!! And in some cases, relying on likes and follower counts for self-validation can have disastrous results.

One example that comes to mind is the very recent, very public case of  Australian teenager Essena O’Neill, who worked her way up the social media fame ladder to become an Instagram star with a following of over 500,000 users. O’Neill once said in a mass email that she had enough money from working with Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube combined to fund travel excursions and live the ultra-glam, expensive lifestyle many people dream of. She signed with a modelling agency, did photoshoots with different products and brands constantly, and even bought her own apartment in LA, all by age eighteen. Yep, eighteen years old. However, O’Neill quit all forms of social media for good in November 2015 and revealed that the digital world she found herself living in was toxic, materialistic, and rested on “perfectly orchestrated self absorbed judgement.”

Soon after the announcement, she rewrote the captions of nearly all of her 2000+ Instagram photos to show the truth behind her life’s seemingly perfect appearance (before she deleted her account altogether). For instance, one edited shot of O’Neill lifting her shirt to show off a perfectly toned stomach, her hair tousled, now reads: “The only thing that made me feel good that day was this photo. How depressing. Having a toned body is not all we as human beings are capable of.” All the pictures can be viewed on O’Neill’s website BEHIND THE IMAGE, which is the platform she now uses to advocate for safe social media use, healthy self-esteem for girls, and the importance of real life.

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When I first heard about this story I immediately thought, “Well, duh…everyone should know that you can’t take Instagram too seriously. Obviously no one’s life is really what it seems online; that’s common sense!” Then I realized — for a lot of people, it is not common sense. If someone posts a picture of a room filled with plants and incense, it’s easy to believe that they’re a chilled out hippie who is all about good vibes and happiness, even if their life is difficult in reality. Maybe we tailor our digital lives to only include the good things because we want to avoid the barrage of negativity in the world today. I’m not quite sure what the reason is, but whether we like to admit it or not, we all care about the image of ourselves that we put out into the world. We get caught up in Instagram themes, filters, and editing techniques that present our individual lives as an “aesthetic” — Lord forgive me if that doesn’t become the most overused word of 2016 — just the way we want it.

Believe me, I am in no way immune to the digital plague and the way it affects my way of life. I check my photos multiple times a day to see how many likes they have. I’m not going to lie, I do feel a little confidence boost when my counts go up, even though I know it’s not healthy to mix self-esteem with social media. I am just as guilty of spending hours playing around on VSCOCam as the next wanna-be photographer. And I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with this; in fact, I personally think Instagram brings out the inner artist and creator in all of us. It helps us see nature and the world from a different perspective, with a photographer’s eye. Colors, contrast, hues, and saturation are suddenly much more noticeable in our everyday lives. Capturing objects from different angles and getting them to fit inside the small square boundaries challenges us to think out of the box. But it is when we let the digital aspects eclipse the real ones that Instaddiction can become a problem. Heavily edited photos and happy captions are okay as long as you remember that what you’re seeing is only one dimension of a person.

So the next time you’re mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and liking every on picture-perfect moment that pops up on your feed, keep in mind that the best moments in life are often unseen, unedited, and offline.

What is your opinion on Instagram’s growth as a platform for business and sponsored posts? Is Internet fame really worth it? Also, leave your username down below and I’d be happy to follow you! I’m @magicalmorganx on the ‘gram.

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

 

Big Adventures, Little Moments

I went home last weekend to celebrate Easter and during my brief visit, I was lucky enough to spend a sunny spring afternoon with my best friend, Kat! The trees were blooming, the air had a promising freshness to it, and we were happy. Being the naturally curious, ambitious explorers that we are, what started out as an aimless drive turned into a quest to find new corners of our hometown…this is kind of our routine, our “thing.”

By the end of the day we were tired but in that perfectly content way, satisfied with all of the beauty we had seen. As I was scrolling through the photos later, I realized something. I realized that the best parts of a grand adventure are the small wonders that touch your soul along the way — something as simple as the contrast between white flower buds and a cloudless blue sky, or the feeling you get when you look at your best friend and see all of the worry leave her eyes as she smiles and relaxes. Even when the details fade from your memory, your heart will always hold onto the special moments that you can’t put into words. And that is one of the most important, precious lessons of life.

Enjoy these gorgeous photographs taken by my lovely friend Katarina, and follow her on Instagram (@misskatarinaxo) if you’d like to see more!

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

Blue Skies Are Calling

Hello, friends! It’s been too long since my last post but I am on spring break this week, so I can finally show this blog some love 🙂

This brief stretch of time away from the stress of collegiate life, combined with the mild weather that has been creeping in here on the East Coast, has given my mind space to wander, and I have one thing on the brain: spring!

One of the best things about life on this Earth is experiencing the change of the seasons, and my favorite part of the cycle is the shift from winter to spring. After surviving the bitter cold and loneliness of the winter months, we are rewarded by nature in so many small ways. Suddenly the sun shines brighter, the grass looks greener, our favorite songs sound better, and each day is more inspiring. And as the world blooms with revitalization, we are reminded of our own potential to do the same.

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For me personally, spring allows me to take a step back and evaluate the way I’ve been living so far this year. I may still have to put up with the same crazy schedule, weekly meetings, and daily obligations, but in some weird way it seems like I have more time on my hands. I can sit down at the end of the day and ask myself things such as: How am I feeling right now? Why might I feel that way? How can I manage my time more efficiently? What can I do to take better care of my soul? What are the things that motivate me? Ideally we should always question ourselves in these ways, but the newness that we observe in springtime provides us with the perfect opportunity to actually do so.

I feel the most connected to the vernal equinox through sensory details: the music I listen to, the photos I see on the Internet, and the colors of the sky when I look up throughout the day. I can make it through even the most boring activity or routine because I have a heightened awareness of my mind, body, spirit, and lifestyle…if only things could be this way year-round, haha! But still, I am eternally in awe and appreciative of the surge of motivation that finds its way back to me right when I need it. I cannot wait to see what comes from it during this spring season! Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the warm months ahead 🙂

Stay free! xo

— Morgan

 

Music Monday: I ♥ Female Folk Singers

I am a huge fan of many different types of music, from R&B to classic rock and pop radio hits. But there is a special place in my heart for what some call the “indie” genre and all of its subcategories. Over the past few years I have broadened my musical horizons and discovered artists that have a distinct folk style, from Bob Dylan to recent John Mayer…then I found some amazing female singers, and I officially fell in love! Here are a few of my favorite ladies in the world of modern folk music.

Joni Mitchell

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For many people, Joni is the first woman to come to mind when we think of 20th century folk music. The effortless emotion and richness of her lilting voice is indescribable, but she uses it to share opinions, thoughts, and stories that settle deep in your soul. I feel the strongest attraction to Blue, perhaps her most iconic album. No matter how many times I listen to it, every song on the record still takes me away to a peaceful journey on a long road to nowhere.

One of my favorite Joni songs is “Woodstock” (from her third album, Ladies of the Canyon) because of the unsettling, dark undertone it carries. I think it perfectly captures the swirling political current of the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, but the lyrics also apply to our human desire to find ourselves and our place in the world. Joni Mitchell is still one of the most celebrated folk artists today, and rightly so.

First Aid Kit

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I was introduced to First Aid Kit through a list of song recommendations that my best friend gave me a while back, but I never expected to become as obsessed with them as I am now! Sisters Johanna and Karla Söderberg formed the group in 2008, and although they are from Sweden, their sweet voices blend together to create some of the most beautiful Americana music I have ever heard. You can hear their style come through on their second album, The Lion’s Roar, and the summer road trip vibes are in full force throughout 2014’s Stay Gold. 

The modern indie folk genre is about more than music, though; the aesthetic and general feel that an artist puts out is equally as important, and these girls have it down. Their merch store is full of apparel with cool graphic designs that are reminiscent of vintage Fleetwood Mac. If I had to describe First Aid Kit in three words? Freedom, warmth, and sunshine.

 Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile @ The Troubadour, West Hollywood - 03/04/2015

If you’d never heard of Brandi Carlile before the announcement that she is nominated for Best Americana album at this year’s Grammy Awards, you are not alone! My interest in her is relatively new and piqued thanks to a friend of mine who was listening to her on Spotify, but I am so glad I found her. Carlile’s nominated album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, is a perfect example of a classic folk record that still ponders life’s big questions but incorporates rougher tinges of country and rock. My favorite tracks are “Wherever Is Your Heart” and “I Belong To You” because of the self-reflection and strength in the lyrics. Whenever I listen to these songs I want to grab my best friends, drive across the country, and just live in the now.

To me, the reason folk music is such a staple in American culture is because it inspires the adventurous spirit in all of us and replaces all of the distractions around us with the simple beauty of the world. And for that, I will always love it.

What genre of music do you love most? Who are some of your favorite artists and why do you listen to them?

 

My Sorority Rush Experience

Hello, loves!

The second semester of my sophomore year of college has officially begun; it’s crazy how fast winter break flew by! It was even shorter for me because I moved back into my on-campus apartment one week early to participate in Panhellenic sorority recruitment.

Yep, you read that right: I rushed Greek life at my school…and I absolutely loved it. The biggest piece of advice I received throughout the week was “trust the system.” Well I did, and it all worked out. I found the home I was looking for: Alpha Xi Delta!

Like many girls my age, I grew up and went through my teenage years with preconceived ideas of what sororities were like. Movies such as House Bunny and Legally Blonde convinced me that the stereotypes were true…and my younger self was determined to never turn into a “sorority girl” when I got to college. Last week, however, I found out that those stereotypes are wrong. 

The recruitment process taught me so much about myself, other girls, and the many different opportunities that sororities offer. If you’re reading this, maybe you’re interested in Greek life at your school but the idea of rushing terrifies you. Maybe you’re just curious to learn more about about how it all works. This is why I want to share my journey with all of you. I’ll give a brief overview of each day, the outfits I wore, and what I gained from the overall experience. Read on!

Days 1 & 2 – Rounds

   

First Outfit: Cardigan, shirt, leggings, knee socks – Target; boots – Kmart;  necklace – my mom

Second Outfit: Top and leggings – Target, black ballet flats (not pictured) – Delia’s, necklace – my best friend

Round days were meant to introduce us Potential New Members to each of the sororities (we had 5 to choose from) and give us a feel for the personality of the individual chapters. On Day 1 I experienced every sorority this way: My recruitment group lined up in alphabetical order and we walked into the designated room that was listed on our schedule. Each of us was immediately greeted by a huge group of excited sisters who were typically yelling sorority chants or singing, and the rooms were decked out in themed decorations. We made small talk with 3 or 4 sisters during the entire half-hour of the party. It was our chance to tell them about ourselves, answer their questions about our personalities and why we went out for rush, and ask them anything we wanted…then we’d take a quick break and move onto the next party. After the first day I had to rank which sororities I liked best from 1 to 5 and I went home.

On Day 2 I came back to find out that based on the sororities’ own rankings, I got invited back to two parties, which meant that two sororities showed a serious interest in me as a PNM. This day was set up the same as the prior one but I had longer conversations with the girls and the focus was on philanthropy, so they showed us a video highlighting the charitable organization(s) they work with. At the end of the second day of rounds I ranked the chapters again based on the experiences I had with them that night.

Day 3 – Preference Night

Cardigan, top, skirt, tights, and booties all from Target. The addiction is real.

This was definitely the fanciest and most important night of the week. By this point the ranking process had narrowed it down to 2-3 sorority parties for all of the approximately 300 PNMs. We got our individual schedules and either waited until our party time or went on our way. I was invited to another sorority as well but by this point I knew in my heart that AXiD was where I wanted to be; every time I walked into their room that week I immediately relaxed and felt comfortable enough to be myself. I made a genuine connection with each girl I talked to & I loved how our conversations ranged from deep talks about college life to obsessing over clothes and Netflix! I won’t go into too much detail about pref night but I will say that the sororities’ ceremonies were beautiful and very emotional. The sisters wore matching black or white formal attire, sang songs that held meaning in their chapter, and displayed bonds of love that gave me a wonderful, funny feeling in my stomach. I honestly felt like I was in the rose-giving portion of The Bachelorette, haha! At the end of this long night I listed my dream sorority as my only preference, went home, and prayed for a bid from the best.

Day 4 – BID DAY!!!

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Bid Day, also known as the best day of my college journey so far & the day I officially found my home in Alpha Xi Delta!! The chapter gave me a bid (an invitation to join) along with 45 other amazing new members who I am now getting to know. Running through the huge crowd of jumping, screaming sorority girls and into the open arms of my sisters was exhilarating! The initiated members threw a party for us in the afternoon to celebrate; it was an event full of pictures, pizza, hugs, upbeat chatter, learning chants, and just feeling welcomed.

My rush week was nerve-wracking and not what I expected it to be at all, but it worked out better than I could have ever imagined. I learned a lot about myself, the values I hold close, and the many benefits of “going Greek” in college. I can’t wait to learn everything there is to know about my sorority’s history and become involved with Autism Speaks, an amazing and important cause that impacts so many people worldwide. I can’t wait to become close friends with my fellow new members and initiated sisters as well! I can’t wait to finally have the college experience I’ve always wanted…and to be an Alpha Xi.

Are you an alumna of a national sorority chapter? Is there anything you’re dying to know about sorority life? Would you ever go out for formal recruitment at your college or university?

Stay free! xo

— Morgan