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"Why ADPi" #2 by Olivia Van Nuys - Alpha Class 2018

"My name is Olivia Van Nuys of the Eta Pi chapter, and this is my Why ADPi. My Why ADPi is something I hold very close to my heart, and here is why.

The transition from high school to college was a little different for me. May 2nd of my senior year, just as I was preparing for graduation and figuring

out plans for prom, I was in an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. I fractured my temporal skull and bruised the majority of my frontal lobe. I spent the whole month of May on the couch sleeping, recovery, meeting with my speech pathologist, trying to regain my short term memory, and finding the strength to keep pushing along. I was able to go to prom, and run my graduation ceremony a month and a half later, and really have a great but cautious summer, but the recovery for me wasn’t quite over.

I thought I was ready for college, I honestly just wanted to be a normal teenager again and not a flawed, broken, recovering graduate. I was excited and nervous just like any rising college freshman, but I wasn’t prepared for what was to come in the way I thought I was.

When my parents moved me in to school, I experienced my first of many anxiety attacks. Was it college? Was it my brain? Is it normal to feel this? Yes, for some - college is scary and a new phase of life that many become anxious about, but with only 4 months into my at least 6 month recovery, I was introduced to anxiety and depression in a different light than most know. I was starting to doubt my confidence and who I was as a person because I was blaming everything on my brain. The frontal lobe is in charge of your decision making, rational, and defines what makes you you - and that’s what became blurred for me as a recovering freshman. I wanted to be anywhere but Tech, I wasn’t getting good grades anymore - I was lost.

I always wanted to try recruitment, but with the small rooms filled with a ton of loud, confident girls playing the same game I would be, I was nervous it would overwhelm me. Well, it did, but the process was almost revolutionary for me because it forced me to show off the confidence I knew was there, but had been suppressing since arriving to school in the fall. My sister, Katie, joined the Eta Pi chapter the year before me, so every time I got to visit the ADPi house during recruitment, I not only felt a warmth and happiness that was no where else, but I was comforted knowing my sister found her home there too.

Alpha Delta Pi is different. I never once felt like I needed to change myself, change what happened in my past, or change what I wanted for my future. The sisters of Alpha Delta Pi welcome you and all of your imperfections in a way that brought me so much hope it is almost indescribable. I finally felt like I was valued and expected for me, accident and all, and that is why I chose this sisterhood. When I was able to open up to my soon to be sister during sisterhood and preference round, a weight was lifted off my shoulder because I could be raw and not judged - that was a game changer. Running home to find my sister at the end of the tunnel was a feeling like no other, and in that moment I knew my college experience would change for the absolute best, and it really did. This chapter was the first stepping stone to regaining my confidence as a person - I have now held two positions (Director of Philanthropy and Vice President of Event Management) and even joined my favorite a cappella group!  Thank you ADPi for blessing me with sisters who even if they don’t understand exactly what you may go through, they are there to support you, cry with you, laugh with you, and love you through it all. We live for each other and it is as simple as that."

  • Olivia Van Nuys- Alpha Class 2018

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