The Chi Omega Spirit - Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Success

The Chi Omega Spirit - Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Success

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The Chi Omega Spirit - Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Success


For as long as I can remember I have set high goals for myself regarding my future, my friendships, and my education. Entering college with these standards I knew that I wouldn’t settle for less than my best, and I would strive to amaze myself at my success. One thing I never fit into my planned path of achievement was any type of struggle, or obstacle that could alter the way I have thought for so long. The first month of college I fell upon an obstacle I never could have imagined. I suffered a knee injury and missed continuous classes following the accident as well as surgery that was necessary to my recovery. These things tested my strength as a person, but also as a student. It made everything a little more complicated, even the little things like getting out of bed in the morning. I pushed myself to see the end of the tunnel I felt seemed impossible to crawl out of. Many things helped me along the way, and just as I hadn’t imagined my accident, I couldn’t have imagined the support I found everywhere around me. I know that I can overcome obstacles in the future now because of my determination for success and the use of helpful resources all around me.

Adjustment to college life seemed like it wasn’t going to be all that it was made out to be for someone like me. I am a planner, and an independent person who has never had a problem figuring things out on my own. Joining my sorority offered other things to adjust to than most college freshman understand. It meant the I was representing Chi Omega in everything I do and there are certain standards to live by than just my own. I knew that if I wanted to be initiated after winter break I had to make certain grades, have the study hours, and the initiative to be at mandatory events and meetings when I was supposed to be.

It was a perfect October day in Flagstaff for our first intramural flag football game. This was the first time I was representing Chi Omega, and the proud feeling I had of wearing our letters and being a part of the team I will never forget. I went in about half way through the first half of the game.

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The whistle blew and I ran out long for a pass that I could possibly run in for a touch down. A few seconds after running out for the play, the whistle blew again signaling a flag on the play. I looked behind me to the left and pivoted my feet to run back to the line up. As my feet moved, I looked down at the field because one of my feet seemed to be dragging because of the uneven ground. I no sooner looked down, and my left leg from the knee up moved faster than the lower half of my leg causing my knee to pop out and then back in. In shock and a tremendous amount of pain, I collapsed to the ground and began to let out a series of screams that could almost not be recognized as human noise. My sisters ran from all directions at me to offer comfort to my pain and frightened thoughts. Erin was holding my head off the ground while Natalie let me squeeze her hand to let out some pain elsewhere. Ashlee immediately appeared above me telling me to breathe through the pain, and helping me calm down. As they all breathed with me, someone called 911 and soon there were policeman, followed by fireman, and then paramedics. I remember my sisters reminding me how good-looking the fireman coming to take care of me were as if it would make me feel better. I guess any sort of eye candy at that time made things more interesting, but no pain was lifted. I wanted to know that I was going to be okay.

Later that evening, after the ambulance ride, morphine shots, emergency room procedures, and doctor evaluations I was still left without an answer of exactly what was wrong with me. Ten days later I went for my follow up at an orthopedic doctors office. I saw the doctor who had the most history with knee injuries, Dr. Cashmore. He informed my parents and I that I would need to have surgery in the next couple of days to make repairs and to remove bone fragments that were submerged under my knee cap. The same tears that filled my eyes the day I was injured immediately reappeared in my eyes that day in the doctor’s office.

After my surgery I spent a week at home with no motivation to get anything done as I was in constant pain medication and feeling as though my first semester was a complete bust.

As I felt better, I made it to more classes, but still remained far behind everyone else in all my classes. I missed a few sorority chapter meetings and knew that my grades were no where near where I would need to be at the end of the semester if I wanted to be initiated. Daily thoughts passed through my head of the possibility of going home and starting my first college semester in the Spring seeing as that it was working out to be nothing like I had expected. All the energy I had used to get to class so that I wouldn’t fall any further behind in my classes.

One night, one of my sisters came in my room and gave me a copy of the Chi Omega symphony. It is a piece of writing written by a sister in 1909 and tells what Chi Omega does for each of its women, and gives standards for us to live by and strive for in our every day lives. I read it and one phrase stuck in my head and helped me come to a conclusion about how I was going to successfully finish the fall semester. It says, “to be discouraged never.” Everything I had been feeling up until this point finally began to disappear as I felt the encouragement from my sorority as a whole in those simple words. I knew that no matter what I would have all of my sisters and that they would be behind me, pushing me to make it through my tough times.

My frame of mind soon changed and I could see the end of the tunnel so much clearer. I spent night after night at my interior design studio working diligently to finish the projects I had missed. I went home for a weekend to be able to focus only on my art projects that take anywhere from 10-20 hours each to complete. It was hard to miss out on social things that had always meant so much to me. I knew that I had grades to make in order to complete the semester with the grades for initiation, complete credit hours, and most importantly the feeling that I had accomplished what I had set out to do.

Without having understanding professors, my family’s support, and the encouragement every morning, noon, and night from my sisters I don’t know where I would be today. I could have been restarting my first semester at NAU, so far behind where I am. I could be starting another semester as pledge in my sorority, and feeling that I had given up on myself. Instead, I know that even an obstacle like that can’t keep me from what I want or need to do.

I can thank my sisters, my family, but most importantly myself for setting my own goals and adjusting them when I had to in order to accomplish what seemed unimaginable. What I have learned through this experience has taught me so much for my future. I know that I am a stronger person now. I am an individual who can now take what I have learned and use it forever as I push along to my future. I know that any obstacle no matter how big or small it might be can’t come between me and my goals in life.
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