Kaitlin Gibson recently graduated from Saint Louis University with a degree Biology and a minor in Music. After graduation, Kaitlin is going to attend SIU School of Medicine and is considering ENT or OB/GYN. Here's her Theta story:
"I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. I had this goal in mind when I came to Saint Louis University. I was ready to do anything and everything to prepare myself for medical school and for my future career.
However, when I decided to join Kappa Alpha Theta, I did so for myself. I wanted to be in cute pictures, go to fun events, dedicate myself to philanthropy, and meet sisters that would be my best friends for a lifetime. I am so thankful that Theta provided me with these things, but it also gave me something more.
It sounds silly to say now, but I never imagined how much Theta could help prepare me for my future. Yes, I knew our tagline was “Leading Women,” but I did really know what that meant. So today, I would like to share what that slogan has come to mean to me.
The first way I experienced our motto was through the leadership of others. During my first year I served on a committee and witnessed delegation, patience, and quick thinking. Following the leaders of my fraternity taught me a lot about the qualities underlying good leadership. With this understanding, I was better able to shape and define my own leadership skills.
In the years that followed, I took on multiple Fraternity positions. These provided me with the learning experiences needed to work well in a collaborative, team environment. Every member and officer had the same goal: to help our chapter and our sisters meet their fullest potentials. In order to do this, we constantly brainstormed and executed new ideas. We balanced these changes with feedback, and we appreciated both constructive and positive discussions.
Being a Fraternity officer also allowed me to present information to over one hundred and fifty sisters each week. Being a Theta meant doing this in business casual, an opportunity most men and women do not have prior to entering the workforce. In fact, at a medical school interview this past semester, another student told me she hated wearing a suit because it made her uncomfortable. Luckily for me, I was used to this environment, and Theta helped me stay calm and collected on my interview day.
Holding a position additionally taught me about the resilience required to be a leading woman. Planning and executing chapter programming and events was a big commitment. At busy times it even felt like a full time job. However, I welcomed the challenge as I saw it as an opportunity for personal growth. Because of Theta I feel more confident in my ability to maintain a balanced lifestyle during medical school. Similarly, I feel more prepared to give my undivided attention to my future patients and their families regardless of my own emotions and daily struggles.
The motto “Leading Women” gradually became an integral part of my life, and Theta was the perfect place for my personal growth. Encouraging, inspiring, and caring women surrounded me. My sisters used these attributes to motivate me to be a better leader all the time. Despite personal setbacks my sisters always supported me and kept my best interest at heart.
When I joined Theta it never occurred to me that this organization could significantly help me reach my future goals. However, reflecting back on my experience now, I can honestly say Theta had a huge impact on my life. So, as my last message before graduation and beginning medical school, I must say thank you. Thank you to my Eta Omega sisters, advisers, alumnae, and Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity Headquarters. These women showed me what being a leading woman is and helped me become the leading woman I am today. For this, I am forever grateful."
Samantha Bennett just finished her first year at Saint Louis University. She is from Brownsburg, Indiana and is majoring in Leadership and Human Resources Management. Also, she is our current Human Resources Director. Here is Sam's story:
"As my freshman year of college comes to an end, I can’t help but think about the good-byes coming. We just watched the seniors attend their last chapter and it was the truest feeling of bettersweet. These incredible women who quite quickly became our role models are leaving our little home, spreading their wings, and working toward becoming the leading women we know they can be. Although these are some of the hardest good-byes of our lives, some of the greatest hellos are yet to come.
Freshman year was one of the most difficult and amazing times of my life. As cheesy as it sounds, Eta Omega made my freshman year. From the almost strangers taking me Urgent Care when I messed up my ankle to the multitude of nights that turned into mornings with friends that turned into sisters, I have met women that have made the biggest impacts on my life and filled my heart to capacity. It was an amazing first semester, and I can’t wait for three more with this organization and a group of women that have changed my life."
We are the Eta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at Saint Louis University. We were established on November 9th, 2013. We have over 180 wonderful sisters that are alike in many ways but all with unique interests. Our blog will highlight many of these.