As my ELC experience comes to an end, I am left reminiscing about this past year and how far I have come. This time a year ago, I was a senior preparing to graduate college, happy to have a job, but sad to leave my best friends of four years – my Alpha Phi sisters. It was hard to imagine that I would ever find that type of close friendship again. So many times we hear “Alpha Phi isn’t just four years, it’s for life”. But as a collegian it can be difficult to understand how that will take shape in your own future. As an ELC, I have begun to understand that Alpha Phi will always be “for life.”
Being part of the ELC team is like being part of new kind of Alpha Phi sisterhood. It’s pretty unbelievable that as a group we have only spent 23 days together, but I could honestly count on any of these women to encourage me during my toughest of days, make me laugh on my most stressful days and celebrate with me on my best days. Our GroupMe text is used daily to post questions, tell airport stories and share BuzzFeed links. Each of us brings different experiences to the group and we continue to offer new advice to each other from our experiences on the road. From the east to the west coast, to the south and throughout the Midwest, we all bring our own cultural flare. And best of all, we have this experience…the experience of being an ELC that will stay with us forever. Gaining these lifelong friendships has been one of the most rewarding parts of being an ELC.
Not only did I meet 16 incredible new sisters, I have also had the pleasure to work with many of our inspiring volunteers and Alpha Phi International Executive Office staff. These women have become my role models, Alpha Phis that I aspire to be like someday. Their knowledge of Alpha Phi is truly remarkable and their loyalty to our Fraternity is unparalleled. These women are dedicated to enhancing our Fraternity, and along the way, have enhanced my life as well as the other ELCs they have worked with. Their dedication continuously inspires me to give back to Alpha Phi as a volunteer. From recruitment to risk management, to career choices and professional skills, our volunteers and staff have offered support to me as an ELC and as a young woman. Because of these women, I am constantly reminded that Alpha Phi will always be a part of my life for many years to come, and for that, I could not be more grateful.
Bridgett Giery (Gamma Pi-Arizona State) is a first-year Educational Leadership Consultant.