My first year at Illinois State was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I know I wasn’t alone feeling that way as a freshman. I came here from Wisconsin, and learned quickly that I was among the very few people who had come from out-of-state. It was hard to see many of my friends together at a school near home, but I was determined to make ISU the right fit for me.
I started out joining the club lacrosse team, which was a nice transition to start meeting people and getting involved. However, I wasn’t fully satisfied, I wanted to meet people who I could relate to academically and who were as driven as myself. Toward the end of first semester I discovered Alpha Kappa Psi and was so excited. I met with Joe Cisneros, the president, to get a better idea of what AKPsi was and how I could join. After that meeting, I knew ISU was going to work for me.
I really enjoyed the rush process, I went to all the events and each night my conversations improved. I finally had felt like I found a place where I fit in and the interactions came naturally. It was very exciting to be challenged and tested throughout the week, each night I tried to present myself as best as possible to the active members in the hope for a bid. Fortunately for me, my determination paid off and I received a bid the next week.
The pledging process was intense, but it was exactly what I needed to boost myself into a higher performing student and potential employee. I learned so much about communicating in the professional world, how to build my resume, write a cover letter, look for internships and how to RUN a business. Not only did I learn those tangible things, but I also gained confidence, time management and organizational skills. I had no idea going into it that I was going to get so much from a 7-week pledge process. The AKPsi experience is extremely unique and will honestly change your life dramatically. The benefits are also life long, you make great friends, and are welcomed into a network full of successful individuals willing to help.
Now as a newly active member, I am excited to have the opportunity to be Service Chair and start giving back to the organization that has given me so much.