March 27, 2014

See Beyond What is in Front of Us

A common misconception about sorority life is the loss of individuality; each member lets go of the person they were before in order to adapt to an established order or “standard." My own experience in Alpha Phi has taught me the complete opposite. I have never met a group composed of such diverse personalities, backgrounds and ideologies. The uniqueness of each individual member is embraced and pushed towards a path of growth through the use of Watchcare, and serves as the basis for sisterhood. As such, through Alpha Phi, we “banded ourselves together to improve our minds and hearts, and we seek to aid each other through a constant Watchcare always given in love.”

We should never forget about our duty to practice Watchcare, inside our chapter meetings and out. When our Founders thought about Alpha Phi, they wanted each member to challenge each other, take care of one another and always act in a spirit of sisterly love and kindness. Because of that, your sisters in Alpha Phi are different than your friends- the Watchcare we practice with one another is a lifelong commitment, where we seek to improve the core of who we are.

Watchcare does not only refer to the times when your sisters need you to be sober sister to or manage a difficult situation. Watchcare is seeing beyond what is in front of us, to care enough to ask a simple “are you okay?” or to have the courage to reprove and correct a sister. If we take the time to practice what our Founders expected from us, we would embrace the diversity we each possess; getting to know our sisters beyond what is visible to everyone else.

I am a senior and my collegiate life is almost coming to an end, but as I look back at my past Alpha Phi years, I realize that Watchcare helped me become the person I am today. My sisters never stopped challenging me and when I did wrong, they held me accountable for my decisions, always in the spirit of love. As a younger classman, I was never good at taking responsibility for my actions. Thankfully, my behavior was brought to my attention and I slowly learned to represent Alpha Phi in a more positive way and to be a more caring sister. It is never easy to recognize one’s character flaws and it is ever harder to change what we are so accustomed to. However, it is necessary to accept the need for growth in oneself.
As I stepped outside of my own boundaries, I got to know more sisters and they relied on me for a helping hand. Today, I am not perfect or remotely close to being so, but I know I will leave my collegiate chapter with the satisfaction that through the practice of Watchcare I helped my sisters, and I came to know who they are, where they came from and where they are going.

Samantha Padilla is a collegiate member at St. Mary's (Iota Beta). Learn more about Samantha by clicking here.

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