After more than a semester of waiting, the Jr-Sophs’ search to find the perfect little to join their family has finally ended. Freshwomen, Jr-Sophs, and seniors alike congregated excitedly in Ramsey-McCrummen Chapel on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 8, to witness the growth of their beloved families. All new members of each family were greeted with loud applause and excited whoops as they signed their names next to their new big sisters. Following the signing ceremony, families were treated to a banquet in the dining hall, where each table was decorated with a plethora of balloons, candles, glitter, and family animals.
For some Jr-Sophs, this day had been greatly anticipated since they first signed their names with their big sisters in their freshman year. For others, the joy of finding a little was doubled by the excitement of finding a big sister of their very own!
Traditions can be truly confusing for transfer students at first. Kaley Patteson, who transferred to Judson College last semester, gives her own personal experience with this.
“At first when I came to Judson, I was so nervous about Big/Little traditions,” Kaley explained. “It was a little confusing. As I’ve been here and gone through traditions, I’ve started getting close to people. Their names are Chasely Matmanivong, Abbie Livingston, and Charlie Sturdivant. Chasely was my LAMP when I transferred in. Hanging out with her during my first week, I grew close to her and this past weekend she adopted me into the Turtle family. As kind as Chasely has been to me, I am hoping that I can give Charlie and Abbie the same great start to Big/Little traditions like she has done for me.”
Gracie Hutto and Molly Grace Register, members of the Parrot and Elephant families respectively, both expressed the initial concern that they would have trouble with finding a little. However, that thought seemed to be little more than worry—both Gracie and Molly welcomed new members to their family, also!
“The first time I met [Tammie Hanlon], I knew that she was going to be my little,” said Molly. “When I saw her, my brain was instantly like, ‘that’s the one.’ Even though she didn’t sit with me at every single serenade, I knew that she would find her way back to the herd. And Baloo loves Tammie too, so that’s a bonus!”
Baloo, Molly’s service dog (and an honorary elephant!), affirmed this comment by wagging his tail enthusiastically.
Gracie became the big sister of two new little Parrots—Jaylyn Martin and Ryann Troxell. “I’m kind of an introvert, so I was afraid to find anyone until I found Jaylyn. I first picked up Ryann because her potential big sister left, and we really hit it off since then!” she bubbled excitedly. “Jaylyn and Ryann both have different characteristics that link up with my own. It’s so great that I found little sisters just like me!!”
Big/Little is about more than just simply finding a big or little sister; it’s about finding where you belong. It’s about finding the perfect piece to fit in the puzzle of your family’s legacy. The Big/Little Ceremony was a total blast, but that Friday evening is just the beginning of the many wonderful memories that each big and little will share together in the times to come.