Being a Zeta Tau Alpha means living by the quote “Love, the greatest of all things” and I couldn’t relate to it more. Growing up in a big Italian family you love everyone, we treat everyone like family. So going to college that’s what I was looking for going through USF Panhellenic Recruitment, a group of women that would double as a family. Being in Zeta we stress friendship, being genuine, and of course love as I mentioned before. In Zeta I found my forever friends that I know will always be by my side through thick and thin. My sisters always know how to hold each other accountable when they need to and how to build each other up. I couldn’t ask for a better family that teaches me new ways to love every day.
Living by your own personal values is a trait that not many people can exhibit, but it’s close to miraculous when you find a group of women who do. Panhellenic women are bonded together by the values that they have grown and developed over the years and will continue to flourish in an environment rich with others in the same mindset. It wasn’t until I actually joined my chapter that I learned how closely my values aligned with the status as a whole. During recruitment I loved discussing and reflecting on values, but I always thought mine were weird compared to other girls. I came into recruitment thinking that chapters only wanted girls whose values were love, friendship, or family, which are important to me, but not in the same way that my own top values of integrity, respect, justice, and self-worth were. What I realized through the recruitment and new member process was that my personal values are how I choose to live my life, which affects every other aspect in my life such as love, friendship, and family. I wrote in my iValu notebook that as long as a chapter holds their own values strongly and does their best to adhere to them, that they are showing strong integrity, which aligns with my own beliefs. Being a part of ZTA has allowed me to learn more about myself and giving me the chance to exert my values in everything I do.
When I started my journey going through recruitment one of my major values was family and I don’t know what I would do with out the support of my family. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my family just surrounded us with so much support and love. Then, when I became a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha I automatically knew that I gained 150 new family members that I know will be there with me through tough times and through the happiest times.