A Zeta’s Guide to Studying Abroad: London

When I first enrolled at Samford, I already knew that I wanted to study abroad. Studying abroad can be a once in a lifetime experience that grows you and changes your perspective on the world. Luckily, Samford has a pretty amazing list of study abroad programs for you to choose from.

Already signed up to go, but don’t know what you want to see while you’re there? Don’t have any plans yet, but need help deciding where to go? Just interested in learning about new places? This blog series is for you!  Throughout this series, zetas who have studied abroad all over the world will share their experiences and tips with you.

We’ll start our trip around the world in…LONDON!

Who: Ashley Steiner
Where: London, UK
When: Jan Term 2018
Class: Arts in Society

Favorite Places:
1. Notting Hill: “THE cutest London neighborhood with storybook houses. Bring your camera and go on Saturday to visit the Portobello Market. Cath Kidston is my favorite store in the area but there are tons of local vendors set up at the market.”
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2. High Tea: “A London MUST. I went to The Orangery at Kensington Palace (yes, tea at the palace!). It was magical, that is all.”

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3. Borough Market: “A really good food market with homemade grilled cheese, artisan coffee and tons of fresh produce (great lunch place!)”

4. Art Museums: “There are so many! The Victorian and Albert, Courtauld Institute of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and more!”

5.  Ride on the Tube (London Underground): “It’s such an easy way to get around London and it’s fun!”

6.  The Shard: “A Super tall (like super, super tall) skyscraper with incredible views of the city.”

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7. Covent Garden: “Really nice shopping area (Cambridge Satchel Co. is my favorite store!)”

8. Harrods Department Store: “It’s massive! Gotta see the chocolate room…. spent two hours in there, oops.”

9. Abbey Road: “It’s a real road with real cars. Real cool, but don’t get in their way haha.”FullSizeRender

10. “Walk around the side streets and swoon at the houses in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea- you’ll want to move in ASAP.”

11. Buckingham Palace: “A London staple.”

12. Red Phone Booth: “Like did you even go to London if you didn’t take a picture with one?”

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Food: “The food everywhere is amazing- Paul, Pret a Manger, Brown & Rosie, Kensington Creperie, and anything that looks local were my go-to places. You seriously can’t go wrong! Waitrose, the neighborhood grocery has great food too if you’re looking for a low-cost meal at home.”

Weekend Travel: “I went to Paris one weekend and it was so easy to travel there and back in a short 48 hours.”

Tips for studying abroad in London:
1. Bring converter electrical plugs
2. Have a credit card for international travel that doesn’t charge international fees
3. Get an international phone plan to use while you’re out and about during the day
4. Use Google Maps to figure out which Tube stops to take

“I could honestly go on and on forever about London. It is one of the dreamiest places I’ve ever been to! It was amazing to live in London’s best neighborhood (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) for 17 days!”



Creed Devotional: To seek understanding

Happy finals week everyone!

It’s officially time for all-nighters in the library, drinking obscene amounts of coffee and trying to balance studying with packing. Through this busy season, it can be easy to lose sight of why we are in college.

To seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom

We are in college for a degree, yes, but also to grow as women of academia and character. Between studying for finals, try to remember that knowledge is secondary to wisdom. (i.e. your grades don’t define you!)

 “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” -Proverbs 4:6-7

Knowledge is what we learn in class, but wisdom is what we learn by being a student. It is knowing when to say no, and study. It is learning how to recover from bad grades and try your best. But overall, it is the ability to, despite the circumstances of school and social life, recognize that the quality of character triumphs over the quantity of good grades.

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.” -Proverbs 3:13

This is my encouragement to you: getting good grades is important (you’ve got this!), but how you act about those grades and grow from these moments is what will shape you.

With that being said, good luck on finals! You are all intelligent, capable women who are more than able to walk away from this week triumphantly.

Semi-Sweet! Spring Semi-formal 2018

Calling all sweet tooths!

Last weekend, Delta Psi held its annual Semi-formal function. The theme: Semi-sweet. Cue all the Willy Wonka feels.





The event, which was held at BridgeStreet Gallery and Loft, was a hit! Between dancing and making trips to the chocolate fountain, everyone enjoyed this semi-sweet end to the semester.





Alumna Spotlight: Lauren Cooksey

Graduation is in less than two weeks away for our senior sisters- cue feelings of nostalgia.  Coming in as a freshman, four years may seem like an eternity but ask any college graduate and they will tell you it flies by almost too fast.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by finals and wondering if those touch classes will ever end (and considering dropping out for the hundredth time- yeah me too) take it from recent Samford alumna and past Delta Psi president, Lauren Cooksey: Hold on tight to the memories.

“I cannot believe it has already been a year since graduation. Time has gone by too fast. While the transition from college to the “real world” came fairly easy to me, there isn’t a day that goes by where memories from Samford and Zeta come to me.

Everything about our campus is so special. Even if friends don’t live on campus, they likely live a mile away at Wildforrest, you are close to everything you need to survive, and Samford does their best to ensure there is something for everyone. Then you blink and it’s over. Friends now live hours away, everything is no longer at the touch of your fingertips, and you have to start over finding things to get involved in. I’m not saying that life after college sucks, but life changes and it’s always great to reflect back on Samford and Zeta during stressful moments.”


Favorite things about Zeta:  “Obviously, the best thing that I got from Zeta was friendship. I have never found such genuine relationships with people than I have with people from Samford and Zeta. I love keeping in touch with friends, but even more I love being reunited in person. This year I’ve had great reunions with friends during Homecoming and Step Sing. We had parties at my apartment for both of those events and it warms my heart to be near to all the people I love the most at one time. Events and things I’ve found myself missing the most this year without Zeta are family events, (Big/Little reveal, family picnic in the chapter room, etc.) tailgates, Sisterhood week, and Initiation…jokes! 🙂 Also, congrats on 1st place during the Step Show! How awesome! I am always so prideful when I see Zeta accomplishing big things on campus! Keep up the good work!”

What Zeta has taught me: “In Zeta I held quite a few leadership positions. The greatest thing Zeta gave me, after my friends, of course, was my leadership skills. I was able to see what did and did not work effectively and see how different people respond differently with leadership. Most of us probably don’t think that your leadership in a sorority would help you in your career after college but it really does if you take your role seriously and you’re passionate about growing and developing. Without my leadership experience in Zeta, I would not be near as effective in leading the people I do now. In fact, I’m not sure I would even have the job I have if it weren’t for Zeta. If I were to give anyone advice for college, it would be to make sure you are involved and hold leadership in at least one organization. You learn so much about yourself and others. You see all different types of people and perspectives and it really helps you broaden your horizons. Of course, I would suggest Zeta for leadership, but I know it is not realistic for 170+ people to have a position. I would challenge you though, even if you’ve applied and did not receive a position, apply again or seek ways that you can enhance and transform the sorority without having a title. Not all leaders have titles! In fact, some of the best leaders I have seen in Zeta didn’t have titles at all, they just decided to be leaders in the way they lived their lives.”

Creed Devotional: To prepare for service

By Camille Brown

When we hear the word “service” many of us solely think about service in light of specific duties or obligations. We continue to ask ourselves “how and when can I serve?” Thus, we place limitations on our actions. We make serving a waiting game, meaning that we wait for a charity to ask for money, only donate clothes when they are ripping at the seems, or even go to a food drive event only to receive credit or add something to our resumes. While getting involved in community announced event, philanthropy service drives, or volunteering at a homeless shelter during holidays are honorable and perfectly worthy actions, service should never stop there.


Smaller scale service is just as noble, for service is the act of putting someone else before yourself. We are called to look at every individual as beautiful gifts from the Lord. In thinking in such a way, we can enter every instance with a servant heart by asking someone how their day was, carrying something to their car for them, sitting with someone that looks lonely at lunch, writing others notes of encouragement, etc. If you feel that you could do something to make someone’s life a little happier or just to see a smile on their face, that is service. God, creating us in the image of Christ, planted within us a genuine heart of servitude. A heart of servitude that lives within each one of us every waking moment of our day to day lives. It is our job to recognize this empathetic gift and not put it to waste. In this way, we begin to view service not as a task, but rather a lifestyle, in which we put others before ourselves.

“To prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served. “

Going through college, people ask you many questions about how you want to serve in life such as, “what is your passion?” or the even more loaded question, “how are you going to change the world?” These are valid questions and ones that we need to focus on; however, you must remember that your passion, your future, and your ability to change the world starts this second. Not tomorrow, next week, not when the diploma is placed in your hands, or in the next five years, but this very second.

The beautiful power of service is that you do not need any qualifications to do for others.

We can breathe a sigh of relief because service does not require a degree and can come at any time. At times, college can seem selfish with no free time for anything but test, papers, projects, and internships.

However, do not let a busy schedule distract you from empathetically looking out for those around you. It’s easy to get this wide picture in your head that for service to count, it must be on a grandeur scale. However, never forget the impact of even the smallest amount of service. Buy a friend lunch, write them a note of encouragement when you know they are having a difficult week, fold their laundry for them, help them study by quizzing them for ten minutes, make their bed for them, or even include them in your prayer list.

Service should be a part of everyone’s God-given purpose. Whatever moment you are currently in, whether your swimming upstream or barely treading water, your Heavenly Father planted you there for a specific reason. More importantly; however, our Lord surrounded us with people to cheer us on in victory and to carry with us when we are wallowing in defeat. As our creed states that we are to “prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served,” we must remember that to receive is first to give. This means that in order to receive the fulfillment that life has to offer, we must give it our whole hearts. Whether it’s going door to door asking for canned goods for the less fortunate and picking up trash while you are surrounded by animals, like last weekend’s event, or just asking a friend if they need help carrying stuff to their car. God created you worthy to receive the eternal blessing of His passion, giving you a community of brothers and sisters also created in His image. Remembering that in order to love as Christ loves:

Each of [us] should use whatever gift [we] have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace” (1 Peter 4:10).


Samford Gives Back 2018

Samford Gives Back is a tradition where students spend part of a Saturday serving at non-profits across Birmingham. This is a way to let students see the great opportunity to serve while letting them give back to a community that gives them a city to call home.

Samford Gives Back allowed Zeta Tau Alpha to split into two groups to serve at different locations this year. One group cleaned the Birmingham Zoo while the other organized at Grace Klein Community Center.


The women at the zoo scrubbed pollen off from picnic tables and trash cans so families could better enjoy their time together. Once the tables and trash cans were clean, they toured the zoo with trash bags in hand to pick up trash scattered near the exhibits.

The other group serving at Grace Klein drove around Birmingham communities to knock on doors and ask for donations of canned goods and other non-perishable items. The collected items were brought back to the community center and packed in boxes. Then, some girls helped clean up the community center while others wrote notes of encouragement on the cardboard boxes where the canned goods and nonperishable items were packed. These boxes will be given to different families who benefit from Grace Klein.


// by SK Farmer

Mr. Samford Recap

Mr. Samford was a true success this year. 2018 was the first year contestants took the stage in the Wright Center after many years of hosting the event in Seibert Gym.


The boys thrived as they goofed off on-stage with a crowd of over 500 people laughing and soaking in every moment. The judges definitely struggled in picking an overall winner.

However, Jacob Stewart was crowned Mr. Samford after his infamous hockey monologue and his story of his not-so-rocky road upbringing. Oh, his favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, if you were wondering.


Daylin won Mr. Congeniality after he wowed the crowd with his incredible duet dance.

Logan raised the most money through Venmo and cash donations after he wooed the ladies while singing Dixieland Delight with his sweet country accent.

Creed Devotional: To find satisfaction in being rather than seeming

It seems like from the moment we girls were old enough to wear bubblegum flavored lipgloss and watch Lizzie McGuire we’re told to always be ourselves- to not worry about what people think and to wear our hearts on our sleeves.

This was all well and good until social media showed up and we began to put our lives out there for people to double tap. Suddenly “just be yourself” became a caption rather than a motto.

We now have created carefully crafted social images of ourselves that we put out for the world to judge. These images, though hardly representing our actual lives, are what we prefer people to see. We have become a generation of seeming rather than being.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

Because the hard, honest truth is that it would be so much more difficult for us to put our real selves out there in the open for everyone to see. Maybe it’s because we’ve grown so used to putting the right filter on our lives that it has become frightening to be real.

“…To find satisfaction in being rather than seeming thus strengthening in us the higher qualities of the spirit.” (ZTA Creed)


Finding satisfaction in being rather than seeming lies in ending the unspoken competition that most of us participate in over social media.

Your worth is not defined by how many likes your picture got, or how much better your friend’s vacation photos look than yours. Your worth is not defined by the clothes that you wear. Your worth is not defined by grades, boys, or going out.

Your worth is defined by the fact that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” -Song of Songs 4:7

It’s time to lift our chins up high and appreciate the amazing women that we are.





Mr. Samford is this week!

Mr. Samford, Zeta’s annual men’s pageant which raises money for our philanthropy, Breast Cancer Education and Awareness, will be held in the Samford University Wright Center. Come show your support this Tuesday night, March 27, at 7:00 p.m.!

Can’t make it? Tune into our Instagram for a live feed!

ZTA 9 Key Values

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through National Ritual Appreciation Week and have had such an amazing time celebrating our sisterhood. From dressing up for badge day together, to having sisterhood events celebrating our rituals, it has been a week of reflecting upon the values that make us Zeta Tau Alpha.

Speaking of values, the founders of Zeta Tau Alpha founded our fraternity upon 9 key values that we believe are important to live by.

  1. Being rather than seeming
  2. Humility
  3. Leadership
  4. Lifelong learning
  5. Love
  6. Loyalty and commitment
  7. Responsibility
  8. Seeking understanding that we might gain true wisdom
  9. Service & philanthropy

For the rest of the week we can reflect and think about how we can live by these values as we make our way through midterms and leave for spring break!