Monday, August 20, 2018

We Survived!

On Friday of last week, I anxiously wrote about how endless "Preference Day" felt, and that Bid Day couldn't arrive soon enough; and then it did! My daughter called me at 1:30am on Saturday morning to let me know that Preference Day (Pref Day) had finally concluded. She explained to me that she had got invited to Pref Day parties by the two houses that she had listed as her #1 and #2, and that she thought things had gone well. At the end of the Pref Day parties, they once more submitted their final list, ranking the two houses, and then had a long night of nervous waiting ahead of them until the the 10:30 am countdown to the opening of the "bids."

I arrived at the University of Arkansas at 9:30 am, a full hour before the envelopes would be opened. The Greek Amphitheater was already quite full, with the "Potential New Members" (PNMs) front and center, all of the current sorority members sitting in their sections behind the PNMs, and then all of the families standing on the grass behind the seats. The music was blaring, there were balloons everywhere, the different houses were doing their cheers; it was all pretty overwhelming as I walked in and found a place to stand. I was only a few feet onto the grass when the tears started falling. Thank goodness I had my sunglasses on, and why in the world did I think it was a good idea to wear makeup? Not only was I crying, but it was a million degrees and I was sweating it all off anyways. So much for photo opportunities later.  

The festivities started officially at 10:00 am. They thanked everyone and their brother who had helped out with the week's events. One-by-one, each sorority house did their signature cheer. Then the Gamma Chi's (or counselors), who have to disassociate themselves from their houses for the week, unveil which house they belong to, which was really cool. And then at 10:30 am they counted down from 10, a cannon of confetti sprayed the crowd with tiny bits of shiny, colored paper, and the girls opened their bids. Talk about pure joy. The screams, laughter, tears of joy, jumping up and down, hugging ... every range of emotion displayed once the envelopes were opened, and then they all ran to their houses. 

With so many people crammed into the amphitheater, of course my phone had no signal. I started walking towards the street that all of the sorority houses were on, not really knowing where I was going because I could not get a hold of my daughter, but then she finally texted me back ... "PHI MU!! MEET US AT THE HOUSE!" It was such an incredible scene. Girls reuniting with their families, introducing their parents to their fellow recruits and new sisters. Lots of photo taking. So much excitement. Then, after they did the big group photos, they took all of the new pledges into the house and did a ribbon pinning ceremony, which kicks of the 10 week pledging process the girls are about to embark upon. 

Let me talk about this house for a second ... it is absolutely stunning. The house she is pledging, Phi Mu, is one of the two sororities at the University of Arkansas which just got brand new houses, and let me tell you; it's incredible. I almost didn't want to touch anything, it's just that gorgeous. After we had a snack, and explored the house a bit, we went with one of her friends and her family to get some lunch, and then before I knew it, it was 4:30 pm and time for me to go home. 

And so, in one day I said goodbye to both of my children. I had already hugged my oldest goodbye earlier that morning as he headed back to college, and then I hugged her goodbye and wished her good luck for her first week of classes. How on earth can I be an empty nester already?? Didn't they just start grade school YESTERDAY?? 

All I can say is that Bid Day was an incredible day, and was not only everything I dreamed it would be, but more. It exceeded every single expectation I had of the day; completely. 

Here are a few photos from her glorious Phi Mu bid day. Let the collegiate adventures begin! 


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