Last May, as I drove home up I-65, I replayed the hellos and goodbyes of yet another year well spent. Listening to sad Zac Brown Band songs, I spent the drive wishing that time could come back, regretting nothing, but still somehow wanting to do it all over again. Every tangible memory of my junior year slipped through my mind – apple picking and tailgates, formals and bid night, sisters leaving for and coming home from beautiful adventures abroad, the list goes on. As I picked up the phone to call my mom to update her on my whereabouts (per her usual request), I immediately began to sob, with a distinct inability to articulate the sadness I felt as I drove away from DePauw. I wept on the phone to her for miles, blubbering about how it seems that with the arrival of senior year, the world was coming to an end.
Well, the world didn’t end. My world just shifted – away from the familiarity of feeling as though I had so much time, and into my final phase as a collegian. Let the nostalgia begin. We’ve started quantifying everything – date parties, weekends, chapter meetings. As I come to the end of my term as chapter president, some of those numbers are even smaller. Each time one of our senior sisters mentions the limitations of our time in college, we throw a fit and tell one another to stop talking about it. It’s a difficult thought to truly entertain, but it lives in the back of our minds.
Choosing Alpha Phi was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
So much of who we have become in college is built upon Alpha Phi’s ideals of leadership, loyalty and sisterly love. Alpha Phi remains at the forefront of our campus engagement, but has supported us as we expand our horizons throughout DePauw and the world.
As a freshman, I looked at the senior women, mesmerized by their love and energy for these people and this place. I didn’t understand why they would scream the words to “White Houses” at the top of their lungs, why they would all stay up late in the informal chatting rather than getting sleep or how they could possibly make every moment together so meaningful and vibrant. I wanted to be them. And now I am.
We count the moments because they are fleeting, and we don’t want to miss a second. We could quantify almost anything we do as Alpha Phis: chapter events, attendance and annual donations to Alpha Phi Foundation. But you can’t quantify the love that lives with us at 202 E. Hanna Street or measure the value of being an Alpha Phi. In serving on executive council, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet alumnae and collegians from all over, and there is a very distinct and undying culture of support and love that is cultivated within this sisterhood.
Senior year will carry on, and so will the inevitable countdowns. It’s not just time but the happiness that has passed with it that keeps me from ever looking back. When I opened my bid card, I opened a gift of lifelong sisterhood, memories and love. Everything I have believed and achieved in college, I have done so with my sisters by my side. And the failures, too. We’ve done it all together. Every moment – and the fleeting moments that are yet to come – union hand in hand.
Grace Quinn is a collegiate member at DePauw (Gamma). Learn more about Grace by clicking here.