sisterhood story :: ashley steiner

Hi hey hello! My name is Ashley Steiner & I’m the historian here in ZTA. (the gal behind the zlog, Instagram, Facebook, & more!!) I just started my junior year, so it’s crazy that just two years ago I was about to go through recruitment. I had always wanted to be in a sorority, but I never knew I’d find a place I could really call home.

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During philanthropy night, I met Kelsey, a girl who loved Zeta & sorority life more than anyone I had met before. (see photo below!!) She rushed me over the next nights, and to this day–if she can’t convince someone to love Zeta, literally no one can. It wasn’t even the fact that she knew everything about the philanthropy, fun events, or how to get involved–she truly wanted to know me, a freshman from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who had moved 8 hours away from home for the first time in her entire life. More than talking about this thing called sisterhood, she lived and breathed it. And you know what? As I looked around the chapter room, it was obvious every other Zeta did too. It was a place I didn’t have to smile till my face hurt, try to fit into a mold, or present myself in a certain way. Everyone was completely comfortable with being themselves. One night during recruitment, Grace, the recruitment chair, remembered I own a stationery company from my recommendation letter. For the first time during rush week, I felt truly known and needed in a house–that they wanted me there just as much as I wanted to be! By pref night, I knew I wanted to run home to these faces who had so genuinely invested in me. Cheesy but true–best decision. Ever. (drops mic, #noragrets, you get the picture).

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I’ve found this kind of sisterhood to be Zeta’s lifestyle–one that welcomes with open arms, kicks off shoes, pours coffee, & stays a while. One that embraces differences because lemme tell ya–no two girls are the same here! I love being a part of a family with such diverse talents and personalities. One that gets SUPER excited to see you in the caf, takes care of you when you’re sick, studies accounting for hours on end with you, and goes on late night sonic runs. I’ve learned so much from these girls–our differences shout love, acceptance, and openness from the rooftops! There’s no way to truly understand this feeling without experiencing it first hand.

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Zeta has brought me my people–some of my closest friends, my roommate, my best big and little in the entire world, and my constant team of supporters though all days. I know I can always count on them to have my back and point me to Jesus.

And y’all, I’m so so excited for almost four hundred girls to come visit our chapter for the first time next week. My hope and prayer though sharing our girls’ sisterhood stories on the blog has been to give an honest glimpse into the life of our sisterhood. It’s one that extends far beyond the walls of our house–which are getting remodeled, by the way! (More to come on that later).

Zeta lovin, Ash

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sisterhood story :: reagan smith

Don’t worry about recruitment!!

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. -Proverbs 16:9

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I came to Samford not knowing anyone who had ever known anyone that had ever gone there. To say that I went into recruitment blind is an understatement. Still, I thought I knew which top two houses I would prefer before ever stepping onto campus. Funny, neither of them were Zeta Tau Alpha. In the weeks leading up to recruitment during school I had ruled out one and was absolutely certain that the other was where I belonged. There was one girl in my Spanish class who I was fast friends with, and she just so happened to be in that sorority I was so sure I would join. We were so similar that random people would ask if I was her younger sister. I had made friends with several other girls in my classes, in the organizations I joined, and on my hall; yet I didn’t feel like I really clicked with most of them. I felt extra far away from all of my high school friends that had chosen schools so much closer to home. I was beyond ready to go through recruitment to finally find the place that I would fit and girls who I really connected with. I thought I was so ready to join that sorority, and my mind was completely closed off to anything but that one group.

But then, a strange thing happened recruitment week. Everything went well in the other house, but I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did in another. After philanthropy round (night one) my heart was still very set on them, but I’d begun to notice how much I liked another. I’d heard all of the rumors and stereotypes, and based on them thought I could never fit in to ZTA. I was never the girl that was involved in all the right things, I hadn’t been a cheerleader in high school, ever considered popular, and I would not look cute blonde. I woke up the morning of theme round and found that I had absolutely no voice. Nothing. I went through night two of rush with nothing but my personality. I still felt 100% at ease in Zeta, we laughed about it and made it work and managed to still have a great conversation, an opposite experience than the other houses that night. By the time pref came around I was completely confused. By the end of the night I was crying in Zeta and upset with myself for not really taking them seriously at first, convinced there was no way that I would get in having put so much more effort into the other house.

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I went to my RA’s room and bawled on her floor about how I was sure I wouldn’t get in ZTA. Normally she would have gotten on the floor with me and hugged me and talked it all through with me. Uncharacteristically, she sat on her bed and was clearly texting, telling me not to worry about it. I just knew she had found out I was dropped. I was a mess all night. I didn’t even get ready for bid day reveal, I just took a shower and didn’t put make up on. While waiting to receive our bid cards I talked to another girl in my rho gam group. She, like me, was short, had long brown hair, what many would probably consider too much energy, and wasn’t sure which house had given her a bid but was hoping desperately for ZTA. You cannot imagine the squeals as we both opened our envelopes to reveal Zeta Tau Alpha had chosen us to become part of their sisterhood, then ran hand in hand to the flood of turquoise. I then found out that my RA was friends with the girls who had talked to me during recruitment, and they were texting her WHILE I was in her room crying, about how much they loved me and were excited for me to become a Zeta.

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Ever since that September day in 2014 I have rediscovered time and time again that ZTA is without a doubt where I belong. Zeta Tau Alpha is where I found my home. I made friends that made me feel like I was no longer alone, so far from everyone I knew. No matter what is going on, these sisters are the girls I can count on to celebrate with me as well as encourage me through hard times and offer godly advice. A sisterhood so close that women who aren’t in my friend group notice when something isn’t right in my world and reach out to offer support. I found my best friends and truest sisters in an unexpected house, and I cannot imagine experiencing college without them.

My best advice for you is this: TRUST THE SYSTEM. Don’t think that a house wants a certain type of girl and act like that if you’re not. Put YOUR best foot forward, not someone else’s shoe and pretend that it fits. I promise, it will all end up exactly as it should.☺

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ONE MONTH till Bid Day!!!

So many high fives & sista hugs because bid day is ONE MONTH from today! We’re super excited to welcome new zetas into our home. Get ready to join the most authentic & welcoming sisterhood out there–we can’t wait to have you part of our family!

Here are some of our favorite bid day throwback pics that give us allllll the feels!