Alumna Reflection: Sydney Swanson
When people think about the new year, they often think about habits they hope to leave behind to make them a better person. When I think about my new year, I think about everything that I am taking with me, especially as I enter into a new phase of my life as an alumna member of Iowa State University and Alpha Delta Pi.
It seems like I was running home to ADPi for the first time yesterday and I blinked, somehow ending up in a cap and gown, shaking hands with the president of Iowa State as I received my diploma. Graduation was very bittersweet moment for me. I was excited at the possibilities that lay before me, but heartbroken that I had to leave a place that had grown into my home. The times of staying up laughing and sharing memories from Yell Like Hells and Lip Syncs, going to chapter meetings and celebrating the ritual of ADPi, and eating cookie dough by the spoonful were seemingly gone. In its place were full-time employment, bills, and figuring out what a 401k even means. But nights with no homework meant that I had plenty of time to think about college and ADPi and I have realized that while my membership in ADPi is certainly going to look different than my collegiate membership did, I am about to embark on a totally new adventure. Graduation is not the end of the memories and exciting times I will have as a sister of Alpha Delta Pi, but only the beginning.
I recently had the privilege of attending Adelphean Compass, a leadership and empowerment conference put on by Alpha Delta Pi every January, and I had the chance to connect with other ADPi seniors who were also thinking about the transition from active member to alumnae. Though we all attended different schools across the country, we all had a passion for this organization and a passion to continue to live the values of Alpha Delta Pi wherever we go.
There are so many things that I will take from my ADPi experience into the future. Alpha Delta Pi taught me the true meaning of friendship. I had the chance to support those around me, encouraging them to dream big, and cheer them on when they achieved their goals. The friendships that I have made will last a lifetime and I know that these women will be my #1 supporters throughout life’s journey. ADPi also taught me that value of giving back to others. I will always have a passion for the Ronald McDonald House and volunteering. I already have a jar out at my new office to collect pop tabs and I will tell anyone who will listen about RMHC and what it gives to families in need.
During the past four years, my life has been enriched with purpose and a sense of belonging, leadership experiences that taught strength, poise, and dedication, countless service opportunities, and the chance to pursue high academic standards alongside sisters. These benefits do not end after graduation, but rather, continue through the mentorship and guidance of sisters around the world. I am so excited to start my Pi journey and continue to give back to the organization that made me who I am today. No matter where I go in life, I know that I will always be able to run home to ADPi and the women behind the blue door will welcome me back with open arms.