April 15, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: From Founding President to Graduate


Three years ago I made the best decision of my life: I took a chance, listened to my instincts and became a founding member of the Iota Sigma colony at Carnegie Mellon. Within the week I was a Greek Sing chair, on the recruitment committee and on my way to being well entrenched in Alpha Phi. When it came time for elections I very much wanted to be the Chapter President. It took all of five weeks for me to fall in love with Alpha Phi and want to lead the chapter, to want to help shape it and make it grow.

Being the founding Chapter President was simultaneously amazing and terrifying. There were times I had no idea what I was doing and times I was positive I was doing everything wrong. There were times I knew I had gotten it right and knew that I made a great decision for the chapter. Without my sisters and the incredible women of the extension and advisory boards I would have never made it through. During my year as Chapter President I thought a lot about legacy and about what I would leave behind when my term ended.  I learned how to make decisions bigger than me, to think of 60 other women, to think five years out. Being the Chapter President changed my entire perspective in ways that I feel every day.

The chapter looks very different today than it did when we first started. I see my fingerprints on less and less of the chapter everyday, which has been hard at moments but mostly it's wonderful. The chapter is thirty people larger than when I was Chapter President and we've won awards, reached campus total and strengthened a truly beautiful sisterhood.

Now, I am five weeks from graduation, and I am back to thinking about legacy and not at all ready to leave my chapter behind. Alpha Phi is and will always be a huge part of my life. I am invested in the future of the Iota Sigma chapter and invested in its members.

Three years ago my life changed forever. I had an amazing year leading my chapter. I learned more in that year than any other time in my life. Alpha Phi shaped me, and I hope I helped shape Iota Sigma. There are a lot of send-off and commemoration events in the coming weeks, many things are coming to a close. None of them will be as emotional or bittersweet to me as my Alpha Phi Senior Send-Off. Alpha Phi will always be with me, but it’s going to be very difficult to say goodbye to my collegiate years with my chapter.

Rachel Pustejovsky is a collegiate member at Carnegie Mellow (Iota Sigma). Learn more about Rachel by clicking here.

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