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A Letter to Chi Omega: Hannah Yanowitch

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Dear Chi Omega,

This is a thank you note. I never thought I’d be in a sorority at all, much less writing a thank you note to one. But here I am.

Until I met you, I viewed Greek letters as a defining personality trait, conforming women to one mold and encompassing their entire college experience. I’ve never been a “sorority girl”, so I swore off the institutions themselves in favor of believing the very stereotypes I hated. That is until I walked into this room.

Chi Omega, thank you for proving me wrong. In the midst of a lonely, hard season of life my freshman year, I suddenly found myself surrounded by women who showed me what it means to be a friend. People who didn’t just console me in the hard moments but ran into the darkness and walked with me through it. Women who genuinely cared. Who made me feel loved. Who showed me I wasn’t alone. Women who asked how I was doing and actually wanted to know the answer, no matter what it was.

The Lord has placed a lot of incredible people in my life, but I realized the tie that bound these women was the name “Chi Omega.” These letters didn’t define them, didn’t mean they were all the same, and weren’t the reason they sought me out. But they were the common feature between the women that showed me what community should be. The women that I want to grow up to be.

I joined Chi Omega for that reason — when I look around our chapter room I see like-minded women that I am honored to share these letters with. Women who love me even when it's hard. Who love me enough to call me out when I fall, but then cheer me on to stand up again. Women who make me laugh so hard I can’t catch my breath. Who speak truth over me when I can't see it for myself. Who will sit with me when I cry, and hold my hand through tough times. Who remained the same steadfast people I knew before I wore their letters. Who don’t put on a facade when the doors of the Panhellenic building open, but love people well behind closed doors just as they do during recruitment. Women who show me what it means to be a sister in Christ. To be a friend. To be a Chi Omega.

When I look back, the times in this past year that I have experienced the most joy and felt the most loved were with the women in this room. And I know I’m not alone in this. I know this because the people here who changed my life didn’t just change mine. The women in this room are life-changers. It's who they are.

Thank you, Chi Omega, for giving me the people I run to, cry with, laugh with, and love dearly. Thank you for giving me the women who, as cheesy as it sounds, showed me what sisterhood is. These are the women who will be in my wedding one day, who are truly lifelong friends. Most importantly, thank you Chi Omega for proving me wrong. For breaking the stereotypes I had placed on Greek life. For striving to be “lovable, not popular,” as it says in our symphony. For not defining my identity, or forcing me into some mold, but for accepting me for who I am, and loving me still. For bringing me so much joy, while reminding me where true joy is found. For being my home, my family, no matter where I go. And for that, I can only say thank you.

Sincerely Yours,

Hannah Yanowitch

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