What is ZTA up to this summer?

By: Kelsey Richardson

WOW! It has been one heck of a summer for Delta Psi!! From internships to camps, to studying abroad, our girls have been doing some really amazing things and taking advantage of some really cool opportunities this summer!

As August has just begun, that means the start of the school year is almost here and so is recruitment! We wanted to share a couple of the things we have been up to this summer to give you an insight into the diverse group of women that make up our chapter!

Leah (PC ’18) – “This summer I have been in Athens, Greece with an organization called Greater Europe Missions. My team was split up into three groups, and my group has been working with an Evangelical church in Glyfada, Greece! With this church, we have been working with their refugee ministry. We’ve been able to build relationships with them, as well as help them in training as they start a business to make money. We have also done ministry with Greek highschool and college students. We were able to share the gospel with them, spend time with them, and be a light to them as we got to know them. Not only that, but we have done homeless ministry where we would pass out water, tea, and sandwiches to the homeless on the street. We have also done lots of administrative work for the church, as well as babysitting for the pastor’s family and other missionary families! Not only did we work in Athens, but we got to go to the Island of Lesvos where we were involved in more refugee ministry. We spent time with a Muslim refugee who accepted Christ into their life and saw another refugee be completely healed from a hurting leg! On this trip, God has taught me SO much about myself, other cultures, and what it’s like to share His love. He has done some AWESOME things and has also shown me my calling for life!!!”

Sara Grace (PC ’17) – “This summer I went to Uganda for 5 weeks to spread the love and word of God with Heal Ministries. This was my fourth and longest trip to Uganda. Every year our team brings over supplies for the kids at Family Spirit, which is a school and has recently become an orphanage as well. These kids only get school supplies and toiletries once a year so it is very important they are given the necessities to do well in school. This year to help fundraise, I asked our chapter to help donate items or money for supplies to take to Uganda. In just one week, I was so overwhelmed by the donations and support and was able to buy over $200 worth of supplies. While I was in Uganda, I got to do so many amazing things from hiking waterfalls to loving on the sweet kids and families there. It was the most incredible experience and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my ZTA sisters!”

Weslyn (PC ’16) – “Working in the Country Music industry has always been a dream of mine. After having incredible experiences performing with some of the most influential artists in my musical journey, I knew that in some way, shape, or form, I had to work in the business. I, along with everyone have heard the phrase, ‘if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I took that to heart and when it was time to fulfill my graduation requirements by secr=uring an internship, I went bold. I always knew I wanted to end up in Nashville, so doing an internship anywhere else just didn’t make sense. I wanted to make connections meet people, and begin networking myself. So I found a company that seemed to be my ‘glass slipper’ and I just went for it. I sent in my resume and was asked to interview and then asked to join the team. Living in Nashville this summer has been incredible and the experiences that I face daily make me feel like I’m living in an alternate universe. Though each day brings new tasks and responsibilities, I’ve gotten to do things like work CMA Fest from the industry side, create graphic designs for artists that will be released on a national level, sit across the table from viral sensations, and shake hands with legends in the country music industry. I am still in that ‘pinch me’ phase, but I am soaking in every moment and constantly trying to contain my inner fangirl. Without my ZTA sisters cheering me on every step of this journey, there’s no way that I could pack up and move 8 hours from home, believing in myself the way I do, or confidently take steps towards who I am and who I strive to be. I am so blessed in so many ways and it’s moments like these that make me realize that!”

Julia (PC ’17) – “This summer, I have been working an internship at a company called ApolloMD. I worked under the lady who does all of the payroll and staffing for the ER doctors in a Wellstar hospital. This not only gave me the opportunity to learn more about the patient side of the hospital care but allowed me to see all of the backgrounds that go into healthcare. It has been the best experience and I am so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with this company!”

Sarah (PC ’16) – “I had the chance to spend two weeks in Kailua, Hawaii at the beginning of the summer. My sister married a marine and they are stationed out there for 3 years. It was literally the best trip of my life. We went cliff jumping, ate lots of local food, went to see where Pearl Harbor happened and saw lots of beaches. The best part was getting to bring my best friend and zeta sister along with me. I loved driving around and exploring the island and trying all the food. It was an incredible experience!”

Alyssa (PC ’17) – “I was so blessed with the opportunity to spend the entire summer abroad! I started off in Grenoble, France in May and was there all through June. While I was there I took weekend trips to places like Marseille and Paris! Then I went to Spain for a week off from classes. In Spain, I met up with a friend of mine from a past foreign exchange program and we explored Madrid together! And now I am currently in Germany for the next six weeks studying German! I’ve had an amazing time and the adventure will continue until December as I start my next study abroad program in London in the fall!”

Sloane (PC ’16) – “For the month of July, I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy! I’m taking a Food and Culture class where I literally get to cook every day and get to learn so many Italian recipes. It’s such a dream!! I highly encourage everyone in college to study abroad if you get the chance. It’s the most incredible experience and you will grow and learn so much – not only about the culture but also about yourself. It is so easy to get caught up with life in America that you forget there’s an entire world out there, filled with so many different people, cultures, languages, and foods!! I’m so thankful for this experience of a lifetime, and that I get to do it with my best friend I met through ZTA!”

Kylie (PC ’17) – “This summer I had the opportunity to pursue my passion in digital marketing in my hometown of Austin, Texas. I am currently interning for a company called Q2ebanking. In short, Q2 is a software company that reaches out to local banks to help them make money by creating user-friendly apps and websites for them. Over Q2’s short time as a company, they have already acquired 4 other lines of business in the banking industry as well. I tell you all of this because I have had the opportunity to work with the project managers (the people that run each line of business’s marketing) to optimize their organic search and pay per click advertising. You may be thinking “I have no clue what that means”, and trust me when I say I had NO CLUE what it meant 11 weeks ago. This internship has been so much more than I ever would have expected. I thought I would be working on a small project in the back and bringing the occasional cup of coffee. But here I am having optimized 5,000 keywords for an entire company, having lead 12 meetings with people with way more markering experience than me, and giving a presentation next week to 50 people about my project. It’s amazing how quickly something that I had no clue about became something that people were relying on me to teach. Overall, I have felt all of the emotions this summer of confusion, realization, failure, accomplishment, and overall have been adulting to the max, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing because I have learned so much.”

While our chapter has been up to many incredible adventures and experiences this summer, we cannot wait to all be back together here in a couple of weeks! You know what they say, “It’s always better when we’re together,” and that reigns true here in Delta Psi. We can’t wait to hear more about all of our sister’s summers! We are also so excited to hear from PNMs during recruitment about their summer adventures too!

 

A Zeta’s Guide to a Semester Abroad

Who: Kelsey Richardson
Where: London, UK
When: Spring Semester 2019
Class: Arts in Society & Biblical Perspectives

I knew before I came to Samford that I was going to study abroad at some point! My older sister had gone to London her Junior year spring semester and fell in love with it. When the opportunity came for me to go this past spring semester, I took it. I couldn’t wait to spend an entire semester doing what I love most: traveling! This past semester was the most challenging and fulfilling season of my life. I met so many new people, went to so many amazing and beautiful places, and learned A LOT about myself and the world that’s out there waiting to be explored!

Top 5 favorite places:

London: There are so many fun things to do in London from Buckingham Palace to Notting Hill, Borough Market, Covent Garden, Tower Hill, Oxford Circus and so much more! There is so much to do in London that people say even if you lived there your whole life, you couldn’t see and do everything!

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Spain: For our spring break, some of us decided to go to Spain! We went to Barcelona and Valencia, two absolutely beautiful cities filled with rich culture and delicious foods! We saw so much including the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, the beach, the Gothic district, the City of Art and Sciences, and more!

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Italy: On Easter weekend, I went to Venice, Florence, and Pisa! Italy has everything from history, to beautiful architecture, amazing food, and the BEST gelato in the world.

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Amsterdam: Amsterdam is an extremely unique city with beautiful canals, the best stroopwafels ever, tulip fields, and the most bikes I have ever seen in one city. There’s so much to see and do and each street is more beautiful than the last.

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Wales: For our class trip, we went to Wales where we did all things adventurous including cliff jumping, surfing, and hiking! My inner adrenaline junkie came out and I’ve never had so much fun in my life! There are beautiful cliffs, rocky beaches, and fields full of cows and sheep!

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Tips for traveling abroad

  • Always plan your trips in advance! Sometimes if you wait too long flights get too expensive. Also, make sure you plan every detail! Sometimes being spontaneous can be good, and other times you regret it!
  • Do as much as you can but don’t get burnt out!
  • Get out of your comfort zone! Don’t be afraid to try new things!
  • GET A PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER!!!!! You will need it. Period.
  • Always make sure you research public transport before traveling to any city. It’s always different the way people get around and you don’t want to end up in a sketchy taxi.
  • Make sure you know currency exchange rates
  • Also, buy adapters for both UK and EU
  • It’s better to under-pack than overpack most of the time! Only pack things you know you will wear, need, or use!
  • Make new friends, try new foods, go to new places!!!
  • Ask Airbnb hosts and hotel front desks what they recommend you to see and do! Usually, locals know the best places!

Balancing Study with Abroad

Traveling is great, but don’t forget you’re not just there to travel but you’re also still in school!! Don’t travel every weekend and not do your homework til you get back on Sunday night at 2 a.m. from a trip (even though you probably will at least once)! Make sure you stay on top of your work while still traveling and having fun! I learned the best thing to do was to complete assignments on the day I got them or as soon as possible! If you get ahead, it leaves more time to travel on weekends and have fun during the week! At the same time, don’t only care about your school work!! You are also there to learn by exploring new places and learn about other cultures! You may learn more from traveling than sitting in a classroom!

Getting Homesick

I am NOT the homebody type and usually when I am at school, I rarely get homesick. However, I would be lying if I said you won’t miss home a bit while being abroad. I mean, when you’re in another country, halfway across the world, thousands of miles from home and your family and friends, it’s bound to happen! You may miss little things like driving, or your favorite restaurants, or your dog, and that’s completely okay and normal!! However, don’t let it ruin your time abroad. If you sit in your room missing home all the time, you won’t get to experience how wonderful studying abroad is! It’s okay to have hard days, but it’s so important to remember that you may never get the chance to travel the world again! So soak up every second and enjoy it!

 

My semester abroad is something that will shape the rest of my life. It was nothing like I planned, imagined, or ever could have expected. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully put into words what my semester abroad was but I know I will cherish my time in London forever. Studying abroad will push you to grow more than you ever have. It will get your out of your comfort zone and cause you to be independent, maybe for the first time in your life. London will always have a special place in my heart and I hope to be back again one day!! For now, I’m so glad to be home and back with all my zistas!!

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Samford 2019

By: Hannah Harb and Cassidy Goble, Philanthropy Chairs 2019

Our annual spring philanthropy event, Mr. Samford, is coming up on March 28th! Our philanthropy chairs answered a few questions about the event and our philanthropy.

1. What is Mr. Samford?

Mr. Samford is a men’s pageant which ties in many different organizations across campus. It is one of the largest philanthropic events ZTA, Delta Psi does each year. The proceeds go toward the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation which promotes and supports breast education and awareness, our national philanthropy. One of the best aspects of this event is that all Fraternities and sororities nominate guys to represent them in the competition. The night itself entails different categories including swimwear, interview, talent, and nightwear. On stage, each nominee puts their own funny spin on the different categories. This year our judges are Tito (Samford’s famous bus driver), Anna Bain (Miss Samford), and Riley Westmoreland (Samford’s president’s, Dr. Westmoreland, daughter). We are grateful to continue this production and create an exciting and impactful night for the entire University.

2. Why do we do Mr. Samford?

As mentioned above, Mr. Samford is one of our biggest philanthropy events and it is the best way to get all of Samford’s campus involved. It encourages everyone to support our philanthropy, Breast Cancer Education and Awareness and all of the proceeds go towards the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation.

3. What is your favorite thing about our philanthropy and Mr. Samford?

Our favorite thing about Mr. Samford is the opportunity to support Breast Education and Awareness. 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer at some point in their life. Breast cancer affects everyone, directly or indirectly. We also love being able to work with the guys and their coaches. They are so fun and so excited to be a part of this event.

4. What are you most looking forward to this year at Mr. Samford?

We are most excited to see our ideas come together on stage and hopefully raise a significant amount to donate towards our philanthropy. This support means so much to us and the members of Zeta Tau Alpha. Seeing the boys on stage and seeing all their hard work pay off will be so entertaining and we can’t wait for the whole campus to come out and see.

This year’s contestants & who they are representing:

  • Andrew Sink- Alpha Delta Pi
  • John Henry Fields- Alpha Delta Pi
  • Chad Jordan- Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Cameron Hunt- Alpha Omicron Pi
  • James Hornsby- Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Lewis Campbell- Chi Omega
  • Corbin Smith- Chi Omega
  • Micah Jones- Phi Mu
  • Jack Flemming- Phi Mu
  • Cambron Bice- Tri Delta
  • Jackson Mckinney- Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Ej Castro- Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Will Green- Sigma Chi

Mr. Samford is This Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 7pm in the Wright Center

Check out our promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txQ20QsYGKc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1U2X9kAFCQ6ORx9dcfCfXOAZen_rUBvh-tKMo8EUh_vv4lAJuOWHKI3xI 

 

Creed Devotional: To prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving

By: Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President


“Women forget how much we can inspire one another. No one understands us like us.” -Alex Elle

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend Officer Leadership Academy for Zeta Tau Alpha in Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting in the car on my way to the hotel, I had no clue what to expect. I had just received the role of President and while I was excited, I had hundreds of questions in the back of my mind on what I needed to know, how I needed to start my role, how to properly run a chapter meeting, etc. OLA served not only as a guide for my role but gave me direction on how I can make Delta Psi better than I found it.

What is OLA?


OLA is a 3-day leadership conference filled with training, breakout sessions, ZTA games, and information we can use to take back to our chapters. Not only that, but you are surrounded with hundreds of women that love ZTA and share the same leadership roles as you!! Each person I talked to at OLA shared a small piece of their chapter with me. When I think about it, it really is one of the most amazing things ever. All of these pieces come together to create Zeta Tau Alpha, the fraternity that has made such a difference in each of our lives. I find it so amazing that each girl there has had a different experience in ZTA, but we can all come together at an event like OLA to learn more and grow from one another.

I was accompanied on this trip by our VPI, Kaley Claudepierre, our VPIII, Kylie Ballard, our risk manager, Shelby Luna, our treasurer’s assistant, Ashley Badin, and two of our amazing advisors Amanda and Jamie!

Some of my Takeaways….


 

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Individual Leadership


Day one was based around different leadership styles. Each of us took a test called the “Noble Practices Assessment” to see what leadership style we were. The different leadership styles are…

– Self- Author

– Humble Heart

– Encourager

– Giver

– Strategic Thinker

I learned that I was a giver while the rest of my group was something different. This activity reminded me to celebrate each other’s differences. Knowing how to work efficiently as well as make decisions with the other 11 girls on EC is crucial! The point of this activity is to learn how to communicate and make connections with different leadership styles so making those decisions is easy. In the end, we need to embrace our differences in the correct way and come together as one unit. I plan to do this activity with the rest of my EC who was not at OLA in order to start the year off with strong communication.

The ZTA Experience


On day two we covered the “ZTA experience.” ZTA has been such a light in my life and I truly believe that it has stemmed from the leadership opportunities our chapter has provided me with. Each position that I’ve held has not only helped me find myself, but it has helped me build connections with the girls I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

OLA taught me that everyone will have a different experience than me. For some, it may take time to find their place and that’s okay! But encouraging, guiding, and building connections is crucial for anyone to find their place.

During my time as president, I want to build our members up, encourage them to apply for leadership, and form real relationships with each of them. When we join any organization we want to feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated, I hope to make Delta Psi feel that this year.
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Before leaving on Sunday, I wrote down my three personal goals for this semester based on all the information that was given to me.


  1. START OFF STRONG!!! Your sisters will feed off of you. You will be leading this chapter for a whole year. Stay positive and be a good role model.
  2. Establish a relationship with each member in the chapter. Connecting with members on a deeper level creates belonging, and can even inspire them to take on leadership roles in the future.
  3. “Be humble in success and without bitterness in defeat.” A very important line from our creed that I needed to take into this new journey with me.

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Zeta Tau Alpha has impacted my life in so many ways. Of course through leadership positions and friendships, but also the opportunities we are provided with such as OLA to help us grow into the leaders we want to become. 

I feel that with everything that was said during OLA, it’s almost as if Zeta had read my mind. All my questions were answered, and I felt 10 times more confident in my position. I am truly honored to be the president of the Delta Psi chapter and I cannot wait to see what this year brings for us!!!

ZLAM

– Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President

Creed Devotional: To be humble in success without bitterness in defeat

Welcome back to the blog! It’s been a while since a Creed Devotional has been posted, so let’s dive back in with the next line:

“To be humble in success without bitterness in defeat.” – ZTA Creed

Being humble in success is so much more than being polite when people are singing your praises. It is a quality that starts at the beginning, before you succeed. What was your initiative? The betterment of whatever you were working for, or attention?

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11

Humility even extends to the work that you do not want to do. Maybe your efforts are not recognized and you feel discouraged. This is where our faith comes in. God calls us to do everything for his glory. If your work is unfulfilling, try changing your perspective.

“Whatever you do, work with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23

In the end it is not our work that matters, but God’s work through us. So we should not be focused on how our efforts will bring us praise, but how we can bring more praise to the glory of God.

“Do nothing of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” – Phil. 2:3-4

Being without bitterness in defeat is more straightforward. Be a good sport. We are told this from our time playing tag in kindergarten, and yet it is still relevant in our adult lives. We are all intelligent, accomplished women who should be more focused on the success of our sisters, rather than our own defeat. A friend told me today, “empowered women empower women.”  So let’s empower one another, regardless of our own success or failures.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

 

 

Welcome Home!

Happy first day of classes!

This weekend was move-in weekend and wow was it a happy one! We are so glad to be back together in the zouse.

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Here’s to an amazing work week before recruitment starts, and to cute little dorm rooms in our favorite house.

 

Alumnae Spotlight: Julie Mayfield

We are so excited to continue our alumnae spotlight series here on the blog! This spotlight goes to the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter’s president, Julie Mayfield.

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“I moved to Birmingham almost four years ago. I only knew a few people here. I was in this big city and I felt lost. Then my Themis arrived and I saw the contact information for AL/MS Zeta Day. I reached out and everything changed for the better. Now I’m serving my second year as President, just attended my first convention as an alumni and can’t wait for our monthly get togethers with my sisters.”

College & chapter: University of Tennessee at Martin, Delta Mu
Class of: 2002
Favorite zeta memory: “participating on our Step team and serving as New Member officer. I loved teaching new members the history of zeta and showing how wonderful zeta is.”
Advice to collegiate zetas: “document every moment, cherish your sisters, reach out to other Zetas, and remain ever loyal to the Fraternity.”
What does Zeta is forever mean to you: “It means a lifetime of sisterhood and service. Zeta gives us the opportunity, on the collegiate and alumni level, to give back to our community, to leave a impactful footprint in this world. We always want to leave it better than we arrived. Zeta is an amazing avenue for that.”

ZTA Convention 2018 Recap

By Brantley Taylor

A couple weeks ago I had the honor of attending the National Convention for Zeta Tau Alpha in Orlando, FL. I was accompanied by our recruitment chair, Alexa Wagner, and one of our upcoming leaders, Jenna Anderson. Going into the week I had no idea what to expect being surrounded by so many women from such a variety of backgrounds, but all tied together by the common thread of Zeta. It ended up being one of the greatest experiences I have had through our sorority.

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If you don’t know what Convention is, I’ll try and paint a picture for you. Imagine hundreds of women ages 18-80+, lots of cheering, even more crowns, and the celebrities of Zeta themselves, the national council. I soon realized that Zeta might be the most extra sorority when I saw that even the room keys were specialized to have the convention logo on them. Putting aside all of the bells and whistles though, convention helped me to realize how blessed I am to be in charge of the Delta Psi chapter.

I’ll be honest, I was intimidated going into the week based on the fact that there were huge state schools like FSU, Alabama, and Georgia in attendance and I didn’t know how a small private Christian school like Samford was supposed to stack against them. However, I quickly learned that it’s not the size of the school or the chapter that matters, it’s how your chapter is run and the quality of the girls in the chapter.

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Delta Psi ended up winning an Academic Achievement Award for our overall chapter GPA, a Quota Award for reaching quota set by nationals the past two years, and a Major Donor Award for reaching Founders Club Level by donating over $25,000 to our philanthropy. On top of these awards we also won Crown Chapter Award! We have been blessed enough to have received this award for the past couple years and are so proud to continue the streak. This helps prove to us that what we do matters and every event we have is worth it in the end.

The single greatest moment, however, was the night of the Silver Awards Banquet. Silver Awards the highest esteemed awards given to chapters across the nation for exceeding expectations and being the best of the best chapters in a variety of areas. Delta Psi hadn’t won a Silver Award in the past 10 years, so going into the night I admittedly was more excited for the dinner being served rather than watching all of these other chapters winning awards while we clapped graciously. Then came a moment that really blindsided me. Just about the time when they were reading off the description of the chapter who was winning 1st Runner Up for Collegiate Public Relations I was thinking, “Hey that’s not fair we do all of the same things that this chapter they’re about to call does.” Of course right after that thought crossed my mind, they called Delta Psi, Samford University up to the stage as the winners. We all just sat there at first not recognizing that we were indeed the winners, until Jenna said, “Hey! That’s us!” and we all ran to the stage to accept it. This is a huge milestone for Delta Psi, breaking a decade-long dry spell.

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I am so thankful to be in charge of a group of girls who work harder, do more, and seek to be better every year. It’s moments like those that give you clarity into why you do what you do. Convention also taught me the meaning behind, “Zeta is forever”. Being in college it’s hard to imagine the sorority itself being something that’ll last you past the four years you’re in it. The friendships, yes, but the sorority? Well, let me tell you Convention puts it all into perspective. You see that Zeta is so much bigger than just your own chapter. It’s easy to get so narrow-minded and focus solely on what you are doing, but when you zoom out of that view and see what the other 170 collegiate chapters and 238 alumnae chapters are doing as well you get a better appreciation for Zeta as a whole. You’re able to realize that Zeta matters, what we do in our sorority matters, but what we contribute to the overarching organization matters even more. We are young women, given the opportunity to make a difference. I’m beyond proud of my chapter and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Delta Psi long after I’m finished being president. I’m also so proud I get to call myself a Zeta Tau Alpha.

 

A Zeta’s Guide to Studying Abroad: Greece

Who: Kylee Shanaghan
Where: Greece
When: Jan Term
Course: Greece: The Crucible of Civilization

The Class:  “This was an option for me to take as a humanities course, it was actually less expensive to take the abroad class than take a humanities class on campus during Jan Term (plus I wanted to go because of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!). The actual course material gave a lot of backstory to the places we were going, so we knew what we were looking at. One thing that is really amazing about this particular trip is that you get to see so much of Greece. In many abroad programs, you are living in one place for the duration of the class, but with this course, you are only in one place a max of two nights. For us, we started in Athens (which is kind of like a REALLY old New York City), and after that we constantly moved around to new places. We split our time between the main land locations and the little islands off the coast.”

 

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Favorite Spots: “My two favorite places by far were the little island of Aegina (pronounced egg-in-a), and the seaport town of Nafplion. These two places are both quaint little locations that have less tourists and lots of breathtaking views of the water. In Aegina, you MUST try the pistachio butter that the venders are selling at the port. I was apprehensive and only got a small jar, and now I’m crying because it’s all gone and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life (so get the big jar). In Nafplion you should wander around (it’s small and very safe) to see what fun things there are going on. After dinner one night we stumbled upon a street carnival and played bumper cars! It’s one of my all-time favorite memories, but you won’t find that in a travel brochure so you need to explore in the places you go! Another really fun thing we did was eat at this family-owned restaurant where they taught you all the Greek dances. We ate incredible food family style, then we danced for hours as everyone smashed plates and yelled “OPA!”, there are lots of these kinds of places in Greece, and you should definitely do some research to find one while on this trip!”

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Best Foods: “My top favorite foods I ate while in Greece would have to be the Pistachio butter, the fried feta cheese, and the gyro sandwiches. Let me tell you, if you are a fan of Greek food, after this trip nothing in America will ever measure up to the real thing. Some tips I would give about going on this trip is to pack layers, it’s hot during the day and super cold at night! You also need to be prepared to hike up a mountain one of the days (don’t wear a wool sweater like me). If you are worried about looking cute in pics on days where hiking is involved, bring some extra stuff in a backpack to put on for the pictures! You need to be prepared with cash as most places do not take card, you also need to keep in mind that you cannot split the check when eating in groups at restaurants. One person will need to pay the bill and the rest of the group will pay them back, so keep groups small! In general, I did not have to pay for many meals, we ate as a group most days and that fee is paid with the program tuition. I paid for maybe 8-10 meals on the 3-week trip. Technically they say you can get away with bringing no cash on this trip, which I guess is true, but you want money for souvenirs and last-minute things (like bumper cars!).”

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“Overall, this trip was the best experience of my life. I went into it knowing absolutely no one, and came out with some of the most meaningful friendships in my life.  So, whether or not you know anyone on this trip, or know anything at all about Greece, this trip is sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life!”

 

Creed Devotional: To look for the good in everyone

Not going to lie, it was hard to sit down and write this one. Not because I don’t believe that this is important, but because looking for the good in someone can be a hard thing to do sometimes.

“To look for the good in everyone” ZTA Creed 

As a kid, when I was told to look for the good in people, I thought it meant not to call them mean names. But as I grew up, and as my relationships grew up with me, I realized that thinking the best of someone isn’t just to contradict bullying, or keeping someone’s feelings from getting hurt (though valid reasons). When we think badly of someone it isn’t always an intentional, mean thought. We don’t go around criticizing everyone we see, but we do analyze their words and actions towards us.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31 – 32 ESV

I don’t think we usually set out to think poorly of someone. Actually, I don’t think we even realize that we are doing it. It’s almost as if we start on the defensive- guarding ourselves against this person who has yet to do anything wrong. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re doing it.

Usually, this stems from feelings of rejection and hurt. At some point in our lives we learned that not everyone will like us or be kind to us. And from these lessons, we changed how we react to other people. We started to operate out of a place of hurt and rejection rather than love and acceptance.

One of my favorite authors, Lysa TerKeurst, wrote:

“To love God is to cooperate with His grace. And since I’m so very aware of my own need for grace, I must be willing to freely give it away. Each hole left from rejection must become an opportunity to create more and more space for grace in my heart.” Lysa TerKeurst, ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’

So how do we change our perspectives and begin to live with grace in our hearts?

By being intentional with not only our actions towards one another (let’s not forget the golden rule now) but also our thoughts.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.”Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23 ESV

Let’s look for the good in everyone. Let’s stop the cycle of judgment and fear. And most of all, let’s see others how God sees us; with grace, love, and kindness.