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  • Mary-Kathryn Raley

Our Big/Little Story

When I ran home to ADPi my freshman year, I wasn’t quite sure what my future “big” would be for me or even consider what my “fam” would look like in the upcoming years. Looking back I guess that’s a good thing because I really did get lucky. During the buddy period as a freshman I didn't get the opportunity to meet lots of girls because we were evacuated for a hurricane, in typical Columbia fashion. But on big/little I ran home to my new big, Mary Gregory who little did I know, would be one of the biggest blessings to enter my freshman year. Mary was already a Junior and I was a little nervous to see where it would go especially because we didn’t get to hangout during the buddy period.

In the upcoming months Mary proved to be a huge light in my life. Mary promised to be an amazing big and having an older girl become my big sister freshman year was so much more than I thought it would be. From mexican food dates, to late nights in TCoop when we would just end up goofing around until three in the morning, I quickly learned that what you get from a big/little relationship is always what you put into it. Going into sophomore year I hoped to be as good of a big as Mary is to me.

Flashforward to sophomore year, I ended up meeting my little on bid day. It was through luck that somehow Brenda Carole and I were matched together because we could not be more different. But as the buddy period continued, I knew she needed to join the fam. Her infectious demeanor and take on life was one that I never wanted to be without. Through sophomore year we grew so close and I honestly think we saw each other every day. My little had turned into my best friend and having her become great friends with all of my friends was so exciting. The best part was the fact that now, Mary had two littles. We still went on consistent Mexican dates and made fam time a priority with all three of us. I constantly asked myself how we all ended up together. We all seemed so different but ADPi brought us together and it could not be more perfect.

Now, Brenda Carole has just taken a little of her own, making me a grand-big and Mary a great-grand-big. Mary and I were so excited for Brenda Carole to take a little and she’s found the perfect addition. She fits right in and it’s been so exciting adding yet another little to the family. We’ve already been able to spend so much time together and I can’t wait to see what her next few years at USC have in store for her. Although Mary has graduated, she still makes time to see us and we have remained close which is beyond special. Being a big sister to someone is so much more than a title. It’s a bond that's unmatched by others that holds tradition for years to come. What I have in my ADPi family is something that I will cherish forever. These women will always be my family and I can only hope that for anyone else.

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