Okay, I know, I know. I haven't been frequent enough updating all of you about life on the road. Did I think this would be a lot easier than it actually is? Yeah. But now that I'm off the road, here's an update on the second half of my first semester visits!
Last time we caught up, I was in Bozeman, MT. From there, I traveled to Washington State University in Pullman, WA to visit the women of Alpha Gamma. After a quick plane ride and an additional hour and a half drive to the airport, I made it to beautiful Washington State! Pullman was actually a really interesting city. Although it isn't very big, there's a lot of cool local shops in the downtown area. It's also really close to Moscow, ID and a lot of students travel right across the border because they have a lot more chain stores, restaurants, etc. My favorite part of Moscow was definitely my biggest love affair on the road, Dutch Bros. Coffee♡. The women of Alpha Gamma were amazing and after a quick visit, I got back on a plane to visit the Chi Psi chapter!
The AOII chapter at Cal Poly is full of such exceptional women, and my time at Chi Psi was unforgettable! These women were great hostesses and gave me so much time to explore sunny San Luis Obispo, California, which is by far my favorite visit location and definitely a new vacation destination! Unfortunately for me, while I wasn't busy spending time with the wonderful Chi Psi ladies, SLO has an Urban Outfitters, a LuluLemon, and just about every other store you could ever want! Cal Poly definitely made my suitcases heavier and my wallet lighter. SLO and the Chi Psi women definitely hold a piece of my heart after the week I spent with them. While Chi Psi was one of my favorite visits, I was also extremely excited to get on the plane, as home in Chicago (for the first time since August!!) was my destination!!
After a relaxing visit with my family and a quick trip to Grand Rapids to see all of my Grand Valley favorites, I boarded another four hour flight back to Los Angeles and headed to California State University, Northridge. CSUN was awesome because I'd already met a few women from the chapter at CSULB's recruitment a month prior. Getting to reconnect with them and walking into a chapter with a few already friendly faces was definitely a blessing. My visit at CSUN really helped me to appreciate how hardworking many chapters are, since most of the members of the Sigma Phi chapter took classes and worked thirty to forty hours a week! A lot of them commuted from all over the LA area, and it was obvious that these women really wanted the most from their college experiences. My last day at CSUN was Halloween, and I got to see some great costumes before I got back onto the road!
Since Malibu is only about thirty minutes away from Northridge and because for the first time in my ELC experience, I was able to rent a car to travel from chapter to chapter, I decided to make a quick pit stop at Pepperdine University. Visiting California was so amazing that I decided to take a chance at making it permanent and applied there for law school! I drove through gorgeous hills on my way into Malibu, and I can honestly say there is nothing in this world that can compare to the view when the hills break and you can finally see the ocean. After regretfully leaving Malibu, I made my way to California State University, San Marcos, for my last California visit.
The women of Theta Iota were definitely one of the most welcoming groups I encountered on the road. Part of a newer chapter, they were hardworking, dedicated, and inspiring! My week with them brought many laughs and great learning opportunities. During my visit, I was welcomed by their chapter adviser to stay in her GUEST HOUSE(!!!!!!), which as you can imagine, was as amazing as it sounds. Her backyard has some of the most breathtaking views in California, especially at sunset (of which I have many videos, if you're curious!). San Marcos was the perfect chapter to close my time in California!
Along with a forty-degree temperature drop, I made my way to the Delta Gamma chapter at
Missouri State University. The women of Delta Gamma made Springfield, MO feel like home from the moment I stepped into their house. They were some of the most heartwarming, welcoming, down to earth, sweet women that I've interacted with on the road! My whole visit was filled with laughs and memories, and I'll be eternally grateful for all the amazing photo ops they gave me!! The Delta Gamma chapter is only two years old and already they have come so far. No doubt because so many of them are such fierce, strong leaders and ambitious women! I know that they will all change the world some day and I can't wait to see the amazing heights their chapter reaches!!
My semester culminated at the Omicron Pi chapter at the University of Michigan. This visit peaked my excitement on the road for so many reasons:
1. Thanksgiving preceded it, so I got to travel post-mashed potatoes.
2. I was back in my home network!! Many of my chapter sisters either live close to Ann Arbor and a few even go to grad school at the university!
3. 9/10 of our team members visited Omicron Pi with me!
The Omicron Pi chapter were such smart and passionate women and it was so much fun getting to meet them all. They all had such passionate opinions for their chapter and were fiercely loyal to it, which was amazing. The rest of my team and I also really loved Ann Arbor. The college town in Ann Arbor is one of the best in the country, in my opinion, but my favorite part by far was definitely the Birds! No, not the flying kind. University of Michigan has these motorized scooters, called Birds, that zip you around campus at approximately four times the speed of walking!! They were so much fun. It's literally impossible to ride one without smiling. After two weeks of laughs and hard work, I finally traveled back to Chicago for the holidays!
I know this post is extremely long, and I apologize for not updating you all about my adventures sooner. Check back in soon for a post about what this semester has taught me!