April 10, 2020
I’m feeling sad and disappointed. This is not how I expected to spend the spring semester of my Junior year in college. I know I should be thankful to be healthy and safe at home, but I miss my KD sisters. I had to cancel my spring break plans, we couldn’t have our Shamrock Event and there will be no spring formal. And transitioning to virtual classes has been challenging. Plus, I’m feeling fear and anxiety about the coronavirus and all the news I’m hearing.
This pandemic has turned my world upside down, and I’m missing out on everything college is supposed to be! Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
Dear Socially Distanced,
Oh, my! It is understandable that you are feeling so many emotions during such a challenging time. Fear, anxiety, disappointment and sadness are natural responses to this crisis. Know that you are not alone in feeling this way. Your KD sisters are likely feeling some of those same emotions. Be kind to yourself and lean on each other for support. The strength of our sisterhood is so valuable in times like these.
I’m reminded of other tough times Kappa Deltas have experienced throughout history. There was the Spanish flu, the Great Depression, World Wars and 9/11 among other challenges. There are some things you and they are fortunate to have in common: the support of KD sisters, our values that provide a firm foundation, and resilience. We’ve weathered many storms together, and we will weather this one.
I’d like to share a story that may give you some hope. In the late 1930s, just as Kappa Delta was moving beyond the ramifications of the Great Depression, we were faced with another hurdle: the second World War. Can you imagine the state of our country, confronting one crisis after the next? Imagine the anxiety our sisters of that time must have felt. At the 26th National Panhellenic Congress in 1939, Chairman Violet Young Gentry referred to it as “the darkest hour of a gifted age.” However, that dark hour didn’t stop Kappa Deltas from exhibiting their strength.
Collegiate and alumnae chapters organized to support members, their families and the country by rolling bandages for the Red Cross, cutting costs to make donations to relief efforts, selling war bonds and even growing vegetables in victory gardens. Their service continued through the war, and Kappa Deltas across the country pitched in to serve in any way they could.
In 1939, Kappa Delta’s Betty Gilbert wrote the following message in the Angelos: “Twenty-two years ago, as Editor during the World War I, I wrote an editorial on the theme, ‘Let us face the world with brave hearts.’ And now within so short a time, the world is once again in chaos, and it becomes necessary to stress that thought again. Turning to my Angelos files, I find there exactly what I would say to you today…In so insecure a world, you can build your own security only on an inner sense of serenity and peace. This takes courage. Courage to face issues boldly but calmly. Courage to find happiness in the little intimate things of life. Courage to have faith.”
Have courage, dear one. This, too, will end. I hope that you will be back on campus with your KD sisters soon, having fun and making memories. In the meantime, acknowledge your fear, anxiety and disappointment. Your feelings are real!
I encourage you to find comfort in these difficult times by being intentional about connecting with your sisters. Take advantage of the technology you have today to offer each other support and encouragement. During this time of social distancing, you can still remain connected. Remember that no matter what, Kappa Delta is with you as we weather this storm.