In Zeta Tau Alpha we value the relationships between our sisters, and none is more special than the bond between Big and Little.
If you’re not familiar with sorority big and little sisters, when a new member joins the sorority she gets to know many of the older members. The members who decide to “pick up” a Little are matched with a new member by preference. The older member is the Big, and the younger is the Little. They remain a pair throughout their time in the sorority and long after graduation. The Big becomes a mentor and friend to her Little, and they share an unexplainable bond.
I interviewed Laura R. and Rachel L. about their relationship as Big and Little.
Me: Rachel, what’s it like being a Little?
Rachel: I love having someone to look up to and always look after me. Being spoiled was also fun! I’m never going to turn down a present.
Me: Oh, of course not! What was your favorite gift during Big Little Week?
Rachel: Laura… and t-shirts! (She says with a laugh.)
During Big Little Week, the Big finds out who her Little is, but the Little won’t know until the end of the week. The Big gives four baskets filled with crafts, t-shirts, and other ZTA related gifts to her Little. It’s one of the most fun weeks of the entire year, and every single Little gets spoiled beyond belief.
Me: What are some of your favorite things about Laura?
Rachel: She’s a friend who cares for me and loves me like a mom… a cool mom.
Me: Laura, do you like being a Big? What’s it like on your side?
Laura: I love it so much. It really is like being a mom. I get to look out for her and take pictures when she does something precious. I call them “mom moments.”
Me: What’s your favorite thing about Rachel?
Laura: She is so comfortable in who she is.
Me: Do you remember when you first knew you wanted Rachel to be your Little?
Laura: Yes! It was at the organization fair during FOCUS week when I first met her. She was adorable.
Me: What are some things you two like to do together?
Laura: Fishing and hiking…
Rachel: And having New Girl marathons.
Laura: I made her a jar of messages and quotes, and so we go through those sometimes. There are sweet ones like things I love about her, and then funny things Schmidt says in New Girl.
Rachel: It’s hilarious!
Me: What’s your favorite memory together?
*They look at each other and laugh*
Laura and Rachel: Fishing! (They say in unison.)
Rachel: I got my lure stuck in a tree twice, and we couldn’t find the lake to save our lives. We kept walking around for 30 minutes, not knowing where we were going.
Laura: Once we got there we realized it was 30 seconds away from where we parked.
The two also took a spontaneous trip to spend the night in Memphis two weeks ago. They love going on adventures.
Me: Try to describe your Big Little relationship.
Laura: It’s like a mom and daughter, but also not.
Rachel: It’s a very, very supportive friendship.
The bond between a big and little is almost impossible to put into words…
Laura: It’s made my time in Zeta Tau Alpha so meaningful. She’s my person.
Rachel: Yeah, you get your own person… and that’s pretty great.
But I’d say they got pretty close.
Laura R. (on the left) and her little sister Rachel L. (on the right)