Ansley Cartwright, a sophomore Delta Zeta, reflects on what living in the sorority house meant to her.
I work at a summer camp where we had a counsellor years ago who was from Africa. He taught the camp a chant from his hometown that the villagers would use to welcome their soldiers back from war starting with, “Cho Boi”. This chant meant so much more than “welcome home.” It was a way of saying “You are cared for here, loved here, accepted here.” This camp strived to embody those same ideals along with so many more for every camper than came through its gates. A big part of this chant was that home isn’t always an address or a zipcode- but can be a community, a connection.
I believe so many places throughout our lives can be our “homes”: our favorite coffee shops we mature next to textbooks and venti lattes, our bedroom in our parents’ house with the teal walls we chose when we were 12, the team we trained with during the hottest seasons, the places we feel the most ourselves. For me, Delta Zeta became one of these special places. I walk through the doors and feel everything that “Cho Boi” embodies. The love, care, acceptance, joy, gratitude, and welcomeness resonates with me every time I’m home there.
Unfortunately, my time in the house was cut short without even realizing it. I spent my last night in my twin XL. I had my last dinner with 65 of my closest friends. I wished my roommate good luck on her way to class for the last time and had no idea. I think the best moments about living in my sorority house were the ones I didn’t even realize I was having.
When I applied to the University of Georgia, one of the essay prompts was to write about the "blackberry moments" of our lives as referred to by the 2017 commencement speaker- 'the sweet moments in life that are right there to be had, but we're focusing on other things'. At the time, this prompt terrified me. I had no idea what it meant. Was I supposed to talk about learning to ride a bike or my first car? It wasn’t until recently I understood what exactly the commencement speaker meant.
The blackberry moments of our lives aren't the times we got the job or won the state championship- it's moments like living in the house. It’s the moments you sit with your best friends in the living room and get caught up on the last 24 hours of their lives. It’s the times your roommate climbs into your twin bed with you after a bad break up. It’s when the whole house is grinning ear to ear because we’re having our favorite meal for dinner. It’s having 65 closets to choose from and always being offered the cute necklace to match. It’s the times we spent sending tweets back and forth from across the room and waiting for the other person to laugh. It’s fighting over laundry and begging for popcorn and laughing until your stomach hurts. These memories living in the house are ones I will never forget. These are the moments of our lives that matter- the sweet ones- that we didn’t even realize we were having.