Although slightly belated, I wanted to be sure to post about the AMAZING experience I had during my trip to Cincinnati for the International Sigma Tau Delta Convention!
Although long drives are never fun, they make for a great setting for intellectual discussions about things such as feminism, graduate schools, and who will survive and be the victor at the end of Game of Thrones (can you tell we are major literary nerds yet?). Plus, this drive was shorter than our trek to Louisville last year, so that was a bonus!
The Seeking Freedom conference this year was AMAZING! With over 400 presenters (a good deal more than the prior year), there were panels to attend on EVERYTHING. But on top of that, we were in a city that was excited to have us and we were excited to explore every inch of it in between talks about Edgar Allen Poe and Jane Eyre. We took advantage of every opportunity that came our way, including an offer from a local bookstore to give us 20% off one book each day of the conference, and when we found bar trivia in the area, we couldn’t turn that down! One day after all the sessions were done, we even hopped a trolley to check out a local brewery, Rhinegeist Brewery. The most intriguing part of that excursion was trying to figure out how to use the trolley app for ride tickets and the inexplicable artwork we found once we made it inside (see above photo).
I loved all the sites we saw and the people we met, but the bonding that inevitably happened between myself and my 4 fellow classmates and presenters was truly something special. Although we are all seniors, within the same department, and 3/5 of us are even officers for our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, I don’t think any of us really new much about the others. And yet we were all there for one another. We attended each other’s panels and sat in the audience glowing like proud parents, not being shy about showing our support for our fellow members. We dealt with each others quirks and extremely different personalities and made sure everyone had a great time.
As a transfer student who is only spending 4 semesters at Slippery Rock University, friendships that “last a lifetime” were not so easily found for me. I came in
at a time when everyone had already formed and strengthen their own bonds to each other after spending 2 years of freshman and sophomore struggles together. But Sigma Tau Delta has offered me the chance to make more friends and connect with others who are as passionate about literature as I am. Both this year’s conference and last have been such wonderful opportunities for a girl who, a year and a half ago, knew no one in her new school that is 7 hours away from everything that she did know. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I have had and the friendships I have made thanks to Sigma Tau Delta.