Finding Who I Am Through Zeta

Amanda Herrera – Beta Class

Growing up in a strict, Hispanic household I was raised hearing one saying “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres,” which roughly translates into “Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.” My abuela said it to me before every time I left the house, whether it was when I went to the movies or even when I just went to a friend’s house. I never understood what it meant, or why she said it so often, until I transferred to UCF with no family, no friends and no support system.

The decision to come to UCF wasn’t one I took lightly. I was leaving behind a group of people I knew, without question, had my best interest in mind. But I knew it was a decision I had to make. I needed to learn who I was without my wonderful, loud and overbearing family behind me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was so focused on leaving one support system behind, I didn’t realize I lacked a support system at UCF. I didn’t have anyone inside, or outside, my major to help me with class selections or to sit in the library and study with. I felt like I was going through college alone. I had no one in my corner caring about my personal growth or professional success.

Then I found Zeta Phi Eta.

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Founder, Ryan Marshall, and Alpha class member, Miladin Balos, spoke about an organization that offered everything I was looking for. A group of people who were trying to be successful in their field and who offered each other a shoulder to lean on.

I figured I had nothing to lose by going to rush and learning about what Zeta Phi Eta represented. After the first night I was in love. I knew that Zeta was what I needed to help me take the steps to a successful career.

Deciding to go to the first night of rush for Zeta was a decision I would make over and over. They helped me gain professional confidence, which isn’t something I thought a college student could have. Zeta Phi Eta helped me with my resume, headshot, LinkedIn, elevator speech, conflict resolution, took me on tours and introduced me to the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever met. I finally understand what my grandmother meant with that saying. I have become who I am today because of the people I surrounded myself with yesterday. They push me to be my best everyday and are there for me when my best isn’t enough.

As a sister of Zeta Phi Eta, I now get to inspire that confidence in others. Seeing people come to rush doubting themselves and then seeing how confident they are in their abilities once they become brothers is what inspires me to work for the success of this fraternity.

If you’re reading this and are craving a connection with people that understand your drive to succeed, come meet me and my brothers; we understand the struggle to find your professional footing.

I made a choice a year and a half ago to step out of my comfort zone and go to to an event where I didn’t know anyone and it was the best decision I’ve made throughout my time at UCF.

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