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Our 2020 Seniors Reminisce on Why They Went Greek

UCF Panhellenic has given a lot to each of its members. From involvement opportunities to a home away from home, find out what unique things some of our graduating seniors got out of their sorority experience.

Alpha Delta Pi

Choosing to go through primary recruitment was not an easy decision for me to make. I was nervous to join a group of women and feel left out or have any regret about my decisions. The process seemed so scary and big to me, but after going through UCF Day 1, I realized that I was getting to know some really amazing people. It wasn’t until video day that I pictured myself as an Alpha Delta Pi. I remember vividly who I talked to, where I sat in the room, and how the emotions ran high in the house while the video played. You could truly see the compassion and love every sister had for one-another and it was something that could not be faked. Running home to ADPi was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I have felt nothing but genuine support, love, and kindness my entire time of being a part of this chapter. Everyone goes through rough patches in life and the way these girls kept me positive when I was down and held everyone together as a chapter, was remarkable. Everyone I’ve met in this chapter has touched me in some way or another and made me feel like my place in the house was wanted and appreciated. I will truly miss my time as an undergraduate ADPi member and hope that everyone going through Fall recruitment remembers to keep an open mind and try and see which group of girls make them feel most at home.

- Alexa Grippo

Alpha Epsilon Phi

I grew up with the assumption that I was going to be an AEPhi. My older sister was one, making me a legacy. I thought I had to be just like her. When I went through recruitment, meeting chapter by chapter, I realized I didn’t have to be just like her- I met so many wonderful women that week, that by the end of recruitment, I felt that I could make friends, and a difference anywhere- any chapter. I still ran home to AEPhi in 2016, where ‘home’ was something I had always thought. Where people knew I existed, and cared about who I was. I never thought I’d be a leader, much less an influence on anyone’s lives- I thought I was going to always be my sister’s little sister. But AEPhi gave me more than that. Over my four years, my sorority sisters gave me a chance- they trusted me with their chapter secrets at initiation, trusted me to be a mentor to my little, and trusted me with the duty of New Member Educator on our executive board. They trusted me to be a leader in our community, and lead a class of new members. My sisters gave me the chance to meet so many new people and to touch the lives of so many strong wonderful women- through both the Panhellenic community and my own chapter. I cannot be more thankful for that as I grow into my career.

- Chi Leminh

Alpha Xi Delta

Despite the fact that my time as an Alpha Xi Delta has been cut short, I can’t help but reflect on the experiences who shaped me into the woman I am today. Looking back at when I decided to join a sorority just four years ago, I was unaware of the influence it would truly have on me. Now I realize that the place I called home for all these years impacted not only my college experience, but also my life. Without Alpha Xi Delta, I would not have been pushed to realize my potential and become such an active member not only in my chapter, but the Panhellenic community. I am truthfully engulfed with gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of life long friends, memories that can never be replaced, success followed by humility, and for every single woman who is an Alpha Xi, especially those in the Theta Sigma chapter.  

I am so appreciative to have a sorority that has made my last moments in the chapter even better than I could have imagined. Even with all of the chaos going on in the world. It is no secret that us seniors have been stripped of some moments we have waited four years for. Although there are no physical events, activities, or even pictures to hold onto, the way my friends, fam, and sisters have made me feel in my final moments will never be forgotten. Everyone deserves a place where they feel as if they can be their best most natural self, and I found that within Alpha Xi Delta. It is with my highest confidence that I can say my chapter will continue to grow in courage, graciousness, and peace no matter what.

-Kennedy Anderson

Chi Omega

Before joining recruitment, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to be in a sorority. I didn’t think I would get along with the “preppy” type or have enough money to fit in with them. Little did I know, all the stereotypes I previously heard of Panhellenic women were wrong. The whole week of recruitment was a blur, but when I ran home to Chi Omega I immediately felt loved and like I belonged. Fast forward a year and a half later, I was elected as New Member Educator. I knew joining a sorority I wanted to be on an executive board but had no idea my chapter believed enough in me to hold such an honorable position. Along with being New Member Educator, some of my favorite memories include getting my big sister and little sister. I truly feel like I will have a relationship with these women for the rest of my life and I am so grateful I decided to let go of my doubts and go through recruitment. My college experience would have never been the same without Chi Omega.

- Annie Winston

Delta Delta Delta

It is crazy to think that after 4 years of college, I can still remember the first time I ever walked into my chapter like it was yesterday. Recruitment can be a little overwhelming at times, but my future sisters made me feel comfortable and I couldn’t wait to visit again. After discovering so much love for my own chapter, I was then shown how incredible the entire Panhellenic community was (& still is). Stepping out of my comfort zone and entering “Panland” was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Being a member of the Panhellenic community has made me feel stronger, more independent, and more confident than I ever could’ve pictured myself. I am who I am today because of my chapter and my Panhellenic community, and I am so thankful that they welcomed me in with open arms.

-Nikki Itzkowitz

Delta Zeta

I chose Delta Zeta because I felt so comfortable and welcomed from the start. My experience was honestly amazing, and I met so many of my best and closest friends. Sure, we did awesome things like going to amusement parks and stay in hotels for sisterhood retreats, but the connections and bonds I made throughout my time is the most memorable. Serving as Delta Zeta’s chapter president gave me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people in the Greek community as well as open doors and job opportunities post-grad. I was able to become close with women that empower me to strive for greatness, as cheesy as that sounds. I always felt comfortable around my sisters and could act like a complete fool knowing that they will laugh along (ex. dressing up as a meme during Spirit Week and banging pots and pans together all day). Going Greek at UCF was the best thing I could have done!

-Payton Hiday

Gamma Phi Beta

I went Gamma Phi because since I first went in it felt like a safe place for me. Everyone made me feel comfortable and I could really connect with everyone that was around me. As a freshman thrown into college it can be challenging to make friends, adapt to new experiences and grow. Gamma Phi became my home away from home. It allowed me to grow out of my shell, become a leader, be present and most importantly it gave me a lifetime of friendships. I was also able to represent my chapter while being a Rho Gamma and it made appreciate the values that my chapter holds, specially loyalty. I enjoyed being in a room with people that come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives in life and that is something i will bring with me wherever I go.

-Katalina Diaz

Kappa Alpha Theta

As my experience in Theta has been cut short, I can look back at my time and say I have accomplished everything I’ve wanted to and more! As a potential new member I was a junior going through recruitment and wanted to gain leadership experience, have long lasting connections, and also thrive academically. I can confidently say I did all 3. I was on the executive board, as Chief Panhellenic Officer, have met some amazing, powerful and wonderful women in and out of my sorority, and have thrived academically. Theta along with Panhellenic has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and go above and beyond!

As I graduate this semester my hardest goodbye is to the Greek community at UCF. I hope it lives on for many years to come.

If you have doubts about joining a sorority, I say do it and go all in. Embrace the experience while you can! I will always cherish my time with Theta, and it will always be a part of me. It truly made my college experience, and for that I am grateful.

-Fabiola Riva Sanchez

Kappa Delta

Kappa Delta attracted me in many ways during recruitment. Every time I walked through the doors I was immediately hit with this rush of energy by beautiful girls inside and out step clapping with huge smiles on their faces. My biggest determining factor that made me choose Kappa Delta was that each girl I talked to throughout the week was my favorite —I couldn’t choose just one rush crush— and our conversations were so genuine it felt like i knew them longer than just 15 mins. My experience in this chapter has been incredible. I have met some of my best friends and have made unforgettable memories that I will forever cherish. I have had opportunities of representing Kappa Delta in other chapters' philanthropy events as well as holding positions within our chapter itself which has helped me gain skills to last me a lifetime. I myself am one of five girls, so sisterhood is my #1 value and extremely important to me. Coming into Kappa Delta, I immediately felt a strong bond with the sisters and it has continued to grow over the years. Kappa Delta will forever hold a special place in my heart and I thank every single girl within the chapter for making our sisterhood what it is and for giving me everything i wanted out of a sorority. I can truly say for me, Kappa Delta is forever.

-Amber Zakharia

Kappa Kappa Gamma

Joining Kappa is and always will be one of the best things to ever happen to me. I knew I would meet people who would change my life, but I didn’t expect the growth I would experience. College is a challenging time in your life. Sometimes it can be difficult to see past the hard days, but over the last four years I’ve had constant encouragement and sisters by my side who challenge me to become a better version of myself. They push me to chase the dreams that scare me and to not fear failure. It’s comforting to know that “home” is not just a house or a place, it’s a family. I found my people in Kappa and I know that no matter what life throws my way, I will never have to face it alone.

-Kristin Collison

Pi Beta Phi

When I walked through the doors of Pi Phi, I instantly felt the positive energy and love in the room. Throughout the week, the women in Pi Phi stuck out to me because of their genuine conversation. From music taste to sports, I felt like there was a sister I could relate to. When picking a home, I wanted to find a second family and older sisters to look up to. I have found so many role models, best friends, travel partners, and bridesmaids. Forever grateful for Pi Phi for bringing me the friends I needed to become the person I am today.

-Madeline Mills

Zeta Tau Alpha

When I made the decision to go Greek, I had no idea how significant the impact would be on my life. I knew that I wanted to find an organization that focused on philanthropy, academics, sisterhood, and growth; somewhere I could be myself and find women that I had commonalities with. Not only was I able to find all of the attributes I was looking for in Zeta Tau Alpha, but I was now my mother’s sister. From the moment I joined Zeta, I was moved by my sisters’ hard work and dedication for our philanthropy and I knew that I wanted to be involved. I was able to hold several leadership positions, until my sisters encouraged me to go bigger when I became the Panhellenic President in 2019. Zeta also provided me with several opportunities that helped me prepare for my career. Through Zeta, I have seen what genuine friendships and support can do for its members. College can be very overwhelming at times, and my sisters helped me through some of those struggles and kept me grounded. Zeta Tau Alpha made me feel comfortable and at home, but pushed me outside of my comfort zone to become the person I wanted to be when I graduated, and I am forever grateful for this enriching experience.

-Brigitte Collado

Our seniors have added so much to our community over the years, and we wish you the best of luck in your bright futures. As for anyone considering going through recruitment, you can see that no matter what chapter you are in, you can find lifelong sisters and years of good memories!

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