Natalia Ziemkiewicz is a rising senior in Theta. She is from Chicago, Illinois and is studying Biomedical Engineering. Here is her Theta story.
Both my freshman and sophomore year I was interested in registering for formal recruitment, but both years the weekend recruitment fell on I had prior commitments and was unable to do so. I didn’t know Theta was even a sorority on campus. However, my knowledge on sororities changed over winter break my sophomore year. I was traveling to Honduras with Global Brigades to help plan and later work on implementing water systems into various Honduran communities. The trip was a SLU-Mizzou trip, and it was only after our flight was delayed and we were stranded at the St. Louis airport that we all began to talk and discuss our college experiences. It was on this trip that I met Rachel Neuhalfen, a Theta who graduated this past year. While stuck in the airport she told me all about Theta and how it had changed her college experience for the better, making her step out of her comfort zone and helping her build relationships that thrive to this day. As the hours passed, we began talking to the group of women from Mizzou, and almost all of them were also a part of Theta. Over the course of a week we all bonded and I learned about all their favorite Theta experiences. Although their experiences influenced my perception of Theta, what really inspired me and made me want to join Theta was how different but alike each of these individuals were. They were all strong, funny, independent women that wanted to change the world, but they all had their unique traits and I could see how these differences brought them together and made their relationships stronger. After the trip to Honduras, classes started and a girl in the same program as me, approached me and asked about whether I would be interested in attending a few informal recruitment events. A few weeks into second semester of my sophomore year I attended an event and this further solidified my want to be a part of an organization that was bigger than myself. I was hesitant to go at first because I didn’t know anything about sororities, only what I had seen in movies and I didn’t want to believe that those movies were accurate representations. I attended the event and all the girls that I met were genuine, they even remembered me after the event and said hi to me in passing on West Pine! It was the genuine smiles and strong personalities that led me to Theta.
Theta has definitely made me step out of my comfort zone. It has pushed me to my limits, and taught me that I am always capable of more. I have taken on more leadership positions, become more confident in myself and my work, and I have learned to always ask questions. Theta has given me the opportunity to form relationships with women that I would not have otherwise met. For example, my twin, Liz Cary, and I are more different than alike, but she has become one of my best friends and my go to when things aren’t right. I met individuals with different dreams and wants, individuals that I can talk to for hours while losing track of time, and individuals that have shown me what a support system is. Theta has given me a home away from home, I mean walking down West Pine and recognizing so many smiling faces is an amazing feeling, everyone is so nice and wants to talk to you, genuinely wanting to know how your day.
I would say my favorite part of Theta would be the dysfunctional family I am a part of. We’re all so different but when we’re together it’s like time has stopped and it’s some of the best moments I’ve had at SLU. Random lunch/dinner dates or just chilling and talking, whenever I’m with them I can be myself and we can laugh at just about anything, it’s great. My little. Emily Look, is one of my favorites, she’s just great and quirky and I love her. Other favorite moments in Theta include food dates with Madison Streb, or dancing with Daniela Feliciano. There are so many good memories with the women in Theta, it’s hard to pick a favorite when the only memories I’ve made have been good.
Empower to me means to lift someone up, to make them feel confident and sure of themselves. Empower means to support someone until they know that they are worth more than they believe and that they have so much potential. Empower is a word that symbolizes many of the women that I have befriended in Theta, they are continuously reminding me that I can accomplish my goals and that my dreams can become a reality.
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.