Alpha Gams Abroad: Kathryn Harison

This past May I set out on an adventure that took me to the other side of the world. I was given the opportunity to study abroad in Australia and New Zealand. The month that I spent there was such an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it. Now that I have been back in the US for a few weeks, I am really starting to miss Australia and New Zealand. First and foremost, I miss the weather, which is something I never thought I would say. But being back in Augusta, GA with F weather and extreme humidity makes me miss wearing every layer I brought to New Zealand in attempt to stay warm.

kathryn3This trip was definitely full of adventures. From hiking in the rainforest, mountains, and the outback to horseback riding through the Lord of the Rings Battlefields on psychotic horses, (yes I did just say psychotic- and I’ve ridden horses my whole life) and even bungee jumping to fulfill our inner dare devil, this trip had it all.

kathryn5In New Zealand we experienced a world that is very intent on sustainability and maintaining the beautiful landscapes that they possess. We also learned that one of the major driving forces behind these practices is tourism. They want to show the world just how beautiful the natural earth is. It is difficult to come home and to see just how different the opinions on nature are between the societies.

kathryn4While in the Great Barrier Reef on Lady Elliott Island, I had the opportunity to go scuba diving. As you can probably imagine, I was super nervous. Especially when the “you can not dive if…” lecture happened. Well lucky for me, I fulfilled two of those bullet points during that talk. But hey, when am I ever going to get this chance to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef again? Probably never. So I kept my mouth shut and hoped nothing would go wrong. I am so glad I did because it was the most amazing experience. If you’ve ever wondered what its like to be a mermaid, this was that moment. It definitely surpassed my wildest dreams while I swam with giant sea turtles, rays, parrot fish, and yes, of course, Nemo and his whole gang.

kathryn2Before I left for the land down under, I was so nervous to travel to a foreign country knowing that I would only know two people when I got there. But what I didn’t realize is how close I would get to this incredible group as fast as we did. Through group projects and very strange room assignments, I got to know each and every person in my cohort. Some more so than others, but I quickly learned that we were all in the same situation. Thankfully there was an even mix of personalities so there was always someone there for every occasion or mood imaginable. I would not have traded a single person in my cohort because each one of them means the world to me. They are my family, much like my sorority sisters.kathryn1

I wouldn’t have been able to hike to the base of Mount Cook, do a polar plunge in water full of glaciers, survive a 10 hour overnight bus ride, swim with 200 wild dolphins, hold a koala, concur my fear of something going wrong while scuba diving or befriend some kangaroos without them. And I wouldn’t imagine it any other way.

Welcome to Alpha Gam!

Whoever said you can’t choose your family never went Greek… and they especially never joined Alpha Gam.

When I walked through the doors of 530 South Milledge for the first time, I knew this place was special. Not because of the Tiffany glass doors or the beautiful stair case, but because of the women who filled the house with warmth, laughter, and love. I was immediately drawn to this group of women, and going Alpha Gam is the best decision I have ever made. To me, Alpha Gam is finding your soul-mate, your ride-or-die, and your bridesmaids. It’s making late night runs to Cookout more than you’re proud of. It’s always having someone to study with or join a club with. It’s having a support system when you need it most. It’s somewhere that anywhere can find their place in.

The many differences that could separate us, if we were together under different circumstances, are what bind us together. We have writers, photographers, shopaholics, brilliant students, athletes, and musicians – girls from all over the map and from all different walks of life. This blog is our memories, our laughter, our pictures, our stories, and our hearts. We are so excited to share a part of us with you! We hope you’ll take a look around and get to know us!