"How I Finally Found my Home" by Samantha Fillmore
This year I took a big risk and decided to transfer to the University of Texas. Leaving my small Chicago university, DePaul, for a school the caliber of UT was a giant leap of faith. Was it going to be what I had imagined? Would I make friends even though I wouldn’t be an incoming freshman? Would leaving the life I had built for myself be worth it? Those were just some of the questions I grappled with, but now as I write this post, I know my big leap of faith was an incredible decision.
~And I owe much of the credit for that to my amazing sisters in Beta Alpha.~
I grew up moving around the world, so I have always had to deal with never having a home base. Since my dad was from Texas, we spent every summer and Christmas in Dallas, despite living in different parts of the globe. Getting off the plane always sparked a great feeling, like something about the Texas air was special. I still experience it every time I fly somewhere out of state and come back. I should have known then that Texas was the right place for me.
When we finally moved to the States right before high school, I was elated to be moving to Texas! Fast forward a few years, and it was suddenly time to pick a university to attend. I was a lifelong fan of UT and dreamed of attending one day. However, when it came time to pick I still wasn’t sure if I had found my home yet, and ended up becoming a DePaul University Blue Demon.
Chicago treated me so well- I met amazing forever friends and joined Alpha Xi Delta! Although I believed I was meant to be at DePaul, I still felt like something was missing. It was there in Chicago that I realized the place that was home me was Texas. On top of my yearning for the Lone Star State, I couldn't get my childhood dream of going to UT out of my head. Before I knew it, I had applied to transfer and hoped for the best.
Getting into UT was the easy part, but as I prepared for the big move I became nervous about fitting in at a new university. Knowing I had a sisterhood to go to when I got to the Forty Acres was comforting, but also a little intimidating. How was this chapter going to be different from what I knew? Would they like me? Am I even going to be allowed to transition chapters? The questions piled up faster than I could tackle them, until I got an email from Beta Alpha President McKenna asking to meet for coffee. Eeek! I was so excited to get into my new chapter and start making friends. Since Alpha Xi was such a big part of my life at DePaul, I knew I wanted to be a part of it at UT. Before I knew it, I felt yet another sense of home at the Alpha Xi house. My sisters and I became fast friends, each wanting to know who I was and genuinely wanting to ensure I was adjusting well. As I reflect on my first semester at UT and Beta Alpha, I am so grateful to my house and all of the beautiful girls in it. I often forget that four months ago I didn’t know any of them!