How to Be the Best Big Ever: Beyond T-Shirts and Treats
If you haven’t been paired with your Kappa Delta little sister yet, chances are you can’t wait to find out who she is. You may already be collecting KD trinkets to shower her with during big/little reveal. But being a big sister is so much more than gifts and goodies. Being a big sister comes with the responsibility of being a good role model, mentor and true friend. Many find their big/little sister relationship to be one of the most treasured and long-lasting friendships they have throughout their lives.
Here are 10 tips for being the best big ever and setting a great example for your little, who will someday be a big herself.
- Get to know her on a personal level.
The first step to establishing a great relationship with your little is to get to know her, if you don’t already. Ask her questions about her goals, interests, hopes and dreams. Inquire about her friends and family. Take a genuine interest in her well-being and her collegiate experience. Build her confidence!
- Share what makes Kappa Delta special to you.
Your little is a new member, and while we hope that she’s already found reasons to love Kappa Delta, it never hurts to express to her what KD means to you. Tell her why you chose Kappa Delta and why you choose to remain a member. Explain leadership opportunities available to her in the chapter. Show her that the time and effort she puts into the sorority experience is rewarding so she becomes a passionate, lifelong member.
- Make sure she is acclimating to life on campus.
If your little is a freshman or transfer student, she may be intimidated by living in a new city on a new campus. Check in with her to make sure she is finding her way to class, show her around the library and offer to meet her in the dining hall for lunch. Ask how she likes her classes and help her find assistance if she’s struggling with a subject. Give her the tricks and tips you learned as a new student so she feels comfortable away from home.
- Attend Kappa Delta sisterhood and philanthropy events together.
Show her that these are events to be excited about! Introduce her to other members and friends and be an active and enthusiastic participant. Remember, she will be looking to you as a role model. Inspire her to action!
- Don’t allow her or anyone else to be the victim of hazing!
Talk to her about what hazing looks like and let her know she can come to you or the VP-standards or CAB or call the Hazing Hotline if she sees or experiences hazing. Pay special attention to “chapter traditions” or campus culture that promotes hazing — including forcing members to drink, reciting song lyrics with punishment for getting words wrong, wearing blindfolds to disorient them, etc. Never offer alcohol to her or anyone under 21. It’s against the law and can be considered hazing since there is implied “power” of members over new members.
- Ensure she is being a safe and responsible student.
There is lots of fun to be had in college, but new students can sometimes lack the judgment to make wise choices. As an older member, you know what is safe and what is not. Be the guide for your little sister to make sure she is a safe, healthy and responsible college student. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations if needed.
- Offer her a safe space to do laundry, talk about her problems, relax, eat meals, etc.
If your little is living in a dorm and you live in off-campus housing, invite her to come to your home to do her laundry, order pizza, watch movies and share stories. This will likely be a welcome and relaxing break from dorm-living. Alternatively, if you live in the chapter house, let her know she is welcome to spend time with you there so she feels comfortable in the space.
- Introduce her to her “family.”
Plan a fun outing with your big sister or “grand-big” so your little can get to know them. Feeling like she has allies of all ages will help her further immerse herself in Kappa Delta.
- Befriend her buddies.
It’s a good idea to get to know the new members who your little is close with. Not only will it help you to get to know her better, but it will give those new members another friendly face to look for at Kappa Delta events. Encourage her to bring them along to any activities you attend together!
- Be there for whatever she needs.
Exchange numbers with your little and express to her that you’re only a phone call away if she needs you. Establish open communication to guide her through any academic struggles, homesickness or other sticky situations. If she reaches out to you with a problem or asks for your advice, don’t hesitate to rise to the occasion. Direct her to campus resources like the counseling center or health services — or go with her — if she needs professional help.