Studying in Spain
April 29, 2018
By Erin Newkirk
Deciding to leave Manhattan for an entire semester of my already limited time at K-State was such a hard decision for me to make, but I knew if I wanted to achieve my goal of one day becoming fluent in Spanish, I had to challenge myself. So I picked a city where people not only don't speak English but they don't even always speak Spanish.
I live in northern Spain in the Basque Country in a city on the coast called San Sebastián, only about 15 miles from the French border. Living in the Basque country is incredible because I not only get to experience the Spanish lifestyle and culture, but also the Basque, which is a language and culture I was completely unaware of before arriving here. It's really interesting because Basque is one of the oldest languages known to man and is also completely unrelated to any other language on earth, which makes it pretty difficult to try to learn.
Throughout my time here I've been taking a series of intensive language learning courses with some fun cultural classes thrown in there as well such as a Basque cooking course. Here I've learned to cook with squid and how to make the most delicious Basque desserts I've ever had. Additionally, I only have classes Monday through Thursday, giving me plenty of time to travel, which I've definitely taken advantage of! So far, I've been to Morocco, France, the Netherlands and all over Spain, including Barcelona, Hondarribia, Altzo and the Canary Islands, where I got a wicked sunburn that I'm still recovering from.
However, I try to spend as much time as possible in San Sebastián to learn about the culture and the people that surround me. That being said, the majority of my free time is spent wandering around the beach and going to cafés for my daily café con leche, or, on Thursdays, everyone in my program meets up for pintxo pote, a weekly event in which pintxos, or Basque tapas, are served for only two euros. Afterwards, we all go to a local salsa bar, and even though I am by far the worst, it´s always fun to try!
San Sebastián has quickly become my second home, and I know it´ll be just as hard to leave this city as it was to leave Kansas. Although, I can´t wait to be back with my sisters in Manhattan for my senior year!
Celebrating 125 Years of Alpha Xi Delta!
April 17, 2018
By Emma Pettay
Today we’re celebrating Alpha Xi Delta’s 125th anniversary! Not only are we recognizing Alpha Xi Delta’s founding on April 17, 1893 but we’re also taking the time to remember all of the friendships and memories that have been made within our sisterhood before us.
We celebrated Founders’ Day this past weekend at the Alumni Center on K-State’s campus. We started the day with a delicious brunch during which I had the opportunity to speak with some of the alumnae and hear about their favorite memories from their time living in our chapter house. One alumna, Carol Miller, shared that an event she remembers vividly is when her chapter performed the musical Camelot for an event. She said she will always remember the camaraderie she experienced when living in the house and the fun activities the women would do together.
I also spoke with Melissa Howard, our current sister Lauren’s mom, and asked her for some advice she would give to girls currently in the chapter. She said, “I know it sounds cliché, but my advice would be to take risks and step out of your comfort zone to really meet all your new sisters. Also, get involved with the chapter by finding jobs to do in the house and new ways to connect with others.”
We also took the time to award some of our current members who have exemplified the values of Alpha Xi Delta over the past year: Outstanding freshman: Lexi Hoskinson ; Outstanding sophomore: Caroline McFeeters ; Outstanding juniors: Nicole Sanchez and Abby Cater ; Outstanding senior: Megan Kohman ; Outstanding courage: Jillian Blackhall ; Outstanding graciousness: Hannah Porteous ; Outstanding peace: Izzy Stieg
After awards, Ellie Heit, our Fraternity Heritage chair, took us back in time and into the lives of our 10 founders. We reflected on their past lives and heard about each of their personal accomplishments and roles in founding Alpha Xi Delta.
We also welcomed three of our sisters into the Order of the Rose, honoring their 50 years of membership. It was such a special moment for those women and a sweet reminder to us that our sisterhood truly does last a lifetime.
Following brunch, alumnae were invited back to the chapter house for refreshments and house tours. I volunteered to give house tours, and it was neat to hear the alumnae comparing how the house looked in their day versus now. Some of the formatting has stayed the same throughout the years, but they all loved the new colors, furniture and decorations in the rooms.
When touring the formal room, one of the alumna shared with me that she had actually gotten married in that room right in front of the fireplace. It was so amazing to hear stories like that from alumnae and hear how much of an impact being members of Alpha Xi has had on them. I loved seeing the woman get to reconnect with each other and share stories about their friends after looking through their composite pictures.
Founders’ Day was such a special event, and I’m looking forward to the alumnae who are able to come back next year to reflect on their chapter’s accomplishments and share their stories and advice! To see more photos from the event, click on the Photo Albums tab!
Studying Abroad in Prague
April 12, 2018
By Lauren Mansfield
Traveling has always been my most loved passion. When I was younger, my parents said that I had been blessed with the "travel bug.” Choosing to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic has been nothing short of a dream. People from all around the world come to study here, making it quite easy to meet someone from a new country every day.
The Czech Republic is very central, so many countries can be accessed by a train or bus, while others are just a short plane ride away. It was when I returned back to Prague from my first weekend travels in Austria that I realized it felt like home and I had chosen the right place to live for a semester.
Although I knew beforehand that the other students on exchange would be here for similar reasons, I had no idea how much I would learn from them. Everyone is so curious about the world and people around them. The students that don't speak English as a first language always want to improve and ask for help. Everyone is eager to acquire friendships and discover each other.
One of my most treasured memories so far was during the first week of class when one of my lectures only lasted 30 minutes rather than four hours. No one knew what to do after, so some students asked the class to get coffee together. We all went to the building's cafe and talked until we had our next class. It's simple acts that create lasting friendships.
For myself, I've learned what I truly enjoy. I used to be a big planner and liked knowing what I was going to do each day. Now however, I've learned that my favorite weekends and memories are those that started with no plan - where you can wander all day and see as much as time allows, with no destination in mind. Of course it’s important to make sure to see a few of the main sights, but stumbling upon them on foot after hours of walking is always more fun than bouncing from place to place.
I have a little over a month until I return home. I'm thrilled to see more of the world in this time, but I know it will be great to be back with my friends, family and AXiD sisters :)
Studying in Spain
April 9, 2018
By Katie Stinson
Sometime last spring I decided I wanted to study abroad, and ever since then, this has been the most challenging yet rewarding journey of my life.
Leaving K-State and all of my friends and family for a whole semester seemed almost impossible. I remember thinking to myself on the plane from Paris to Spain, ‘What have I done? Four whole months??’ Then, as I sat on a bench with all of my luggage in València, my home for the next few months, waiting for my apartment to open, I really had no idea what I was doing. If only I could have seen into the future and known then how much this decision has helped me learn and grow.
I have made the most amazing memories with new friendships that will surely last longer than our time abroad. I have a new appreciation for other cultures and also for where I come from. I meet new people with different stories and backgrounds every day. I get to travel to places I’ve never been before and learn new languages. EVERYTHING is different here, but, in a way, that makes me appreciate it even more.
I also love the classes I am taking here. I’m enrolled in two business classes and 11 credit hours of Spanish. Although, my two favorite classes are cooking and sailing the Mediterranean Sea. I have learned how to prepare typical dishes they have in Spain, and I actually get to sail.
I now have just four weeks left until I return back home, and while I’m extremely excited to see my friends and family after four months, I can’t help but also feel kind of sad as I leave the other people and places that have captured pieces of my heart along this wonderful adventure.
April 5, 2018
By Melanie Wertzberger and Tarynn Stueder
This spring break we embarked on a mission to help Haiti, but first we should introduce ourselves. I’m Melanie, a junior in Alpha Xi Delta, and I am writing with my best friend, travel buddy and sorority sister, Tarynn.
Many of our sisters made some great memories soaking up the sun on the beach this spring break, but our story is a little different. Tarynn and I traveled with a group of 16 other students to Haiti with a group called FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). While in Haiti we stayed with a group of Catholic Missionaries who operate a compound year-round serving the poor, sick and abandoned.
We spent most of our time serving in an orphanage for very ill and disabled children. Many of the children were malnourished in their early years to the extent that their body and brain did not continue to grow correctly. Others had severe cases of cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. We would lift the kids out of their cribs and take them to be bathed, feed them, clothe them and take them for walks.
It was incredible to give each of these orphans our attention and affection because it seemed like no matter how poor these children were, what their life lacked more than anything was love. To be able to give genuine love and care to these children was the greatest opportunity I have ever accepted. I saw a light and purity within these individuals that I had never experienced before in my life.
We also spent time serving in the nursing home on the Missionary site. The residents in this facility owned nothing but a bed and maybe two shirts. They lit up with joy when we would sing to them or apply lotion to their hands and feet. We were given the opportunity to serve the poorest of the poor, and it redefined true joy and the value of one dollar to us for the rest of our lives.
Tarynn: During our short, one-week trip to Haiti we created relationships I would have never imaged to flourish so quickly and deeply. The missionaries and residents’ hospitality was so generous. Even though they did not have much to give, they gave all that they had to offer. Their act of selflessness toward strangers was breathtaking.
One of my favorite characteristics about the people of Haiti was that there is no such thing as a stranger in their culture. All community members would come up to our group offering a simple hug, handshake or smile with sometimes no words exchanged at all due to the language barrier. Children out of nowhere wanted to play with us, learn from us, teach us their ways, love us and be loved by us.
This mission trip to Haiti was truly a life changing experience and holds a special place in my heart. I would not have wanted to take the leap of faith going into the unknown with no one other than Mel! By far one of my greatest takeaways from joining Alpha Xi Delta has been my friendship with Melanie. I don’t know what I would do without her!
Sister of the Week
April 3, 2018
Congratulations to Taylor, our sister of the week! As our Finance and Operations Vice President, we are so thankful for everything she does for our chapter. A lot of her work is behind the scenes, but it doesn't go unnoticed!
Sister of the Week
March 13, 2018
Congratulations to Hannah, our sister of the week! We are extremely thankful for her hard work to help put Mom's Day together, and she is always filled with positivity and laughter that brightens our days!
March 8, 2018
By Marli Swart
Last weekend we invited all of our moms to come to Manhattan for a day full of festivities and beautiful weather. My mom, who was also an Alpha Xi at Kansas State, came for Mom’s Day, and we were so excited to spend the day together!
The day started off with a brunch buffet at the house full of many tasty options including biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, pancakes and more. We also hosted a Kendra Scott pop-up shop where mothers and daughters could buy earrings, bracelets or necklaces, while also contributing to our philanthropy Autism Speaks!
“It was great to see what an amazing chapter you have become a part of,” freshman Cosmina Backs’ mom said. “Alpha Xi Delta was very well put together and had such genuine girls. Spending the day with you and eating the brunch put together by your house was one of my favorite parts.”
After brunch everyone dispersed to go shopping, attend the K-State basketball game or paint canvases with their moms at the K-State Student Union. We were provided canvases with an outline of the state of Kansas and a Powercat drawn on them, and everyone could paint the canvas however they wanted. My mom and I love crafting together, so we enjoyed this very much, along with getting to know and chat with other Alpha Xi’s moms!
The night ended with an auction at the Alumni Center. Several moms donated creative and fun baskets, and the most valuable ones were auctioned off during the live auction. The gentlemen that came in to auction off the baskets were so fun as well. Everyone enjoyed watching people have bidding wars against each other. My mom and I ended up winning a total of three baskets at the auction (yay)!
This photo is of me and my mom, Karen, with her old Alpha Xi roommate, Stacia Kolbeck, and her daughter, Abbey. Abbey and I plan on being roommates next year in the house just like our moms. My first Mom’s Day at Alpha Xi was so much fun, and I can’t wait for next year!
Sister of the Week
March 6, 2018
Congratulations to Laura, our sister of the week! No one likes frozen windshield wipers, and her actions do not go unnoticed. Needless to say we are thankful for considerate sisters like her!
A Day in Alpha Xi Delta
March 1, 2018
By Nicole Sanchez
Living in a sorority house is an opportunity you only get while in college, unless you become a house mom, but that’s another story! I never thought I would spend my college years living with 70 other women, but that’s how the majority of my time here at Kansas State has been! So, let me tell you all about what a day at Alpha Xi Delta is like:
8:00 a.m. I have one roommate, Madison Rockers (aka MadRock), and I look forward to seeing her in the morning for a quick five minutes before class. I always get breakfast with coffee and read in my room to start the day. Then I walk to class, normally with another sister, or if it’s my lucky day someone will offer me a ride to class. (Thank you xistas!!)
11:00 a.m. My favorite time of the day is coming home during lunch because everyone is around, and I get to talk with people about how life is going. I then like to spend time in our formal room with my friends and study or just hang out. The formal room has basically become my friends and I’s second room. Our house mom, Mom Jean, once told us to move into the formal room haha! We’re still debating it!
5:30 p.m. Sooo my favorite times of the day seem to revolve around eating…but who doesn’t love a good grub! Dinner is another opportunity for me to get to talk to sisters I didn’t see earlier. I always love getting to catch up with my friends, and most of the time Mom Jean eats with us so we get to hear about her day too. It’s really nice to have such an involved house mom! Doing life with so many people is one of the best parts about living in a sorority in my opinion.
10:00 p.m. Even though days can be long and tiresome I always seem to get reenergized at night and end up talking with friends or going on a late night food run (McDonald’s is my third home). Sometimes we even stay up later to work on homework together (killing two bids with one stone #productive!!!) At the end of the night I love going to bed knowing I get to wake up in the same comfy home and do another day in the Xi Mansion!
Living in Alpha Xi Delta is more than just a place to stay, it has become a personal home to me and so many other women. My mom moved to Florida, and I felt like I didn’t have a real home anymore. But Alpha Xi has become that place for me. I love living with such a diverse group of women where we can all offers our strengths to become one unit. It’s a place of encouragement, loyalty, laughter and friendships.
I have loved living in the house the past two years, and I cannot wait to live in as a senior and see all the new memories I make! It’s always new experience living with different people. I also always feel comfortable talking to whomever I pass by or sit by during meals, and it has given me the opportunity to get to know a lot of my sisters beyond surface level.
February 22, 2018
By Maddie Wilkus
Siblings Day at Alpha Xi Delta was so enjoyable this past weekend. My sister Caroline attended; she had been looking forward to coming since I joined Alpha Xi Delta last August. She is a senior in high school, and this event got her really excited about coming to K-State next fall!
The day began at 9:30 a.m. with brunch at the house. As all the Alpha Xi Deltas and their siblings showed up, it was awesome to see everyone’s smiling faces and how happy they all were to be there. Brunch at the house consisted of a breakfast bar including waffles, pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit and more.
After brunch, everyone gave house tours to their siblings.
“I love the colors and design inside your house,” my sister Caroline said to me as I gave her a house tour. “It makes Alpha Xi Delta feel so much like home.”
I think our house is so historic and beautiful, and it’s one of the many reasons Alpha Xi Delta is so special me.
Around 11:30 a.m. everyone started leaving for the K-State basketball game. Taking my sister to the basketball game was so much fun because it was her first college basketball experience ever. A lot of the Alpha Xi’s and their siblings sat by each other, and we even got on the Jumbotron! Although, the best part was that the Wildcats won against the Iowa Cyclones!
Makayla Wells, freshman Lexi Hoskinson’s sister, said, “Wildcat basketball is so fun. I am so happy all of us could spend some time together!” after the basketball game ended.
Following the game, cookie bakes from Mr. K’s were served at the house. Mr. K’s came with a food truck, and everyone lined up outside to get their dessert! My sister had never had a cookie bake before, so this was another new thing I had the chance to experience with her! The rest of the afternoon consisted of taking cute pictures in front of the Siblings Day banner and hanging out with friends and family inside. All in all, it was great way to wrap up a fun day with our siblings!
Sister of the Week
February 19, 2018
Congratulations to Breanna, our sister of the week! We appreciate her showing love to one of her sisters on a very stressful day!
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 14, 2018
By Hannah Koenig
Valentine’s day has a reputation of cheesy dates and lots of chocolate, and while I’m sure there will be plenty of flowers delivered to the Alpha Xi Delta house this Wednesday, it’s also a holiday about loving our sisters.
We kicked off the week with a “Galentine’s” Day watch party of the The Bachelor. Junior Mackenzie Penny organized it, and it was a hit among the chapter. She said she wanted to plan Galentine’s Day to spread sisterly love during Valentine’s season. Being able to spend time together Monday night definitely helped us get in the spirit for the rest of the week, and our rec room is still covered in all sorts of decorations for us to enjoy.
“It’s fun to spend that extra time with my sisters and remember how important they are to me,” junior Rachel Shelton said.
It’s always nice to take a break from studying to hangout with our sisters, especially when it’s a Monday and candy is involved. Who doesn’t love indulging in candy?! Penny said she enjoyed laughing and joking around with her favorite people, as well as eating her weight in chocolate from the huge heart box Mom Jean bought for the party.
Of course we are excited for our sisters who get to spend today with their significant others, but the rest of us will still be celebrating Galentine’s Day and patiently waiting for the discounted chocolate tomorrow!
“We often get caught up in life and relationships, and this is a time for us to not think about boys,” Shelton said. “Instead, we can think about our girl friends and the relationships we have made with them.”
Sister of the Week
February 12, 2018
Congratulations to Hannah, our sister of the week! We love seeing her eager to serve others with a constant smile on her face!
Sister of the Week
February 8, 2018
Congratulations to Paige, our sister of the week! She is a sister in more ways than one, and we love seeing her go out of her way to make others feel loved and cared for!