Finding the Perfect Big (and Other Big Expectations)

Finding the Perfect Big (and Other Big Expectations)

It’s Sister’s Week in my sorority, and I figured: who better to spew endless love other than my favorite person: my Big.

So how do I begin to explain my Big?

I’m pretty sure she’s just about the best Big anyone could ever have. And yes, I know that everyone says that about their Big. But I mean it. Really. Nothing makes me happier than thinking about reveal day, when I saw her come out of that hot pink box. (Mean Girls themed, because my Big is totally fetch.) That day is up there on my list of most important days I’ve experienced.

I came to this sorority to find friends. I knew I’d get a Big and hoped I’d get someone decent and that I would get along with. I didn’t think I’d luck out and get someone as great as her.

When it came to ranking the sisters for Big/Little, I came across articles on things you should consider when choosing your Big. Blog after blog after blog listed the same kinds of questions:

  • Do you see your Big as a mentor?
  • Can she be trusted? Can you really rely on her to be there for you?
  • Would you go to her first when you’re in a crisis?

The lists would go on and on, filled with questions I just didn’t know how to answer. I met with these girls for about an hour—maybe two, if I’m lucky. I don’t know any of these things yet. I just barely began thinking these things about my friends I’ve known for years.

I was extremely lucky and got a Big that I absolutely adore. Here's how to make that decision for yourself when rush comes! // #sorority #sororitybig

The whole process seemed really romanticized; it seemed like I was trying to find a significant other all over again.

When people would talk about their Big, it seemed like a love at first sight type of situation. They just knew. But as much as I love Jen now, I didn’t know. I just thought she was cool. It felt like there was a lot of pressure to find your soulmate;  someone you automatically clicked with and will be with you until she graduates and you’ll be best friends forever.

I’m fortunate to have clicked with Jen the first time we talked. But at that moment, I didn’t know she was going to be the one. I didn’t expect her to be the one I told all my secrets to. I just thought Jen was really cool and would make a great friend.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMcHCYvgqk9/?taken-by=joannemmae

While it’s absolutely lovely that some people knew right off the bat who they wanted as their Big, I think it was extremely helpful that I didn’t go through the process with any expectations. I just wanted to end up with a Big that I could be great friends with, and I lucked out and got all that and more.

Not everyone will get that fairy tale story that they’ll tell all their friends about. It wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. And it’s not necessarily a lot of other things.

But it is a lot of fun. And a lot of getting to know and love a new person. And isn’t that the whole purpose of joining a sorority anyway?

I guess you could say the excitement was mutual.

So how can you choose the best Big?

It’s hard. Some people make the wrong choice and it’s okay. Your Big doesn’t have to be a fairy tale. She isn’t going to instantly be your best friend and be with you 24/7. Your Big is going to be a real person with obligations that sometimes don’t include you. She might be all these things, but there’s also a chance that she might not.

But when you’re together, it’s absolutely awesome and that’s when you know you made the right choice.

Everything worked out with me because I knew what kind of relationship I wanted with my Big. I didn’t need a mom; I just wanted a friend to go on food runs and study at the library with. Meet potential Bigs with what you want in mind. Some people really want that super involved relationship, but not every sister can provide that for you. Look for someone who’s exactly the person you’re expecting to avoid getting disappointed.

The thing with big expectations is that they can let you down if you’re not careful.

Your Big probably won’t be your soulmate.

And, if she is, you probably won’t know it immediately.

Instead, your Big is going to be your friend. If you’re lucky, she’s going to be your best friend. But sometimes, relationships like that take a while to form.

She’s going to be there for food outings and will definitely not judge you if you eat a whole pizza and then get dessert at Starbucks later. She’s going to be there for library study dates, and it’ll be okay to cry about whatever hard class you’re taking because she totally understands. Your Big will be the person you can rant to about hard professors and that one girl that just rubs you the wrong way.

She might not be your soulmate for life, but she’ll be pretty damn close.

pre-paddle reveal with my twin

Your Big will be there through a lot of firsts in your college life.

If you’re a shut in like me, she was there with you when you attended your first college party. She made sure you didn’t go out looking like a dweeb, because that’s all you know how to dress like. And, most importantly, she calmed your fear of small spaces and Big crowds and made you feel okay.

She’ll probably there through all your school anxieties. When you felt like the sorority was too much for you to handle, she was one of the reasons you stayed in. Because you’re already in love with her, why would you want to lose her?

She ate cookies with you on the floor at midnight when all your other friends were studying or partying because cookies are good for the soul and she understands.

You went to sorority and school functions with her. School parades and socials with frat parties– she was there. Sure, you have other friends to go with you and, honestly, you’re probably not going to be stuck at your Big’s side 24/7, but having her there was really cool and made the experience awesome.

(And, of course, she was always there for when you wanted to leave all the socialization for food. Because she gets you and she gets hangry too.)

Your Big will help you bridge the gap between school and your newfound obligations.

Because even though you love your sorority, sometimes it can’t be your first priority. When you’re busy learning exam material, you just don’t have the mental capacity to also take on the complete history of your sorority. You have to, of course, because it’s an obligation you chose to make. But that doesn’t make it any less hard.

Your friends can’t help you. Chances are, they don’t understand why you chose to join the sorority in the first place. And even though they mean well, they might never get it.

Your Big knows. She’s done it before. And she will help you with all your stressed out cramming sessions. She may not have her life 100% together, but she’ll do the best she can for you.

You will have tough times. Your Big will try to be there for most of them.

Your Big will text you random memes because she saw them and thought of you. Your Big spent hours crafting for you, so she knows your weird obsession over Star Trek and even though she’s never seen it, she’ll buy you Star Trek socks anyway.

She’ll read your little blog that not even your mom reads and randomly text you here and there that you’re doing a good job. That text will come out of nowhere and you will wonder if she has super powers and just knows when you’re feeling down. She never fails to make you smile when you’re upset and, even though you may not have that fairy tale dream story that floats around the internet and inspires future sorority girls everywhere, she makes you really happy.

She will send you links to articles when your anxiety is on full swing so you could breathe easier.

She will happen to ask to go out for pizza at the exact time you need someone around.

She’s a busy girl too, but she’ll try her hardest to make time for you. And even when she doesn’t have the time, she’s still there for you.

Kind of embarrassing story: I shrieked as soon as she came out.

(Now that I’ve said the word “Big” enough times that it doesn’t even sound like a real word, I should probably go and actually text mine back.)

Published by Joanne
I'm Joanne, an eighteen year old college student living in rainy, rainy Florida. On this blog, you can find a collection of all my random thoughts and maybe some actually helpful college advice here and there.

2 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect Big (and Other Big Expectations)

  1. This is precious! I’m a founding member of the {only} sorority at my school so we obviously didn’t get Bigs, just Star Sisters! (Twins.) But I can’t wait to have my very own Little!

    • Thank you for stopping by! And that just absolutely warmed my hear to hear. I’ve always wondered how it worked with founding members, and I guess now I know haha!

      When are you getting your own Little? I’ve decided to hold off until Fall next year because my life just didn’t have room for a Little yet haha. I bet you’re going to make an amazing Big!

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