My time at UF By Alex Giraldo

My transition to UF was not difficult at all. I never felt lonely, depressed nor homesick. This is due to having awesome roommates, who transformed from being completely random strangers to my best friends in a matter of 2 days. I thought my time at UF would be horrendous since none of my close friends from back home got into UF. The only people I would have known here are some of my high school classmates that I barely spoken to. So my roommates suggested I go through formal fall requirement with them and hopefully join a chapter.
During my first few month at UF I was trying to get situated with my new college life. This included taking harder classes, learning how to feed myself, and being an adult all around. A few months after I was getting used to my new lifestyle, I felt like I haven't accomplished anything at all. I was disappointed in myself because I used to be very involved in my high school. I used to hold numerous leadership positions and be part of honor societies. However, in college I did not join a single club or apply for anything. (This picture explains what I did for the most part during my fall semester: eat my stress away.)
Getting involved on campus was one of the most challenging things I struggled with in college. I did not know what to join, and for the most part, the applications for popular organizations were due months ago. Luckily for me, I am in a sorority so I have hundreds of people to advise me on what to do. One of my fellow sorority "sisters" was the tournament chair for Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament. Debate is something I have always been extremely passionate about. I used to compete on the debate team all throughout middle school and high school. So she recommended that I should staff for for the tournament in October. (This picture is from winning my first debate tournament in the 7th grade. The start of an obsession.)
In October i staffed for the Forensics Public Forum event; an event I competed in throughout my high school career. I even got to judge a couple of rounds in the Round Robin Tournament. The weekend of Blue Key was the best weekend of my entire college career. It was such a great time meeting the high school competitors from all around Florida and make sure the tournament ran smoothly. For 3 days straight, I woke up at 6am and stayed working until 11pm but I could not have been happier doing so. Thus in the spring, I applied to be an Assistant Director of Public Forum because I really do love this event and wish to keep working in this tournament. A couple weeks later, I found out that I got the position. #woohoo
In the spring, the only thing everyone talks about is Dance Marathon. Being a member of Delta Gamma means that DM is in your blood. Every activity or event we put on is #FTK. This inspired me to want to be extremely involved in DM like all the girls in my chapter are and possibly be a dancer. I felt so passionate about DM that I always wore my black DM shirt every Wednesday to spread awareness and checked in for spirit points. (There are more check in pictures but these were the only ones that fit in the collage.)
A week before Dance Marathon, my chapter chose members to fulfill the dancers spots. Unfortunately I did not make the list. I raised over $700 dollars, however, I needed to raise at least $1,100 to dance for my chapter. Although I did not get to dance, I still went to DM the minute the floors opened for guests to the minute they closed. Since I couldn't be a dancer, I might as well pretend to be. Am I right? I brought food to my friends, gave tons of piggy back rides, and even went to DM jail and got bailed out. My favorite part about DM was the line dance and hitting the gong for raising over $100 during the DM.
My chapter as a total raised over $198,000. It is truly astonishing how a group of only 200 girls could come together for such an amazing cause. From listening to the family's miracle stories to winning the miracle cup made me realize how blessed I am to attend such amazing and benevolent university. I hope that next year I am able to raise over $1,000 so I can partake in one of the most largest and meaningful experiences of my life again but for 26.2 hours this time.
My sorority has helped me overcome one of my most difficult struggle of getting involved on campus. Because of Delta Gamma, I had and will continue to have the opportunity to be involved in one of my life long passions, debate. I would have never known about Blue Key if the tournament chair, who happened to be my sorority sister, never reached out to me. Being a member of DG let me be a part of a group that does so much for DM, thus inspiring me to do so as well. If I was not in this chapter, I do not think I would be this passionate about this event as I am now. My chapter has helped me find organizations that I happy to devote all my time to and continue to be part of for the next 3 years.

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