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  • Mackenzie Gallagher

DEAR INCOMING FRESHMAN

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Dear incoming Freshman, 


Times are weird, you didn't get a prom or graduation, you missed out on your final pep rally and didn't get your last season of spring sports. You are probably experiencing many emotions about how your year is ending and what the next step looks like. College is big and scary, and so is the idea of greek life and deciding if going through recruitment is the right choice for you. Trust me, we all had some form of those feelings too. It's overwhelming to go from being the top dog senior to a huge university and move away from your childhood room and your best friends that you used to eat lunch with every day. Maybe your family is close, maybe you took a plane here all alone. No matter how you got here, welcome home. Welcome to the best 4 years of your life. 

MY EXPERIENCE 


So let me tell you about how I got here and what my experience in greek life has looked like. My name is McKay and I just abruptly finished my freshman year as an apparel merchandising student. Let me back up to my senior year of high school, one of the best and most terrifying years of my life. The summer before my senior year I was elected into student council and then elected into the philanthropy chair position. My entire high school experience basically led up to me working to get this position and I finally did it! I was ecstatic but became very sick. Sick to the point where it landed me in a specialty hospital in a different state for a few weeks. I was angry and worried about what this would look like for my senior year and my new position that required the work of basically a full-time job on top of the workload of my senior year, it was hard and I eventually made the decision that I didn't think college was right for me, at least not right now. I am very creative and knew I could figure out a way to work and learn from amazing people, and I did. I didn't go to college and was confident that I had made the correct choice, I unenrolled from the University of Oklahoma knowing that college will be around forever. While I was in the hospital I stayed at the local Ronald Mcdonald house. During my stay I was overwhelmed by the support RMHC gave to me, every day when I walked in they greeted me as if I was an old friend, maybe that is a sign of me overstaying my welcome (HA) or the hearts that everyone there had for others. It gave me a sense of belonging and comfort during the scariest and uncertain time in my life. I knew then that I needed to “pay it forward” if you will. I knew I needed to use the time I had left on this earth to learn, lead, grow, and give back. I needed to start each day to better everything and everyone I met. After graduation, I took an internship at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma (DSACO) and a contract fundraising job at Peppers Ranch foster care community, and an afterschool nannying position with a large foster family. It was a lot of hard and unfamiliar work. I grew, I learned, I gave back. 


Towards Christmas of 2018, I had a feeling that I wanted to apply to college just to have the option in the fall if I decided that was what I wanted to do. Sure enough, I felt in my heart that it was time for me to go to college. Against all odds, I ended up at OSU (ps my entire family is OU fans, HA). The second time in my LIFE I had ever been to Stillwater was for greek discovery day, with my roommates I didn't know. I was anxious, to say the least. My older sister had gone through recruitment at OU so I was barely familiar with how it worked. It is intimidating but I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone because I knew I had people out there and I knew that I was going to call somewhere my home and call girls my sisters. 



Recruitment week was a wild ride for me, I laughed, I cried, I met people I wanted to talk to for hours, and I finally ran home to the most powerful thing people call sisterhood. I didn't get the cheesiness behind calling strangers your sisters until I did. From the moment that I ran home, I knew I had a team of strong women that were for me no matter what. I had bridesmaids and roommates, people to call when I am feeling down and besties to tailgate with for the next four years. I had a home and these were my sisters. We pomped, we laughed, we danced, we sang with the windows down, we cried when someone transferred, and we built unbreakable bonds. So what does sisterhood mean to me? It means unconditional. It is uplifting you when you're down and cheering for you always. It is learning, leading, growing, and giving back.

-Mckay Beard, Freshman





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