Beyond Labels: How Ashlyn Found Her True Self
I have always considered myself a service-oriented person, but I have never felt passionate about helping others until I joined Kappa Delta. My interest in empowering women and children began when I was 17 years old. I came out of an abusive relationship feeling alone, confused and unsure of who I was. I used a man to define my worth, and after years of constant control, I felt like a shell of a person. I questioned why abuse exists and considered how I could prevent others from experiencing the same fate. These questions followed me for years, along with the battle of finding my true self.
When the relationship ended, I began to invest in new friendships but had trouble attaining the validation I longed for. I tried to fit in with a group of people who didn’t care about me. I found myself pretending to be someone else, putting on an act and changing who I was based on what others wanted. I dropped weight, bought “cool” clothes regardless of if I liked them and adapted my personality to appear a certain way. I did all of this just to fit into a group that never liked me anyway. When I compare the way my Kappa Delta sisters treat me now to how these “friends” treated me in high school, it’s like night and day.
I entered college as an athlete, defining myself as a soccer player and nothing else. After several sleepless nights spent questioning my life choices, I ended up leaving the team. Yet again, I found myself at a crossroads, questioning where to go from there. I had no idea who I was.
At that point during college I began my journey to discover my self-worth. I wanted to find love for myself, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get there. I went so far as to get a tattoo to remind myself to be confident. Still, I had yet to find a group of confident women to surround myself with. Something inside of me must have known that finding my people would come next.
When I entered Kappa Delta’s philanthropy round during recruitment, I finally found the answers to my questions. A member who would later become my grand-big stood on stage and told us about her journey with confidence, and I listened in awe. An organization that helped combat abuse through Prevent Child Abuse America, promoted confidence through the Confidence Coalition and empowered girls through Girl Scouts was an organization where I knew I belonged.
Had it not been for Kappa Delta, I may still be looking for validation in my relationships or sports. Instead, I am able to serve others in a way that inspires my passions every day, while constantly being reminded of my worth. Now, I hope my story helps other women learn how to discover their confidence.
Discover more about the Kappa Delta experience here.