I Got A Big Sorority Sister Surprise!

“Ever loyal, ever lasting, ever big/little.” – My Instagram Caption

So, as you may have previously read, I joined the Theta Phi Alpha sorority back in mid-February. One of the most well-known aspects of a sorority is the Big and the Little Sister- or simply the Big and the Little. In our chapter of Theta Phi Alpha, each new member gets an older mentor to help her acclimate to the sorority.

The process begins with the Big and Little bios. Each potential Big and Little will fill out an information sheet with contact information (the “bio”). Each Big receives the Little bios, while the Littles receive the Big bios. From there, the Bigs and Littles can reach out to each other during a period called “Big/Little dating,” where the point is for each Little to meet each Big.

In my incoming class (Beta Rho), there were two Littles, myself and one other girl, while there were four Bigs. I went on dates with three of the four Bigs, since one of the Bigs’ schedule did not match up with mine.

After that, we told our New Member Educator who we wanted as our bigs, and then it was her job to pair us up for the fun part: Big/Little Week!

Big/Little Week is the week where Bigs will send someone to deliver their gifts to their Littles. The Littles don’t know who their Big is until the reveal, and no one in the sorority will tell them, but they are free to speculate. During Big/Little Week, the Bigs also give their Littles gift baskets on each weekday. Here’s what my Day 1 basket looked like:

Reece’s are my favorite candy, but I ate them before I took this picture. Whoops.

It was really nice. Before I took the picture, I had eaten all three Reece’s cups that came in the basket. Each basket has a note in it, usually some painted canvas decorations, and food. The notes usually explain the day’s theme while also giving hints to who the Big is. However, there is no guarantee that the Big is honest in the hints…

This sort of process continued for the entire week. I’d get texts from a burner phone number that my Big had, and then she’d arrange to get gifts to me.

On Friday, at the arranged time, I went over to the College of Arts and Sciences and waited inside while the initiated members prepared the reveal. I waited with the other girl in my pledge class and one already initiated girl, who then walked us with our eyes closed in front of the Wright Flyers statue and Embry-Riddle sign.

The New Member Educator took a Polaroid picture of us with our Bigs behind us. We had to face forward while the picture developed and then when it developed, she handed it to us.

This is my Big!

The other new member and I turned around to find my Big behind me! From there, we hugged, laughed, and talked for a bit. We took more pictures and hung outside for a bit. An hour or so later, we went to dinner.

I met the rest of my sorority family, which is a line of Bigs and Littles. Everyone in Theta Phi Alpha is part of a family, and six of us went to Ichi Ni San, an Asian restaurant in Daytona. It was a great week with a great end; I enjoyed the entirety of Big/Little Week and was glad to meet my Big. Joining a sorority was a good idea, and if you’re considering it, I highly suggest looking into them.

See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

So, I’m Joining a Sorority?

*Elle Woods voice* Omigod, omigod you guys!

Embry-Riddle has four sororities that women can join: Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ), Theta Phi Alpha (ΘΦΑ), Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ), and Sigma Kappa (ΣK). And as of Thursday, February 18, I am going through initiation to be a sister of Theta Phi Alpha!

(Note: This article will be about my experience going through recruitment. For more general answers, click here for an interview with current Panhellenic President Izzy Hoare.)

Each organization supports at least one philanthropy, and some support multiple. Throughout the year, the sororities fundraise for their organizations. One thing that I noticed about the Riddle sororities, however, is that there is no aggressive competition. I was exploring sororities right before Theta Phi Alpha’s Theta Phi Cutie Pie event, and I noticed that all of the other sororities were posting about the event, trying to raise more money for the Theta Phi Alpha philanthropies.

I started looking at sororities last semester, but not seriously. When the sororities started recruiting in the spring, they were each posting about their events.

I went to a Theta Phi Alpha event on Thursday night, and I was welcomed in by some of the sisters. They were making friendship bracelets with their colors (blue, gold, and silver) while music played in the background. There, I got to ask the sisters any questions I had about Theta Phi Alpha or sororities in general, and they were more than happy to answer.

On the next Monday night, I went to another event. One of Theta Phi Alpha’s local philanthropies is the Halifax Humane Society, and they were using cut-up clothing to make animal toys. That event was similar, except the sorority was doing volunteer work as well. We took three strips of cut-up clothing and tied them in one knot, then threw them in a canvas bag for someone to take to the humane society.

That was the last scheduled recruitment event for Theta Phi Alpha specifically, and they announced that bids would be sent out soon. (A ‘bid’ is an invitation to join a sorority or fraternity.) A few days later, on Wednesday, I was offered a bid!

I ended up waiting until Thursday to accept due to my busy Wednesday schedule. Theta Phi Alpha was running their Theta Phi Cutie Pie week table, so there were sisters out and about. To sign a bid, one of the sisters in the sorority will take you to the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life office, and then you will officially sign a paper to accept the sorority bid. The sister that went with you will then serve as a witness when you sign.

Me, right before signing the bid.

No one in my family has ever been a part of a sorority, so I don’t have “legacy” status. I was also on my own, and I had no idea what to look for in a sorority. I talked to some, and others reached out to me, and I’d schedule times to meet girls in the sorority (usually at an open event or 1-on-1 with the recruitment director).

If you’re looking at Greek life, my advice is to do it. If you’re only considering it, at least look at the sororities. If you do COB (continuous open bidding), like me, you are under no obligation to accept a bid and you can get a bid from multiple sororities. Since I didn’t go through traditional fall recruitment, I don’t really know what it entails, but I liked the way that I did it.

Either way, I chose to join Theta Phi Alpha because of the people and the mission. When I stepped into the room and met some of the some of the sisters, I felt like each of them had a genuine interest in me as a person. In addition to the sorority information, we talked about likes and dislikes. I met a girl named Victoria who also liked the same musicals as I did, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Many sisters also said hello to me when I passed by, and told me that if I had any questions to just ask them. On the day I signed my bid, there were several sisters around the table, and they were all happy and excited for me to join.

I am not an official sister of Theta Phi Alpha yet, but I will be once I go through the recruitment process (which takes a little while). Either way, I’m happy that I decided to go Greek and check out the sororities.

I’ve also learned that each sorority is very supportive of the others. A representative of another sorority messaged me, and I told her that I was planning to accept Theta Phi Alpha’s bid. She was happy for me and said that she was glad I found my home, and I thanked her for reaching out.

If you’re thinking of going Greek… do it! Research the sororities, talk to sisters, and go to their events. I didn’t know if I ever wanted to be in a sorority, and, well, here I am, going through recruitment.

Me and my invitation card!

Up Up and Away!

Hello All!

It’s crazy how fast time goes by now a days! It feels like just yesterday that I first came to Embry-Riddle and visited the campus for the first time. It has been almost four years, two different changes of major, and countless life lessons since that day. But lets not get ahead of ourselves… Here’s a quick run down:

My names Kealey Cela and I grew up a Navy Brat; living all over the world and moving more than 13 times! I lived in places like Hawaii, Japan, Virginia, and California. Finally my family settled down in a small town in New Hampshire where I went to high school. I’m not the biggest fan of snow which is why going to school in Florida was such a nice change of pace!

I started my college career at a school in Northern Virginia, and then transferred to Embry Riddle for my sophomore year. Over the last three years of college I have learned just as much about my degree as I have about life.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -Lao Tzu

One of the most challenging life lessons that I learned during my time in college has been change. Change can present itself in many different ways. For example: The transition from home life to dorm life is a huge change, changing your mind about your major, changing clubs, or even changing your order at Starbucks. The hardest lesson that I have had to learn is overcoming change. Almost every college student at some point will question their major or their career path.

I came to Embry-Riddle with the mindset that I was going to be an Aerospace Engineer, and that I was going to work for a big company like Raytheon or Boeing one day. But it turns out that it just wasn’t for me. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life and after taking some different courses I ended up on Operational Meteorology, which I have more passion for now than I ever did with Engineering. The best advice I can give based on my experience  is to ultimately do what makes you happy in life even if its something you never saw yourself doing originally. If something truly is not making you happy anymore, don’t do it! Once I realized this I felt like I was able to navigate the seas of college life much easier!

Something else that has made me very happy in life has been everything that I have gotten involved in here on campus!

This summer I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Siena, Italy. I received 3 upper level and 3 lower level humanities credits while I was abroad! I would highly suggest getting involved in the study abroad program, it gave me memories and friendships to last a life time, and its the same price as staying on campus and taking classes over the summer!

Representing the U.S. on a bridge in Venice

Representing the U.S. on a bridge in Venice


The Pisa tower really does lean!

The Pisa tower really does lean!


Enjoying our last weekend in Italy in Rome at the Colosseum

Enjoying our last weekend in Italy in Rome at the Colosseum

Sigma Sigma Sigma 

During the Spring semester I joined Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority here on campus, and it was certainly one of the best decisions I have made while being at school. Sigma has helped keep me more involved in my studies as well as around campus and in the community!



Hope For Hayley 5K with my sisters!

Hope For Hayley 5K with my sisters!

Sigma Sigma Sigma

Sigma Sigma Sigma

I am also an Ambassador for the Women’s Ambassador Program here on campus, which is something that I am very proud of. We work with the admissions department to raise the female population here on campus! We also do lots of events to support women around our campus and in our community!

Ambassadors for the Women's Ambassador Program

Ambassadors for the Women’s Ambassador Program at our Waiz Welcome Dinner

College is all about embracing changes and going with the flow. Try not to get too stressed about anything, its honestly not worth it! Worry about things that you can change, and then change them. And lastly always do what makes you happy in life even if its a little unexpected! If you can do your best to live by these principles you’ll be Up Up and Away before you know it!