My Very Own AOII Squad

I want to tell you guys about something weird that happened to me over break. The week after finals, I vegetated. I needed some mindless, feel-good entertainment. I was in luck – it was an ABC Family Potter Weekend. As I melted into the couch, I relived the emotions of my childhood. The old crushes, the tear-jerking deaths, the indignation at what was left out from the books, I felt them all pretty much as strongly as the first time I watched the movies. Except for one. The Harry Potter trio ignited in my little kid heart a kind of ache that I carried for a long time. The feeling was with me when I moved from Lizzie McGuire and Friends in middle school to Skins and Misfits in high school. All the principle characters in these shows were surrounded by a close-knit group of friends, what Taylor Swift would call a squad. So you see what I’m driving at with the Harry Potter. I always had a healthy amount of friends, but it was kind of like one friend from this thing, one friend from that, the other. But AOII is what finally gave me that squad. Here I met so many women with Hermione’s brains, Ron’s loyalty, Luna’s quirks, all as one-of-a-kind as Harry Potter, chosen one.

But seven movies later, after I peeled myself off my couch, I wasn’t even done. Being in college, cable TV is kind of a luxury you know? None of the stress of making sure you pick the optimal Netflix binge show. Just find a channel and it’s all decided for you. Say Yes To The Dress Marathon. Here we go. Bride Alicia comes in with her 7 friends, but all I’m seeing is me with my sisters, Sophie trying to gently suggest that the Pnina Tornai dress I was trying on is entirely too much, Maria cutting straight to the point and telling me I look ridiculous, Jess emerging from a back room with gorgeous, chic, perfect option.

Being in AOII has given me so many gifts, from leadership opportunities to a stronger connection to Columbia’s student life, but the greatest one has been my sisters. While it’s impossible to be absolute best friends with 120 different girls, I know that I could turn to any woman in the chapter if I were in need, and they could turn to me. What makes us different is never a detriment to our Chapter’s closeness, I honestly think it enhances it because of the strong undercurrent of respect and love we have. I love that my sisters and I aren’t all exactly the same. I mean, Friends would have been so boing with six Rachel’s, and can you imagine Sex and the City with four Samantha’s? Disaster.

I love that I’ve started seeing my sisters on TV, in books and movies. If I were the star of a movie, I have no doubt my sisters would be the so-called supporting characters that end up outshining me with their wit and quirks and outer and inner beauty. But they also help me shine, and against all of us together, Voldemort, Mr. Big, and tacky wedding dresses wouldn’t stand a chance.

-Mason Speta