Written by: Anna Caroline SchlenerBOD Schlener_Anna

I was born and raised in a city called Tyler in East Texas, where I graduated from a high school in a class of 78 students I had known since kindergarten. So, transferring from my hometown to the 25,000 students of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville was quite the adventure for me! I, like every other incoming freshman, was excited, nervous, curious, and unsure all at the same time as I moved into Reid and then watched my family drive back to Texas without me. I had come early for rush and had no idea what to do, say, wear, or expect. However, if I had known then that I would find my closest and most dear friends in just a few short weeks thanks to Greek Life, I would not have worried for a second.

I ended up pledging Kappa Delta, and I distinctly remember how this sisterhood brought me my best friends. Bryn, one of the most determined and hard-working young women I have yet to meet, literally danced into my life at our first pep rally. The freshman were forming the iconic “A” for our class picture and Bryn and I danced together before we had our first conversation. Next thing I knew, we were sitting side by side in history class and spending late nights talking over ice cream on each other’s dorm room floors. She has taught me determination, perseverance, and brought me so much laughter.

Next, came Megan and Chloe. I was surrounded by Kappa Deltas dressed in red, white, and blue on the front lawn of the house before another pep rally. My face was striped in fresh red paint when I started up a conversation with Chloe, who I vaguely recognized from previous get-togethers. Soon, sweet Meg joined our conversation, and we were all fast friends. We stuck together that night at the Razorback Stadium, calling the hogs as loud as we could. And then, we stuck together through many more days, good and bad. Chloe taught me how to appreciate a good pun, speak with kindness, and deeply care for friends. From Megan I saw unrelenting joy, endless bright sides, and dependable community.

The friendships I found in these three girls have shaped my freshman year, and I am sure my entire college experience, in a way I could not have imagined as a new Reid hall resident. Through them, I experienced true sisterhood. Too many times to count, they picked me up and reminded me of what is important. I am honored to have had the privilege to return the favor.  I have laughed harder and smiled bigger than ever before with these three. They are in all my favorite stories from this year and I would not have it any other way. Jesus answered my prayers for community at the University of Arkansas above and beyond my best expectations, and for that, I am oh so thankful for the way Kappa Delta has impacted my freshman year.