By: Hailey Hirst, Idaho
“… And in the very end, Kappa can only be a better way to stumble up the back steps and walk gracefully out the front door.”
I thought I had it all figured out by senior year when my pledge class read the “Kappa Is” story on preference day. I thought I knew all that Kappa could mean as I finally got the hang of college life and quickly approached graduation. I thought, after my term as Vice President-Academic Excellence, that I knew the goals and values of Kappa backward and forward. But now, a few months after graduation, I’ve realized – I’m still learning what Kappa is.
Following the metaphor of “Kappa Is,” I literally fell on the steps and skinned my knee on Bid Day, but four years later I walked gracefully out of the front door wearing a cap and gown. Kappa was home, it was my network of supporting individuals, and a culmination of values and ideals that helped me grow into the woman I am today.
On my graduation day and in the days after, I thought of all the women before me who walked out of their chapter houses’ front doors wearing caps and gowns, treading carefully down the stairs in high heels, straightening sisters’ cords and necklaces, smiling with their graduating class, and then continuing forward into the world beyond the Kappa house. Each spring sees this same transition at all Kappa chapters, this same jittery bittersweet day that marks the transition from active to alumna.
Kappa was more than I could have asked for, and as a senior on the cusp of graduating, I was sure of the way Kappa had changed my life for the better. It was heartbreaking to leave my big white house on the hill, to say goodbye to my sisters and to our beloved Kappa advisers. But with all the changes of post-graduate life, a new kind of Kappa is beginning to soak in for me—the big picture.
Now joining the ranks of Kappa alumnae, I am more aware of the scope of the Fraternity. I now see how large Kappa is, and what a valuable legacy I am a part of. I appreciate being part of something that stretches back more than century and indefinitely into the future, that spans the globe where Kappas, both active and alumnae, continue the sisterhood.
As I move into the professional realm, Kappa is an asset to me, not only for opportunities to contribute to the organization, but also to connect with other Kappas in the world. Kappa is a strong network of women in places where I may move, or in career fields I may enter. But most vividly real to me right now is that this Kappa is moving to Denver two months after graduation, not knowing anyone, and having a sister come visit.
What I’m learning now is that what “Kappa Is” evolves throughout our lives. And always, Kappa is a promise – that no matter when or where we are, we will always have Kappa to bind us both to one another, and to the core of qualities which drew us in and poised us to become the women we are now.