You’re Graduating…Now What?
By: Ashley Williams
Delta Zeta, Central Michigan University
Traveling Consultant 2016-17
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! It is that magical, yet simultaneously overwhelming, time of year as the big day you have been waiting four years for is quickly approaching. You are probably feeling a rush of emotions – excitement for the next step in your life, surprise as you pick up your cap and gown, sadness as you experience the “lasts” of your college career or anxiety as you study for your last final…ever. Trust me, I have been there. Some of you may be thinking back to your bid day, getting your little or the sisterhood retreat you met your best friends at, and thinking “I am not ready to leave this.” You may be thinking about the countless memories you have made in your chapter, or leaving the women who have been by your side for every high and low of the past four years. You may be thinking, “I am graduating…now what?”
Well, let me tell you, being an alumna of Alpha Chi Omega is just as sweet, and I can guarantee that your journey is not quite over yet. As a consultant, I have had the chance to meet a lot of alumnae over the past two years, women who have made the decision to give back to their chapter or the organization in both big and small ways. I have been inspired by the passion these women have for Alpha Chi Omega, and their dedication to furthering the mission of our sisterhood. I hope that you will consider joining me in staying connected with Alpha Chi Omega in a way that works for you, too!
Need ideas? Here are five to get you started.
This one is easy! Simply log on to the Alpha Chi Omega website and update your contact information. You may consider changing your email from your school email to a personal email and updating your address. This helps headquarters staff and volunteers notify you about any Alpha Chi Omega related opportunity that pops up in your area!
Spend time connecting with sisters as an alumna by investing in existing friendships, or beginning new ones! Whether you choose to mentor collegiate members through the Women and Wisdom program, attend convention in Austin, Texas next summer, or organize yearly reunions with the women in your new member class, the opportunity to connect with sisters is not lost after graduation.
Volunteer at the local or national level as an advisor, specialist, or facilitator. There are always opportunities to stay connected through volunteering your time. These range in terms of time commitment required, but there can be something for everyone! Learn more here.
Whether you are moving somewhere new or are just looking to meet new sisters, you may consider joining an alumnae chapter in your area. Alumnae chapters offer opportunities for networking, leadership development, service and philanthropy, as well as supporting surrounding Alpha Chi Omega chapters. Does this sound like you? You can locate an alumnae chapter in your area here.
If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “gosh, I don’t have the time to give,” there are still ways to positively impact Alpha Chi Omega! Donating to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation is a sure way to impact our 21,000+ collegiate women. Campaigns like the Day of Giving or Founder’s Day Challenge, allow you to pick exactly where you want your donation to go. Donating on the local level, such as to your chapter of initiation, is also an option. Learn more about how you can give here.
So yes, you are graduating, but you are not alone. You are joining the thousands of women who proudly call themselves alumnae of Alpha Chi Omega, and who have been changed for the better because of this sisterhood. I hope that as you look back at your first few years of membership in Alpha Chi Omega that you are reminded of the fun, growth, and bond you experienced, and are encouraged to stay connected to ensure that our future sisters have even better experiences than we did. How will you decide to stay connected with Alpha Chi Omega as an alumna? Share with us in the comments below!