it’s 8pm on Sunday night, and I’m finally sitting down for what feels like the first time in years, even though it’s only been a busy two days.
I had the opportunity to head to SUNY Oneonta for Alpha Phi Omega’s Tri-Sectionals conference. APO was a big part of my college career, and after I graduated, it was a little less important.
I found APO in my first semester at Geneseo, seeing “community service” in the description, and was attracted to it because I wanted to figure out more ways to do things on campus as a freshman. I showed up to an interest meeting, and then suddenly, I found myself pledging, meeting new people, exploring the community through service, and dedicating myself to a really amazing group of people at Geneseo, but as a national organization as well.
Like any large group of people, my chapter had its own set of drama and fights, and it left me crossing the stage at graduation wearing an honor cord to note my dedication to APO, but hardly caring. It produced some of my closest and truest friends, allowed me to support my community, and I left.
With my move came an opportunity for me to volunteer for the organization on a section-wide level. I was happy to join the organization yet again, and this weekend proved that my choice was right.
I rushed off to SUNY Oneonta on Saturday morning and lead a workshop about social media marketing. It was the first time in a while I was around so many people from other chapters, and I forgot how much I missed it. Sharing ideas, comparing what chapters do, and just meeting new people.
I spent the rest of the day becoming closer with other volunteer staff members; alumni who love this organization for what it is. I couldn’t have been happier. I even met new people who live near me, just filling up my heart with happiness.
The night closed with a banquet, an incredibly unique keynote speaker, and ultimately, friendship. I looked around at the undergraduate students, excited about being there, coming up with new ideas…and it made me remember what made me stick around APO even when I was feeling frustrated. APO was really my place on campus. It was my safe space, filled with people I trusted and support I needed. Even though the ones who I depended on are no longer physically at Geneseo, they’re still a part of my life. And, now, I have an even stronger support from alumni and volunteer staff members who constantly remind me just how important APO was to me, and continues to be.