February 24, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: One Semester Down, Seven to Go: What Freshman Year Has Taught Me So Far

Many say that freshman year is the best year of your college career. You’re the new kid on campus, and you’re bursting with excitement to explore the countless opportunities your new home has to offer.  At first, freshman year can be a terrifying transition, but with one semester under my belt, I can confidently say that these past six months have been the best of my life. I have fallen in love with my university, made so many amazing friends, and have had the chance to give back to my community through my sorority.

Freshman year has taught me numerous things about myself that I never knew until now. My one piece of advice for all incoming freshman is to not hold yourself back, even in the slightest, during your first few weeks of college. Those weeks are so important for building friendships, getting familiar with campus, and exploring all the clubs and organizations you will soon have the opportunity to join. It is not the time to be timid. Branch outside of your comfort zone – put yourself out there because everyone is trying to make friends. Laugh about the fact that sometimes, you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing; but most importantly know that even though it’s scary, you’re not alone.

If there is one thing to be said about freshman year, it’s that even though it may be one of the most hectic and nerve-wracking periods of your life, it’s sure to be filled with fond memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Don’t take a second of it for granted because before you know it, you’ll be walking across the stage, diploma in hand, looking back on how far you’ve come.

Tatum Pugh is a collegiate member of the University of Missouri (Omicron). To learn more about Tatum, click here.

February 19, 2016

Phis Overseas Photo Contest 2016

To celebrate our flourishing Alpha Phis Overseas Facebook group, Alpha Phi is holding its fourth overseas photo contest. The contest will showcase creative photos taken by Alpha Phis around the world.

To enter, submit your favorite photo of yourself or your Alpha Phi sisters from anywhere outside the United States and Canada. Anything imaginative, creative or interesting - from backdrops featuring buildings, to landscapes, to urban settings - are welcomed. Please include a brief description of the photo, your names, your school, and the chapter you're a part of. You can send submissions to photosubmission@alphaphi.org.

Selected photos will be posted on Alpha Phi International's official Facebook page. Sisters will then "vote" by liking their favorites. The photo that gets the most likes by Thursday, March 31 will win a free Flight Bag Tote from Sassy Sorority! As an added bonus, submissions may be featured in the 2016 Summer Quarterly!

Contest opens for submissions on Friday, February 19.

Contest ends Friday, March 25 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Photo album will be posted on Facebook for voting to take place from March 28-31.

Winner announced on Friday, April 1!


-The Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest is limited to entries received February 19 to March 25, 2016.

-A maximum of 2 submissions may be entered per person.
-The entrant must be the sole creator of the images being submitted.

-Photo collages are not accepted.

-"Ivy” is the only hand-symbol that will be accepted.

-Entries must be submitted as digital photos and they must be submitted as attachment as .tif or .jpg files; photos will only be considered for the Quarterly if they are high resolution images (at least 3 in. x 5 in. at 300 dpi).

-Not every photo submitted will be displayed on our Facebook account.

-The entrant will not receive payment for the images selected or used.

-By entering the contest, each entrant agrees that the photos may also be used in other Alpha Phi International communications.

If you have any questions, contact photosubmission@alphaphi.org

February 10, 2016

Product Picks from the EO Staff: Snuggle Up with your Gal-entines!

Collegiate Perspective: Finding a Piece of Home Away from Home - Alpha Phi and Greek Life Abroad

I was waiting along the curb for my bus’s arrival. It was only seven in the morning, yet it appeared that most Dubliners were already awake and roaming their streets. I tried to hide the fact that my entire body was covered in goose bumps, shivering as a result of the cool, Irish air. My anxiety about the bus’s tardiness didn’t help.

Only moments before I most likely would have panicked, a young blonde girl who looked about my age came up to the elderly couple standing a few feet away from me.

“Are you waiting for the bus that travels through Wicklow?” the girl asked.

The couple nodded and the girl released a sigh of relief. I did as well. No matter what were to happen with our bus, at least the four of us would be in the same situation.

The bus finally arrived and I was one of the first to board. The girl followed not far behind and took the seat beside me. It didn’t take long for us to make the leap from strangers to friends. I think that can be attributed to the fact that some of the first words she spoke to me were, “Oh! So, you’re an Alpha Phi?”

Now, I was wearing a red, long sleeved t-shirt with Alpha Phi written on the front of my left shoulder, which was hardly visible with my black North Face jacket on top. Shelby, as I would later learn, was not an Alpha Phi – she was a Delta Gamma from a school in the west and somehow, still, that was enough common ground.

That day we stuck together, and our conversations were never lacking. We spoke about our separate adventures throughout the summer and our different lives back in the states. We spoke about our big sisters, the university life and the various events – social and philanthropic – that our two organizations orchestrate.

At the conclusion of that day, the two of us stepped off our bus and bid farewell to one another. While I knew I would probably never see her again, on my walk back to my apartment at Trinity College, I realized something.

By being Greek, and by being an Alpha Phi, my world, our world, becomes that much smaller.

Over the course of my summer in Ireland, one of the better friends that I made and spent the most time with was an Alpha Epsilon Phi. Halfway through my summer, in a small pub in the countryside town of Doolin, I met another Alpha Phi who was touring the country with her parents. And then lastly, days before my final departure, I met my Delta Gamma friend.

Of course, we’ll always have our Alpha Phi sisters. But if there’s one thing that all women involved in Greek organizations understand, no matter our distinct characteristics, it’s sisterhood. It’s an element that unites us whether we realize it or not an instant connection that exists beyond the walls of our various chapter rooms.

For me, that brings a realization that no matter how much “on my own” I believe myself to be, I am not necessarily on my own. On a different continent, in different country, in another time zone, I encountered three pieces of home that made this foreign land a little less frightening.

 Christina Castle is a collegiate member at George Mason University (Eta Lambda). To learn more about Christina, click here.