#RealStrongWomen: Empowered by Our Differences
It seems these days that our lives are punctuated with differences — financial, geographic, religious, racial — and we’re not afraid to label them. If anything, these last few months have stripped us of our commonalities. Many of us have been sent back to our childhood homes where we’ve watched lectures on computer screens in bedrooms that are no longer familiar to us. We no longer share a lecture hall, house, or campus. We’ve watched revolutionary protests slowly split our society along sociopolitical lines. It’s difficult to ignore our differences when our own lives are foreign to us.
As Alpha Chi Omegas, we are dedicated to our shared commitment of growing into Real. Strong. Women. This begins by recognizing our differences. We are engineers and writers and future business leaders. We come from different hometowns with unique upbringings. Some of us don’t even consider ourselves to be the “sorority” type. Yet, we share one thing in common, our letters. Our Alpha Chi Omega letters represent a commitment to understanding and embracing one another’s differences, because a Real, Strong Woman does not shy away from them. A Real, Strong Woman is willing to have the hard conversations, because she knows they matter.
Realness and strength is a challenge in 2020. As more days pass by and our uncertainty only grows, it can feel like our independence and voice is being silenced. At our core, Texas Alpha Chi’s sisterhood creates genuine, courageous, purposeful young women who are empowered in times like these. We’re all different, but that doesn’t separate us.
To each of our members, realness and strength take on different definitions. Here are some stories so you can better understand their perspectives.
There is a sign in West Campus behind Guadalupe street that I pass every day. It changes its quote every couple weeks, and right as we were leaving for Spring Break (which ended up being for the year as well), the sign said: “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them.” I believe this is a perfect phrase to describe Alpha Chi. One of the most striking parts of my recruitment was to learn about Alpha Chi's dedication to shaping “Real, Strong, Women”. This is because it sounded like exactly what I was looking for: women to inspire me, to look up to, and to care for. For the rest of recruitment and ever since joining Alpha Chi, not a day has gone by that this statement has not proved more and more true. The women of this chapter are genuine, kind, funny, hard-working and so much more. These women are some of the truest friends I’ve ever had and could move mountains if they wanted to. To be surrounded by these types of women truly is no small ripple - it is powerful. It makes me want to be better, and it makes me honored to be a part of Alpha Chi Omega.
-Elizabeth Madden, MC ‘19
When I first entered UT, my biggest fear was not being able to find “my people” on such a large campus. I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere; I wanted to surround myself with people who I know would encourage me and accept me for who I am. When I went through recruitment and visited the Alpha Chi Omega house during the Philanthropy Round, I knew that I did not have to worry about this fear anymore.
Whether it be from listening to the other girls’ stories about how passionate they were about Alpha Chi’s philanthropy, SAFE, or simply seeing the natural and kind chemistry between all of the girls as they talked, Alpha Chi stood out to me for being an environment of acceptance and support.
Ever since that day, I have seen myself blossom into a real strong woman thanks to the support of my sisters. To me, to be a real strong woman is to be persistent, fearless, compassionate, and supportive, and I have yet to meet a single Alpha Chi who does not demonstrate these characteristics. In all member classes there are so many diverse, supportive, intelligent, and hardworking girls that I look up to, and I am blessed to be surrounded by these types of women. It is hard to navigate through life at times, but even those hard times feel so much less difficult knowing that I will always have fellow real strong women to give me guidance when I need it - and that is so powerful.
-Claire Minton, MC ‘19
Sometimes being strong comes from confidence and being real is just being genuine about who you are and what is important to you. Alpha Chi is made up of so many vastly different personalities, but everyone meshes because they are confident in who they are and respect each other’s values. It’s easy to come to a new city and compromise the things you care about because you’re overwhelmed by all the new people you meet, but the support and encouragement I received from girls in my MC, as well as older Alpha Chi’s, got me out of my shell, quickly made me feel at home in Alpha Chi, and helped me build that same confidence. I also really admire how these women are so vocal about making change. Their strength and confidence is reflected in how much they actively fight for change whether it is environmental change, social change, or advocating for SAFE. This strength is what makes me proud to be an Alpha Chi.
-Avery James, MC ‘19
Realness is all we could ever ask for in a sorority. Through our relentless authenticity we are able to find strength in whatever life hands us, especially in 2020. Our country and world faces unprecedented challenges which separate us physically and put barriers between our commonalities. We are from different religions, races, and parts of the country, but as Real, Strong Women we are able to see past what separates us. We recognize that we do face real issues in the real world, but if we can hold on to our genuine courage and confidence, we do not have to be defined by what the world sees us as. In fact, we can change that definition for now and always.
It is time for us to confront racial injustices and uncomfortable truths. Our chapter is making it our priority to continuously stand with people of color and actively work to end acts of racism and hate. We are Real, Strong Women who have courage in our convictions to speak up and take action in the face of injustice. Show your realness and strength by educating yourself on the history of systemic racism in the United States, becoming an anti-racist ally, and donating to support the BLM movement.