By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar

Two weeks before in-person classes were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, I joined the sorority Gamma Phi Beta.

Everything was beyond perfect. I made new friends who I know will be my friends for life, we went out for coffee and lunch dates together and were all looking forward to attending Greek Life events throughout the semester as sisters. All these events were supposed to be moments I would remember for the rest of my life, but everything got canceled or postponed until next semester.

I know that sorority events should be the least of my concerns — especially since we’re all living in a public health crisis — but I can’t help but feel sad that these social events and memories I’ve been looking forward to since high school ended up being completely different than expected. 

Though it’s truly a blessing that we have technology to keep in touch through Zoom and social media, having our Big/Little reveal over Zoom just wasn’t the same as the real thing.

Big/Little Week is a week of fun and games where a new sorority member is assigned a Big, an older sister who will serve as a mentor to the Little. Throughout the week, the Big often decorates their Little’s room with sorority merch, gives them gifts, provides clues as to who they are and then, on the last day, the Big is revealed. In my sorority, like many others, the sisters wear matching outfits and the Big dresses up like an actual gift, wrapping paper and all. 

I truly connected with some of the seniors in Gamma Phi Beta this semester, and I know it must be so hard for them to end their college career alone and at home. Being a part of a sorority is one of the most life-changing and meaningful decisions that we can make in college, and when I graduate, I want to be surrounded by my sisters on our special day. The current seniors are missing out on that moment, so everyone else in the sorority is trying to make them feel as special as possible.

This pandemic is something which all of us are adjusting to, and being disconnected from my sisters when I need them most is challenging. At least now I know that I have something to look forward to when we can return to campus.