Picking your Big/Little

With the pledge season underway, I know a lot of people are getting super duper excited about taking a little/big or otherwise expanding their families. I know I’m hoping to get a grand-little (or two!), some great-grand-littles, and a great-great-grand-little this spring if everything works out! But Littles don’t just grow on trees… Picking a little (or a big, if you’re a MIT) is something to consider very carefully!

There’s so many great girls – how do you even choose?!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the great girls around, but it’s also easy to find the perfect girl for you!

The biggest and most important thing to consider when trying to find your big or little is to be involved. Don’t expect that you’ll find that perfect someone by just completing the bare minimum. Sign up for more service projects! Go to unity events! Set up girl dates! And when you go on service projects & to unity events, don’t just talk with the people you know already…make new friends! Go out on a limb & talk to people. If you like someone you meet, as them to hang out again.

There isn’t one way to find a big/little, but all successful partnerships come from just being involved & meeting people! I’d like to share a couple different types of finding your big/little pair based on my (many) experiences.

My Big, Zaynah & I, at a Phillies Game
Me & my big, Zaynah!

The Couple: When I was a MIT, I met my future big the second week of pledging at pledge elections. I was running for something (what, I have no idea) and I came up with this elaborate speech comparing the pledge process to Finding Nemo (though I honestly have no idea how it all connected looking back on it). Zaynah was a beta buddy, and she heard my speech & loved it (why, I have no idea, because it was probably cheesy as all get out). She came up to me after the meeting and we talked for a while, and we set up a coffee date for that Thursday. Unfortunately, on Monday, she realized that she couldn’t do the coffee date anymore, so she invited me to join her family (the Sweethart family) at CalTor to meet everyone. When I went, I ended up basically ignoring everyone but her, and we definitely hit it off. Throughout the course of the semester, I went to a whole bunch of different unity events & service projects, and I went on probably 15 different girl dates. Even though I met over 100 other sisters, Zaynah was the girl I kept coming back to…it was probably our love for the Bachelor that really solidified our relationship, and it’s one of the things that keeps it strong years later – Mondays are our nights during Bachelor season! We were definitely a “thing” during my pledge process, and I think almost everyone knew it too. Even as we’re both almost sort of real grown-ups, I still thank my lucky stars that I was able to find Zaynah to be my big.

Alisa & I at Founders Day 2013
My little, Alisa, & I

The Surprise: My first semester as a sister we took the Beta Theta pledge class. I was really excited to be on the other side of the process for the first time, but I had no idea what I was doing (thank goodness for Zaynah who made sure I did everything I needed to that semester!). I met a lot of girls, but I was worried I wouldn’t find my perfect match because I didn’t find that instant spark like I did with Zaynah. Big Little Week came, and I had absolutely no idea if anyone liked me enough to be their big, but I knew that I met almost all of the girls pledging that semester, so I figured I would at least know who my little was! I can honestly say that of all of my littles, Alisa was the one who kept her identity secret for the longest. We had met a bunch of times before, but I didn’t realize that she liked me! I thought she liked someone else, so I hadn’t gotten my hopes up. We weren’t very close when we first became big & little, but we’ve gotten closer each semester we’ve been together, and I honestly can’t even keep track of all the wonderful memories that I have with Alisa. If you end up not knowing your big/little too well when you first get paired, it’s okay! Put in a little time & a lot of love, and you’ll end up with a relationship like I have with Alisa (and trust me, it’s definitely worth it!)

Riley & I meeting at her inductions!
My little, Riley, & I , the first day we met

The Long-Term Crush: With the Beta Iotas, I met one of my future littles at Inductions. Since there were 125+ of them to start, I ended up having 2 different angels, but in my conversations with Katie & Riley, I developed a huge girl crush on Riley. She was really great friends with one of my best friends through their major, and I heard through our mutual friend that she liked me & I liked her, but I figured she was probably just saying that or something because she was so nice. Throughout the course of the semester, I still really liked Riley a lot, but I didn’t want to limit her choices, so I tried to keep my distance a bit without losing out on our friendship. Luckily, it all worked out for us in the end & Ri’s now my little, and I love any time we spend together, no matter how seemingly dry it might be, like geography homework.

My little, Sara, & I
My little, Sara, & I

The Late Bloomer: Also in the Beta Iotas, I met my third little (since I took two littles that semester!) Sara & I met at Milburns at an apple picking trip towards the end of pledging, and shortly after, she sent me a Facebook message asking to meet up again. If anyone has ever had this happen, you know just how great it feels to have someone like you enough to reach out to you, so if you feel a connection with someone, don’t be afraid to act on it! Worst case scenario, you’ll just make their day. On paper, it seemed like Sara & I had nothing in common (she is a chemical engineering major, I struggle with chemistry), but I think we both needed each other. She was still a bit lost her freshman year & I had way too much energy (still do) that I needed to channel in some more productive fashion, and that ended up being helping Sara love UD & find her place.

Activation with my little, Shadoe
Activation with my little, Shadoe

The Sneak Attack: With the Beta Kappas, I met someone pretty early on and I thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I still think that’s she’s pretty awesome, but I almost lost a great relationship by focusing too much on just one girl & I didn’t meet as many girls as I probably should have. Lucky for me, I went to an incredibly fun service project on campus (a fun community connection DJ Bash if I remember correctly), and Shadoe and I met while dancing with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Somehow, my horribly tacky dance moves somehow lured her in, and we went out to get smoothies just a few days later, and from there, my mind was changed. I knew that she was something special, and she literally came out of nowhere and literally blew my mind. The lesson I learned with Shadoe is to always keep your eyes open for the girl who’s going to come into your life & change everything. Shadoe was my partner in crime this summer, and I’m so lucky to have taken her as my fourth (and final) little.

From just my experiences finding a big/little, you can definitely see there are a ton of different ways to find your person. But all of the ways to finding a successful partnership include going to things & meeting people. I don’t mean to sound like the Kay Jeweler’s commercial, but keep your heart open & love will find it’s way in.

So as you’re searching, remember that there isn’t just one way to find a big/little, and the only “right” way is to write your own love story with your big/little.

Gamma love,


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