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What I Learned from Last Night

 

It doesn't feel so sweet right now.

Last night I got a phone call from my dad. I could immediately tell that something was wrong but still, I wasn’t expecting to hear what he would say. He told me that our home had been burglarized—they had taken all of my mom’s jewelry, my pageant crowns, some of our laptops, and my dad’s new car. I was shocked. I still am. More than the material possessions, I wanted to know if our one little witness, my beloved Siamese cat Kiko, was okay. Thank God, he was (although he came out from under my bed looking very wigged out I am told).

As upsetting as this incident has been for our family, there have been some sheer miracles, at least in our eyes. I wasn’t home when this happened so my parents have been handling the situation and they are working closely with the police. Interestingly enough, a police officer’s wife saw my dad’s car get parked yesterday in her neighborhood and she thought it looked suspicious. She told her husband who called in the license plates and sure enough, it was my dad’s car. I couldn’t believe it! So within a day of grand theft auto, our car is back in place.

Another miracle: my pageant crowns. They may seem like silly possessions to some, but within those crowns, there are so many memories and special occasions. Normally I always have ALL of my pageant crowns in my room but this week, for the first time in my life, I have had my pageant crowns at school because I just went to the California International Pageant. I was even planning on bringing them home last weekend but I didn’t because I was too busy with Rush. The thieves took my local crown but I still have my Miss Teen California crown and my first crown that I won as a 13 year old. It’s a miracle in my eyes.

More than the material possessions, I am sickened that people would break into our home and completely pillage it. To know that two grown men were ransacking my bedroom feels completely violating. I feel so bad for my parents who had to see their bed overturned with every drawer and jewelry box opened. I’m sure it was a sight to behold and I’m praying that our home can soon return to normal.

At the end of the day, after an evening of tears, my dad and I were able to share a small laugh. Not about this situation obviously, but it was a laugh about something or other. In this situation, there is still so much to be thankful for—most importantly that my family is doing well. I’m glad that we are all safe (maybe not sound just yet but getting there) and that we can learn from this as a team. You can’t take material possessions with you in the next life but you do leave a legacy with the people you loved. That’s what matters.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Rushing Round and Round

Today officially marks the first day of Rush. With nearly 900 girls registered, we have 10 parties today. With girls blow drying their hair until the outlets give out and with me fighting off the sniffles, we are all primping and prettying this morning as we get ready. I actually have a few butterflies but I have to remember that I’m not the one rushing! Still, I want to stand as a great representation of my house and I hope I can express that today.

I wish that I could write more but it is madness around here with make-up and music blasting. It’s a Legally Blonde day with girls running here and there and everywhere. Hilgard Avenue is going to be a sight to behold today!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Rushing the Right Way

 

Don't worry, it's not as scary as it looks!

The next week is going to be an absolute whirlwind, in the best way possible. UCLA is beginning the rush process and with a record number of freshmen (topping 6,000), we have been told that nearly 900 girls will be rushing. I’m actually very excited about this because it will mean more students will be exposed to the Greek system and all of its benefits. Contrary to popular perception, sororities are not centered on social status, or at least not in my sorority. We care about academics, philanthropy, sisterhood, and leadership. I’m excited for so many girls to see that this week.

Which brings me to my next point. Rush is a once in a lifetime experience and if I knew then what I know now, I may have approached the situation a little differently. Ultimately, I ended up in the house where I was meant to be but I think it’s good to go into Rush somewhat familiar with sorority life so that you’re not blind-sided.

A few pointers:

1. Keep your conversations PG: It’s never a good idea to talk about parties, drinking, fraternities, and the like on either end of the conversation. Being the nervous little freshman that I was, I remember asking if I would fit in, since I don’t drink. I think a lot of houses judged me for this and looking back, I don’t think I would have asked those questions. It shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but sometimes it is, quite frankly. So try and keep it to topics that won’t polarize the conversation.

2. Put your best foot forward: And best dress. I’m going to get honest here. First impressions matter and you want to be presentable. Wear what you feel comfortable in, but rush is not a time to wear sweats or tank tops with bra straps hanging out. With such a limited time to get to know each other, clothes can say a lot about character and personality. Make sure your outfits represent you and what you stand for.

3. Stay positive: Rush can be a draining process. The first two days, we will have about eight parties each day and by the end of it, the faces and names can all start to blur. If you are rushing, remember that you will end up where you are meant to be and that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to savor. And if you’re already in a house, remember to celebrate the sisterhood and this special time you have together.

Good luck with rush everyone and try your best to stay in happy spirits!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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