February 2, 2017

Choosing a Little

We all know that feeling when the new pledge class comes bursting through the door on bid day. The pure joy of seeing all the beautiful faces that will carry on the legacy of your chapter. And for me last year, like many Alpha Phis, the joy of knowing that one of these beautiful new faces would be my future little!

But choosing a little is often a complex process. There are so many great girls that make up each Alpha Phi pledge class, so how do you know who is right for you? How do you know who will “click” with your pham in a genuine way? Every big-little bond can be something truly special with just a few simple steps.

First off, with such a large group of girls, there is no need to go on a girl date with every single one of the new members. Personally, I am not big on all the girl talk and coffee dates, so I quickly narrowed down the number of girls I communicated with based on their hobbies, interests and the activities they were involved in on and off campus.

I was also able to narrow this list down further based on similar personalities, and whether this would mesh with my personality as well as the general vibe of my family. As for my pham and I, we are a group of girls with a wide range of interests ranging from athletes to artists who all share common values.

I started meeting some of the girls I thought would fit into the pham. For me coffee dates were too generic, so I thought of different ways to bond with the new members and find my little. I took my group of new members to a fun lunch in the inner harbor of Baltimore.

With the other new members I would go out to lunch or dinners on and off campus. I would attend their shows or sporting events. I would even go to lacrosse games or baseball games with them, along with brunch or just hanging out watching a movie. I think it’s important to hang out with the new members in different environments rather than just a coffee date because you get a better sense of the type of person they are and whether their vibe fits with you and your pham.

Now I am not exactly sure the point where you realize “Wow, I would like this amazing new Alpha Phi to be my little”, but for me it was early on in the process of looking for a little. Obviously I still met with all the girls I was interested in and all those who reached out to me, but it was clear as day she was the perfect match for my pham. Once you narrow down the one or two girls you believe would fit best it’s important to have a pham gathering with this new Alpha Phi; it’s kind of like bringing home the new boyfriend to meet your family.

It’s not only a great opportunity for the new member to realize all the support and love there is in Alpha Phi, but also a chance for them to meet some of the older members in the chapter. Through these simple steps the big-little connection starts and each pham continues to grow this special bond with the new member experience and every day after.

Princess Sutherland is a member of the Zeta Omicron chapter at Johns Hopkins University. To read more about her, click here.

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