Monday, April 24, 2017

What to Expect During Big/Little Week

Hello, beautiful! In case you missed it, I'm now an (initiated!) member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Two weeks ago was my sorority's big-little week, and I knew almost instantly I wanted to share my experience with you.

Whether you're already a new member who hasn't gotten her big yet or thinking of rushing next spring, big/little week is probably already on your mind. So many girls say that big/little week is the highlight of sorority life - and while I disagree that sororities have nothing more to offer, I can't lie: big/little week is pretty darn amazing!

This post will share what big/little week is like from the perspective of a little, and all the little things you might not know to expect. So many people think this week is all about presents, but it's so much more special and exciting than that! I hope I can do the best I can to

Big/little week is more than just presents!

In my sorority at least, big/little week was part of I-week, or the week leading up to initiation. Throughout the week, we had activities every day, like ice cream socials and crafting nights! At those events, we had a "box" that our big would fill with presents for us. So, every day we not only got to collect our gifts, but also got to spend time with our sisters crafting, eating and sneakily speculating about who our bigs might be :)

Your big will make you a Facebook page

Before big/little week even begins, your big will create a Facebook page with a silly name for you (mine was called "AllHail MyLittleHaley") so the two of you can communicate without revealing her identity. But beware! As much as your big loves you, she also loves stalking you on social media and digging up the world's most embarrassing photos of you for your Facebook page. So, consider yourself fairly warned!

You should clean your room first...

...because your big will be breaking in! While our new member director told us that not every family breaks into our rooms (technically they're not allowed to), I don't know a single girl who didn't get a roomful of presents - and that's in addition to the boxes of presents they're already giving you. You might not necessarily know when your big is coming, so I would strongly advise straightening up before big/little week even begins. Plus, your big decorates your door, so make sure you take down anything that might get in the way! (And warn your roommate ahead of time so she knows to leave the door unlocked, though your big might have already reached out to her.)

You won't need to buy food for a month

Maybe the best part of big/little week is that you're about to be SHOWERED with all your favorite snacks! Not only did my big bequeath me with Oreos, homemade Thin Mint brownies (yes, I know), Kit-Kats, Starbursts and Fruit Rollups, but she also had an entire pizza delivered to my room and enlisted a fellow Theta to bring me Starbucks in class. But trust me, while you might think you can eat that much food now, I promise you you can't. Sharing is caring when it comes to big/little week - I gave a bunch of my snacks away to Ryan and let my roommate know there was pizza in the fridge! 

You're about to be entrusted with the family heirloom

A lot of the shirts and things your big will give to you during big/little week are hand-me-downs, but that's not what I'm talking about: I'm talking about a special present that gets passed down from generation to generation of littles! In my family, it's a cute canvas that my ggbig made for my gbig. So, when you're given this gift, make sure you treat it like the special heirloom it is. Remember that it's a special privilege to be able to uphold your family and your sorority's traditions - and be sure to take good care of it for your future little ;)

Your big might lie to you

Prior to big/little week, I had no idea how much effort goes into keeping the bigs' identities a secret - which probably made me the perfect target for all of the misleading hints and clues they give you! While some of the clues they give you might be true (I even know one big who, honorably, never lied to her little), chances are your big will try to lead you down the wrong path. 

Not everyone loves their families

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not everyone has the same experience when it comes to my big/little week. One of my friends is a twin and feels totally left out and ignored by her big - but that doesn't mean she doesn't still love her little or have a great experience in Theta. At the end of the day, there's so many other girls in the chapter who will love you (and honorarily "adopt" you) if you don't love your fam. So while it sucks to not be happy with what you get in the end, I can assure you that you're not alone! Not everyone around you is as happy with their families as they seem.

It's not all about your big!

Before I joined a sorority, I thought big/little was just about the two of you. In actuality, when you get your big, you're joining an entire family! For example, I'm a part of the lion family, which not only includes my big, but also my gbig (grandbig), ggbig and even gggbig. Chances are, your family is much bigger (accidental pun) than you even realize. In fact, if members of your family are graduated, you might never even meet the whole of your extended fam! 

TBH, who it is doesn't really matter

Girls in your sorority, your new member director (or whatever your chapter calls it), etc. will tell you for weeks that your big might not be your first choice, or necessarily even someone you know. My big was my first choice, and I knew from the very beginning that she would probably be my big (a friend of ours called it during recruitment, even though we hadn't met yet) - but there were still moments that I was worried I might be disappointed by getting my second or third or even fourth choice. Probably the most important thing I wish someone had told me is that by the time you see her face during reveal, it won't matter anyways. Your big is someone who's there for you no matter what and there to be your friend, confidante and sister. So, if there's anything I could go back and tell myself before big/little week began, it's don't stress so much about her identity! You'll love her no matter what :)

Your big is like an older sister (and that's kind of a *big* deal!)

When you get your big, you're not just meeting the person who's basically been your personal Santa Claus all week - you're gaining a big sister and an entire family! To someone like me who's never had an older sister (in fact, I'm the older sister to a younger brother), that was the most meaningful and special part of getting my big. My big Riley is someone who guided me through my first weeks in Theta and who I've always felt comfortable going to for advice, so I knew from the very beginning she would be the big sister I've never had! (Cheesy, but true.)

What should every little know about Big/Little Week? LMK in the comments below or @haleymarieblog on social media!