December 30, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: The Balance Between Mental and Physical Wellness

For most of us, college is the first time we have the opportunity to live on our own and make a lot of important decisions in our lives. In between studying, extra-curricula’s, part-time jobs, internships and our social lives, it can all become overwhelming. Never forget to take a moment out of your busy life to take care of yourself. Well-being encompasses more than just eating right and working out. Here are some of the most vital things to keep in mind when you’re over-worked and stressed out in college.

1. Time Management
Time management is a skill that most people learn the hard way; cramming last minute for exams, running late to meetings, not being able to do the fun things you want to do because you forgot about an assignment. But planning out school work due-dates, meeting times, job shifts and social events in advance can help make you more organized, which leaves much less to worry about when you’re busy.

2. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Often times taking a full course load means pulling the occasional all-nighter. But the truth is, if you manage your assignments and keep in mind the dates of your exams, you won’t have to stay up all night in misery. “Pulling all-nighters” is NOT GOOD for our bodies! We weren’t meant to stay up for that long! You will have a better attitude and your body will function at its best, with at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night.

3. Eat Healthy Food, at Regular Hours
Whether you live on campus and eat at the dining hall, or live off-campus and make food for yourself, eating healthy is definitely do-able, even when you’re stressed out. In addition to eating the right things, remember to eat them at the right time. If you don’t eat all day while you’re in classes, you will become irritable and over-eat in the evenings. Packing lunches for long days and meal-prepping is a great way to eat right on the go. And while Starbucks Refreshers are the best, don’t forget to drink enough water throughout the day too!

The most important tip to being well when you’re busy is to take time for the things you love to do! Doing what makes you happy is the best way to de-stress and enjoy life. Some aspects of college can be challenging at times, but it wouldn’t be called “the best years of our lives” if we didn’t make time for our hobbies, interests and friends.

Caroline Whitlock is a collegiate member at George Mason (Eta Lambda). Learn more about Caroline by clicking here.

December 23, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: The Unofficial Commandments of Being a Little Sister

When I became a little sister, or sometimes called “little”, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know that someone who was just a stranger, could become one of the most influential and important people in my life. My big sister, or “big” has impacted my life in more ways than I can count and for that I am forever thankful. Through gaining the title of “little”, I felt it was my duty to do everything I could to be the best little I could be. I didn’t realize how much of an integral part of my life my big became until thinking about a day without her, was impossible. She is someone who is always there for me whenever and wherever I need it, and every day I strive to be that for her. I hope to be just as much her lifeline as she is mine. 

I believe there is an unofficially list of commandments that each and every little follows, even if they don’t know it. 
  • You will vow to put nothing less than 100% into every gift, T-shirt and canvas that you will inevitably craft. 
  • You shall always be ready to take cliché big and little pictures everywhere you go.
  • You must become her fashionista when she has an important date with the cutest guy from her class. She will abduct your wardrobe and you will let her.
  • You shall always have a full tank of gas for spontaneous adventures to places like Sonic and Target. Along with a full playlist for the ride there. The car ride is half the fun of it.
  • You must always stand up for her when things don’t go as planned. Be her advocate and her best friend when life gives her lemons. She shouldn’t make lemonade alone. 
  • You shall always be her number one fan. It is your job now, to motivate her to run faster and push harder, and to always be proud of her no matter the outcome.
  • You shall always be ready with chocolate and ice cream when the occasional disaster occurs. No words can calm her down, that is the job of processed sugar.
  • You shall cherish the days with her. The late nights and early mornings. The time goes by quickly, but the relationship you have built out of countless funny stories and great memories, will last forever. 
Rylee Portman is a collegiate member at Northern Colorado (Delta Gamma). Learn more about Rylee by clicking here.

December 15, 2015

Spring 2015 Collegiate Perspective Blogger Application

Are you....  
An avid writer?
Social media savvy?
Passionate about Alpha Phi? 

Then consider applying to be a guest writer for the Collegiate Perspective section of the Alpha Phi International blog.

Our blog features topics ranging from alumnae perspective articles to crafting to general women's awareness pieces. And we'd love to throw your viewpoint into the mix! Document a semester in the life: snap photos, tell about events happening within your chapter or write about topics concerning women. The possibilities are endless, and we want to hear your ideas!

In order to be eligible, you must:
Be a collegiate member
Be able to write blog posts up to two times a month
Be available to write through the end of this semester (Spring 2016)

Interested? Fill out the Alpha Phi Guest Blogger Application below. Please be thoughtful and thorough with your responses. You can view past collegiate perspective pieces by clicking here. We'll be in touch following the deadline regarding the status of your application.

Contact with any questions!

The application deadline is due by January 10th, 2016, by 11:59 PM CST.

December 9, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Why Passion Has Become Our Generations Newest Fashion

College is a strange time for pretty much everyone; you are trying to create a plan for your future, while also doing the soul-searching required to find yourself. The dynamic of your life changes completely when you are left with no choice but to be independent. Lately, I’ve noticed a major difference within the people I’m constantly surrounded by. During this time in your life, what you value shifts entirely. The personal relationships that were once so surface level, mean nothing to you now. The relationships you create are much deeper, mature and meaningful. It becomes less about who has the cutest outfit, and more about who has the biggest heart.  

Who and what inspire you? What type of people do you want to surround yourself with? What kind of life do you want to live? 

It’s important to think of these questions at this age because life is simply too short to not surround yourself with those who motivate you to be the best version of yourself. As this whole process occurs, we begin to find ourselves and realize the kind of lives we want to live. We unintentionally and almost unrecognizably find answers to these questions. And there's usually a common theme within those answers: passion. 

Whether it's the passion for a helpful cause, an organization, your loved ones or even Alpha Phi, exposing what you care about most to others has become one of the greatest statements a woman in our generation can make. I like to refer to it as "wearing your passion on your sleeve". Some of the most respected and successful women of our time are the ones who are confident and driven enough to share what their passions are with the world. They are fearlessly devoted in the most composed way; and people love them for openly being themselves. This is one of the greatest characteristics a woman can obtain. We are at the turning point in our lives that we could be or do anything we want to. There is no place quite like college to give you endless opportunities, knowledge, and inspiration. 

Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What’s stopping you? 

Whatever it is that lights that spark inside of you, becomes a part of who you are. It is what makes you unique. It should not be bottled or hidden; it should not be tamed or tailored. It should be shown and appreciated because the joy it brings to you, will influence others. The glow in your eyes when you speak of it is how people will remember you.  

So, how would you like to be remembered?

If you haven’t found this powerful connection and passion yet, that is perfectly acceptable. It is enough to simply be passionate about life.

Katelyn Pulio is a collegiate member at Missouri (Omicron). Learn more about Katelyn by clicking here.

December 4, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: A Day in the Life of an Alpha Phi

We can all relate to that moment when we first peeled open our bid cards. Only the noise of our too-fast heartbeat was flowing through our ears, and our smile couldn’t contain the joy we were feeling as we saw those beautiful letters on the other side of that envelope. At that moment in time, we all wanted to be the best Alpha Phi we could. We wanted to hold a leadership position and  have both a little and big sister in the chapter. We knew we finally found home. The day of initiation came and with the looks of hope on our faces as the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, we couldn’t help but think, “How did I get so lucky?” The second that golden pin pierced our clothes we made a choice. We chose to hold ourselves to higher standards and to be the best version of ourselves each and every day. 

As we move along in the journey of college and all it entails, we can lose sight of why we are here and who we have chosen to be. Sometimes we overlook that we are all here for a reason, and because of this reason, we must carry on each day being the best Alpha Phi we can be. No matter the circumstance. We are not only representing our own image, but we are representing the face and grace of Alpha Phi.

When we wake up every morning to that way too early 7:00 a.m. alarm, drink a heaping cup of mediocre college-grade coffee and slip on our letters, we have taken the Alpha Phi oath once again. Every day that we get up in the morning as a devoted and humble member of Alpha Phi, we make a promise to not only ourselves, but to our past and future sisters. We make a promise that we will uphold and carry our traditions with honor and love. We make a promise to laugh until our stomachs hurt. We make a promise that we will be there for any sister who needs us. We make a promise to have the perfect playlist ready when necessary. We make a promise that we will strive to achieve the highest grades we can. We make a promise to be generous, and to not expect anything in return. We promise to fight courageously through the trials that college inevitably holds; and we promise to do it with dignity and hope for the future. We promise to allow the love of Alpha Phi to pour into our hearts at times of sorrow and times of joy. We make a promise to work tirelessly to become the best women we can be. 

I vividly remember a classmate asking me, “What is a typical day as an Alpha Phi?” I figured it was a simple answer but the second I opened my mouth, no words came out. I struggled to find the answer, searching in the archives of my brain for a description. How can you describe the relationships with people who have become like family? How can you show them the wild adventure you are on? How can you put into words the thing that has made you happier than you ever could have imagined? A true “Day in the Life” is hard to describe. It is impossible to predict a day in the life of an Alpha Phi because each day is different from the last. And will be different from the next. Each day is ultimately a brand new adventure with brand new memories and brand new stories. 

When I finally responded to her, I said, “It is absolutely amazing.” That was the word that came to mind. Amazing. Life as an Alpha Phi is nothing short of amazing. I truly don’t know how to describe a day in the life because there aren’t words to describe it. But I do know this; any day spent as an Alpha Phi, is better than any ordinary day. Any day spent with my best friends, staying up way too late and eating junk food at hours that I shouldn’t be eating junk food at, is a day well spent. A day in the life as an Alpha Phi is unpredictable, except for the fact that each and every day is full of one thing; pure happiness.

Rylee Portman is a collegiate member at Northern Colorado (Delta Gamma). Learn more about Rylee by clicking here.

December 2, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Single Sentence Challenge

I want to reflect back on an assignment I did for my social media class last semester. 

In this class each student was required to set up their own blog and write weekly blog posts based off of topics our professor assigned to us (props to Dr. Carol Zuegner, she’s the best). 

There was one assignment in particular that really stood out to me, named “What’s my sentence?” or what I like to call, the absurdly difficult single sentence challenge. 

The assignment is based off of a video from the best selling author Daniel Pink. The video states, “a great man is a sentence”. Meaning that a single sentence should be able to convey the core being of an individual. In other words, a sentence that encompasses what you would want someone to remember you by. 

For some people, articulating their sentence is a piece of cake. But for many, a lot of time is taken considering what to include about yourself in the sentence. Where do you start? Your values, character, what you want to be when you grow up, what you hope to achieve, how you help others, etc. It truly does take some time to prioritize what you value as most important. 

Why is doing this challenge important? This challenge helped me start the process of identifying how I perceive myself, who I want to be, and how others see me. Being able to construct this sentence helped me to focus everything I do according to my values and what I want to achieve in life. It motivates me and guides my everyday actions. Plus, it’s cool to have a back pocket elevator speech for yourself!

After many attempts and changes, my sentence is: She motivates others to be the best version of themselves and makes others feel important.

I hope you try to construct your own sentence sometime. It will definitely help you in interviews and in life. Thank you everyone for reading my blog posts this semester! Happy Holidays! 

Darshana Panchal is a collegiate member at Creighton (Theta Delta) . Learn more about Darshana by clicking here.