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Claire Federico AC'21 :: My New Home

In my freshman year of high school, I quickly became aware that I was in a four-year-long competition for a spot at the University of Georgia. I couldn’t picture myself wearing anything besides red on college game days or anywhere besides a sorority alongside my childhood best friends, but after four years of preparing to open the admissions letter from UGA, the fantasy my freshman year self had dreamt of faded. Suddenly, I was in my parked car outside of Trader Joe’s, hand shaking as I clicked the “check application status” button on the University of Florida’s admission page. Orange and blue confetti erupted on a page titled “Congratulations”, and the next thing I knew I was in Gainesville touring the campus I would soon call home.

It all felt so new and exciting this summer when my days were consumed with dorm shopping and class registration, but nothing would prepare me for the impending realization that I was leaving a school where I knew most of the people in my graduating class and entering one where I knew close to nobody. The fear kicked in as August 17th got closer and closer; I almost felt myself regressing to my comfort dream of going to my state school where I had more than enough familiar faces, but deep down, I knew I made the right choice. I squeezed my parents as they walked out the door of my shoebox dorm I shared with a girl who before the summer was a stranger to me -- my new home, 361 miles away from my childhood home, 336 miles away from my twin brother at Georgia Tech, and many more miles away from my 5 best friends who were now scattered across the country.

Rushing was a no-brainer for me. What better way to find best friends at a school full of strangers? Unfortunately, I became well acquainted with the cautionary tales of girls who ultimately felt unwelcome in their sorority after the euphoria of bid day wore off, and I couldn’t help but fear I wouldn’t find my people after all. My doubts vanished, however, when I walked through the doors of the big white house with blue shutters: Alpha Delta Pi. When I received my schedule at the beginning of each recruitment round, Alpha Delta Pi was the first name I searched for in the sea of greek letters, and every time my eyes landed on ADPi, I felt the anxiety in my stomach settle. The conversations I had with the girls at ADPi made waking up at 6 am and running in heels to houses in the blistering heat all worth it in the end. I didn’t have to put a mask on or pretend I was someone I wasn’t because ADPi made me feel not only accepted but appreciated, too.

I now have 77 new best friends to share the next four years of my life with. Even better, my roommate, who was once a stranger, is now my best friend and sister. Alpha Delta Pi helped me realize that home is no longer 361 miles away, but it’s here at 831 W Panhellenic Drive.

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