September 11th brought a mix of emotions as I reflect on the past ten years. It’s likely we all spent a good amount of time reflecting on where we were ten years ago when time seemed to stop as we all witnessed surreal newscasts. The American people, and many throughout the world, were brought together on September 11, 2001 because of the great tragedy that fell upon our country. In a sad way the tragedy proved that, despite any differences, Americans stood together and supported one another.
Before we continue this blog post, we at SureSister want to take this opportunity to share our condolences for all those who lost loved ones that day. And to thank the heroes of that day and those who continue to serve as heroes every day since.
I felt compelled to share my story with you because this was truly a defining moment in my life. September 11 was supposed to be a pivotal day in my life. But not like this.
It was my first year at college. On September 11, 2001 the phone rang in my residence hall room at Eastern Illinois University (EIU). It was my Bid Day so I prayed it wasn’t the call telling me I had not received a bid. Instead, it was my brother telling me to turn on the television. I will never forget the image of the burning towers.
If I had any doubts before that day about being a part of the EIU community, they were gone. I saw the campus come together everywhere – friends who had just met consoling one another, professors reaching out to their students –the campus was united. The fraternities and sororities were no different. Bid day was cancelled due to the events of the day. Instead all of us potential new members joined the members of fraternities and sororities met in the Student Union to be able to support each other.
At that time EIU enforced “silence” between potential new members and sorority women after recruitment. Sorority women and potential new members could not speak at all from the moment the last events of recruitment until Bid Day when bids were handed out. The last event was Sunday evening and Bid Day was to begin Tuesday afternoon. It was a long 2 days. Silence, normally a difficult period for those about to dive into the bonds of sisterhood, was suddenly our preference, instead of our restriction. That evening, no words were necessary. We all supported each other without words. My heart swelled with both grief and pride, I was sure I had made the right choice to go through recruitment and join the community. I prayed that night for all those effected in the tragedy of the day and hoped the next day would bring better news.
The next day we all tried to resume our normal lives. Bid Day was held. I opened my bid envelope and was quickly surrounded by new, amazing sisters. I am fortunate to have a silver lining in such a dark cloud. The unity I witnessed on that day strengthened my resolve to nurture my Panhellenic community, and has forever changed my perspective on what’s most important in life: relationships.
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Mary Kate Lobough is a SureSister.com Ambassador. She is a past college Panhellenic Vice President of Public Relations and was a Greek Life graduate assistant at Eastern Illinois University. Mary Kate holds a bachelors degree in history and a masters degree in student affairs in higher education from the same institution. A member of Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority, Mary Kate has served on both advisory boards and housing corporations.
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