When I came back to UMass for my sophomore year, I was determined to make this school year even better than my first. I had a pretty successful freshman year, and I made friends and did well in school. However, I wanted UMass to feel more like home. I took the summer to compare what was different between the life I lead in college versus the life I had in high school. What it all boiled down to is that in high school, I was way more involved and busy all the time. My first year of college was filled with a lot of down time that I struggled to fill with activity.
When I returned to UMass this past September, I made sure to get involved! I went to the activities fair and signed up for the Relay For Life Team and Habitat For Humanity. I went to the first meetings for each and found that they’re really awesome and fun groups to be involved with, but I was still missing the feeling of being at home. Due to that I decided to sign up for formal sorority recruitment the night before it started.
Going through recruitment was a big time commitment and definitely stressful, but I can say with absolute certainty that it is the best decision I ever made! You spend five days meeting with different sororities and at the end of the week, if all goes well, you get to accept a bid from a sorority and join their new member class! I strongly recommend going through recruitment even if you’re unsure about joining a sorority, because you receive a ton of interview practice and get to know a lot of new people that you probably would’ve never met.
I accepted my bid from the Sigma Kappa Sorority, and, since September, I have never felt more at home at UMass. Sigma Kappa fills my downtime with their many philanthropic and community service opportunities, which I get to take part in surrounded by girls that share the same values that I do. The other girls in my new member class have become some of my closest friends, and campus feels so much smaller when there are so many familiar faces around. Knowing I always have a sister to lean on feels just as it does when I’m with my real sisters, truly accomplishing my goal of making UMass feel like home.
Adjusting to college takes time, and it’s okay if it doesn’t click right away! Some people, I am sure, feel at home the second they step on campus, but that just doesn’t happen for everyone! I’ve never been one to do well with change so you can imagine college was a huge adjustment for me. What I love about UMass is that since it’s such a big school there are a million opportunities to get involved and make new friends. If you’re struggling to feel at home, just know you aren’t alone and it’s never too late to join a club or sign up for something new!