My time at Wake Forest was transformational.
In four short years, I learned how to balance a checkbook, footnote a term paper and get out of bed for a 10:00 A.M. class. My friends taught me how to dance to beach music, tap a keg and execute a dorm prank without detection. I figured out how to live on a budget and stretch my meal plan to cover one more bowl of mushy lima beans every month.
I would trade all those memories of Wake Forest for the friendships I fostered there. A small handful of women–scared, awkward, bold and brassy all at once—stumbled across each other early on. Finding mutual humor and connection, we clung to one another for four years and beyond.While these skills have served me well, the real meat was in the seemingly mundane. The giant blooms of the Magnolia tree, the anticipation of a professor’s first lecture, the refrains of the school song whose words we could never remember, other than “mother so dear,” which we belted out with abandon at every home game.
Back when we were at Wake Forest, there weren’t sororities, just local societies that some clever women created a few generations before. We were SOPH’s. Our colors were light blue and white and our theme song was “White Rose Love.” These were symbols that our founders made up, probably in some giggled-induced late-night ritual, which later took on real meaning for us.
So, even when thirty-plus years separate us, if someone’s in trouble, we all get together and send a big old bunch of white roses.
Because we know how transformational that can be.