Have you ever found a puzzle in your grandparent’s house that you worked on for hours just to find the final piece is missing? I have. As a transfer student, I didn’t know if I would ever find a place at Western Illinois University that I fit, let alone finding the missing piece I was always searching for. I knew I had found my missing piece when I joined Western Illinois University’s Sigma Chapter of Sigma Alpha; a Women’s Professional Agricultural Sorority.
Before attending Western Illinois University (WIU), I never imagined myself participating in Greek life or being in a sorority. Growing up you see the media’s perception of what being in a sorority looks like. Parties, alcohol, hazing, paying for friends, and getting your Mrs. degree. I never thought that was a lifestyle I would enjoy. After transferring to Western and joining a few agriculture related clubs and organizations, I had the pleasure of being introduced to several new influential people. These people invited me to a Sigma Alpha interest meeting, but at the time I just laughed and brushed it off. After a semester of getting involved on campus, joining clubs like Collegiate FFA/Post-Secondary Agriculture Students/ Agricultural Education Club, I met a few members of Sigma Alpha that continued to entice me to further pursue member candidacy. After I had my first semester under my belt, I thought long and hard about the benefits that Sigma Alpha could bring to me and attended a rush event. After attending this event, I realized my perception of what a sorority is and does was completely wrong. The women that I met that night discussed how Sigma Alpha had influenced their life and for the first time I could picture myself in a sorority. Soon after, I was extended a bid and decided to accept. At that point, I began the membership candidate process. This is a six-week long process where I learned about our founders, our history, and our purposes. Throughout my membership candidate (MC) period, it was our goal to get to know every active member from their hometown to their favorite food. I did not realize it at the time, but I was beginning to make friendships that will last a lifetime. Getting to know the active members proved to me that we all had common interests. This reassured me that joining Sigma Alpha was right where I needed to be.
Sigma Alpha was the missing piece that I have been looking for. I am beyond happy that I went out on a whim and decided to finally attend a rush event. Finding a sisterhood with girls that have the same goals and interests as me has challenged me to live up to my full potential and not be afraid to put myself out there. It has helped me build confidence in my field and collaborate efficiently with others. Without that push, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sigma Alpha is a great networking opportunity and I would recommend any woman who is passionate about agriculture to join.
My name is Vanessa Scott and I am currently studying Agriculture Science with an emphasis in Agronomy and a minor in Plant Breeding. I am involved in the Agronomy Club, Collegiate FFA/Post Secondary Agriculture Students/Agriculture Education Club and Sigma Alpha here at Western Illinois University. After graduation in May, I plan on furthering my future as an Agronomist. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!