Amber Scharnow: My Journey to AOII

When I was a sophomore, I had just gone through a very bad break up. My entire first year was spent consumed by this relationship, which meant I wasn't very focused on fostering friendships, except one: my roommate. I was one of the lucky ones and was randomly matched with a roommate who became my best friend. 

Erin decided to do formal recruitment, which accompanied many jokes from me. I was very against Greek life. Then she joined AOII, and my perception changed drastically. I always tagged along to events that were open to the public, but I got a little frustrated when I couldn't go to "AOII-only" events, but I still didn't think of joining. 

It wasn't until Fall of my sophomore year, when I was newly single with loads of extra time, and an empty void in my life, that the thought of AOII became less of a joke and more of a reality. AOII was doing fall informal recruitment and Erin was getting ready to attend an event. She begged me to get dressed and come make cookies with some sisters that I knew, and of course, her. With quite a bit of persuasion on her part, and reluctance on mine, I got dressed and went. I walked into this room and realized how many sisters I already knew. Everyone was so excited I was there and I felt (prepare for a cliché) at home. It was just a good excuse to eat cookies and hang out with my friends.

Even after I left though, I wasn't completely convinced that if offered a bid I would accept. Then I received a call from Maya and she extended a bid to me. For those who know Maya, telling her you will think about it is very hard to do, as she is very very good at making you want to say yes immediately. She was able to get me to agree to meet with her and discuss my concerns, which were mainly finance related. We sat down and had coffee I believe the next day, and she was so helpful in breaking down the process and appeasing my worries. Even still, I wasn't completely sold. Maya was so invested in me joining AOII that she started to cry because I wasn't sure I could afford it; seeing this girl that I knew, but not extremely well, show visible sadness over this was kind of my sign that I wanted to be a part of a group that feels this passionate about its sisterhood. Because of Erin's perseverance in getting me out of bed (trust me, not an easy task) and Maya's conviction that I belonged in AOII, my membership in AOII was solidified. This decision still came with hesitancy, but after hearing about different sisters' reactions to me joining (this includes tears and running around in circles and falling out of excitement), I knew I had made the right choice. Although AOII started out as a way to fill a void from a breakup, it has done this and way more.