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  • Writer's pictureStevens Alpha Phi

My Big-Little Experience

Little: My sorority's big little experience was a whirlwind of emotions, filled with surprises and heartfelt moments that I will cherish forever. It all started with Ivy Linking –Ivy Linking is an Alpha Phi tradition in which you go on sister dates with all potential bigs. In the span of two weeks, I met and connected with about fifteen amazing girls, one of them being my future big. I remember the day we met vividly. It was a cloudy, cool afternoon and we agreed to meet in Gateway South. As I approached, I spotted her from a distance, her outfit effortlessly put together and unique. When we started walking toward the coffee shop together, the conversation flowed naturally, as if we were old friends catching up. We entered the cozy atmosphere of the coffee shop and ordered our drinks. As we sipped our hot coffee and shared our favorite music and books, it felt like I was staring into a mirror and seeing my other half reflected back at me. The connection was instant and profound, as if we had known each other for a lifetime. Our shared slavic heritage and interest in STEM created an unspoken bond. In that moment, I knew I had found someone who not only shared my interests but also understood me on a deeper level.

Big: As soon as my future little and I started talking on that first day we met, it was obvious that we complemented each other perfectly. We had so many things in common that we bonded over, yet also had some differences to balance us out. We realized we had a shared interest in thrifting and all things fashion, drinking hot tea, having photoshoots, and music. But she was the golden girly to my silver, the blond to my brunette, and the sun to my moon. Her laughter was infectious, and the flow of the conversation made it feel like we had known each other forever. It was in those moments, that I realized I was in the presence of a truly special girl who would end up as my baby hehe.

Little: Weeks went by, and all of the potential littles were on the edges of their seats trying to figure out who their big was. Leading up to the anticipated reveal, the bigs put together three baskets for their littles, filled with Alpha Phi merchandise, decorative items, and all the littles’ favorite snacks. They left cute notes with clues as to who they were. Most importantly, they created emails to communicate with us. Each day, my pledge class and I would share all the clues we got, desperately trying to solve the puzzle. My heart was filled with excitement and curiosity as I tried to unravel the mystery, however, there was a pang in my heart when the clues I was given didn’t match up with who I hopelessly wanted to be my big. She wrote she was a business major and hated coffee, two things that immediately threw me off her track.

Big: As I was putting together the baskets for my little, I felt so impatient because I couldn’t wait for her to finally know who I was. I had only met her a few times, but I already felt so connected to her and tried to craft her baskets to be perfect for her. However, I didn’t want to make it easy for her to guess who I was. I would put things in her baskets to make her think someone else was making them, and send her emails with little lies to keep her off my trail. All of the bigs were collaborating and sharing little details we could use to impersonate each other to trick the littles. But it was so hard to act inconspicuous, especially when we were hanging out. My sorority family would do weekly dinners before chapter, and it just so happened that one day Kat asked to hang out during one of our dinners. It worked out perfectly, since my big and G-big couldn’t wait to get to know her. She came over, and had no idea she was in the presence of her future sorority family. As we were all sitting together, it verified what I knew from the start: she was the perfect missing piece to complete our puzzle. It was so much fun asking her about the big-little process and throwing her off by acting like I wasn’t her big. It made the anticipation for the reveal grow even more, andI just couldn’t wait to see her face once she realized it was me.

Little: The anticipation built up to the grand reveal, a moment that would change everything. When the day finally arrived, and I met my big sister, the mastermind behind the surprises, a wave of emotions washed over me. I was overwhelmed with joy and a profound sense of belonging. At that moment, surrounded by my sorority sisters, I felt like I had found my home within the sorority.

Big: It’s been a little over six months since I became a big, but Kat and I haven’t stopped growing closer and she truly feels like the little sister I’ve always wished for. Whether it’s ranting to each other about anything and everything (especially the Organic Chemistry lab we’re both taking), studying together, brewing tea for her while she sits on my couch (which she’s doing right now as we are both writing this), or just doing life together, we are here for each other. When I came to Stevens, I never imagined joining a sorority and was straight up against it. Looking back, I was so silly not to realize how amazing the bond of sisterhood is and how uplifting being a part of Alpha Phi could be. I made the most incredible lifelong friends and I can’t wait to see what new memories our future brings.

Little: As I'm sitting here writing, my big Wiki is right across the couch, sharing the same love as when we once bonded over our similarities during our first meeting. The playful trickery, the mystery behind the gifts, and the eventual reveal created an unbreakable connection between us. It’s been a bit over six months since I embraced my role as a little, and I could not have asked for a better and more supportive big and sorority family. As we spend time together, whether it's studying, laughing, or simply enjoying each other's company, I am constantly reminded of the genuine bond we share. Our conversations are filled with endless stories, shared dreams, and the comforting assurance that I have found not just a big sister, but a lifelong friend. It's moments like these, the ordinary yet profoundly meaningful interactions, that remind me of the beauty of sisterhood and the genuine friendships that Alpha Phi has brought into my life.

And to my future little, watch out. I will be taking notes from Wiki to make sure you never see me coming. We can’t wait to have you in our amazing family.


Kat Nikiforouk

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