Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Alpha Omicron Pi Journey

This past week, I ended my journey as a collegiate member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Words cannot do justice to what AOII has grown to mean to me over the past three and a half years, but I would like to do my best to share a snapshot of my experience with you.

Four and a half years ago, I began my undergraduate career at the University of Tennessee. Coming from a small school, I was very nervous and anxious about what awaited me in Big Orange Country. Little did I know then that I was about to truly live the best years of my life.

I got off to a "rocky" start on Rocky Top to say the least. Going into college, I decided to focus all of my efforts and attention on my school work. I excelled academically, made some amazing friends that I still have to this day, and had fun, but something was still missing. I was missing a sense of belonging and purpose and didn't know exactly where to find it. 

After my freshman year, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. That decision was to go through Sorority Recruitment. Looking back, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went into Recruitment extremely apprehensive as no one from my family had ever been Greek. The week was a whirlwind. On preference night I attended preference parties for Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Delta, and Phi Mu. Choosing between those three amazing sororities was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I know most people say, "you'll just know," when it comes time to make your choice. Well, I didn't know, and I was one of those Potential New Members who took forever to fill out her preference card. I will never forget the words that my Gamma Chi (Recruitment Counselor) said to me as I struggled to make my decision. She said, "Micah, where do you feel you can have the biggest impact and make the biggest difference." I have no idea why I thought I could make a difference or impact in AOII, I just knew that I had felt comfortable in the AOII Suite all week and when Catherine said those words, my heart told me to choose AOII.

Luckily, AOII chose me too. I had a rough first semester in AOII. I couldn't find my niche. However, after I was elected to serve on Leader's Council as Vice President of Academic Development during my second semester, I began to find my niche within the chapter. A year later, I was elected to serve Omicron Chapter (AOII's oldest existing chapter) as Chapter President. What an honor! My term as Chapter President was a year of ups and downs. I grew as a person more than I ever have during that year and learned so many life lessons. I would also like to think that I had a positive impact on the chapter as well! :) After my term as Chapter President, I was elected to serve AOII as Vice President of Administration, a position that I just completed this past week!

Throughout this time, many other doors across campus were opened for me to get involved. I owe these opportunities in large part to my membership in AOII as well as the life lessons AOII taught me! AOII prepared me to be a leader on campus in organizations such as Student Alumni Associates, the Panhellenic Council, and the College of Business Administration to name a few.

Even more valuable and meaningful than the leadership skills I have gained, awards I have won, and positions I have held, are the relationships with my sisters that I have formed. I cannot even begin to put into words how much my AOII sisters mean to me. Both younger and older than me. They are some of my very best friends in the world. They are my role models. They have all taught me so much by being my biggest critics but at the same time my hands down biggest fans! To my sisters who are reading this, I could never tell you how much each and every one of you mean to me. I truly look up to all of you and am so thankful to have all of you in my life.

Without AOII, I do not know where I would be. AOII has brought me lifelong friends, has taught me lifelong lessons, and has provided me with memories that will last a lifetime. My hope is that I have had a small impact on my sisters during my collegiate years as an AOII. My hope is that others will be able to have even half the experience I have had as an AOII. I am a firm believer that during college, there is so much more to be learned than inside the classroom. For me, AOII has taught me more as a person than any college professor could. AOII has brought me a true joy that I would never be able to perfectly express. 

Simply put, AOII has by far exceeded my expectation of what my collegiate experience at the University of Tennessee could ever be and has allowed me to grow into the person I have always wanted to be and always knew I was. AOII was my avenue to get there!

Thank you to all of my AOII sisters who have made the past three and half years the best three and a half years of my life. I love you all so much and am so lucky to have you as sisters for a lifetime!

"There's Health, There's Wealth, There's Life, There's Love, in Alpha Omicron Pi."

Health, Wealth, Life, and Love to All! God Bless!
2007 PC!
On Bid Day 2008! My Panda Pals, Sarah Beth and Brooke.
At AOII International Convention while I was Chapter President. One of the best experiences!
With Julie McWhorter (CA when I was CP) and Mary Jane Sharp.
With Past International President (PIP) Ginger Banks!
Mary Jane Sharp receiving her Founder's Award at International Convention! One of the most memorable and special evenings of my life as an AOII. I will never forget this!
Grand Little Becca, me, and Little Sarah Beth.
With my New Members on Big Sis Reveal!
Sisters at The Hill!
AOIIs at ATO Pumpkin Carve.
Emily, Sarah, and me on Halloween!
Jillian and I at a fraternity Founder's Day.
Sisters on my 21st Birthday.
Gifts for My Little!
AOIIs on Gameday!
Elena and I on Gameday!
AOIIs Front Row at Auburn!
Pref Party at the Laurel House
Western Date Party with Christina and Caitlin
Rockstar Mixer with Staci and Amy
Two of my very best friends! Staci and Coty
After Alissa's Candlelight!
48th Annual AOII BBQ with Jo Beth and Brittnie
Blackout Game vs. South Carolina (I think) with Taylor!
Blackout Gameday at the ATO House!
AOII SAAs working the Circle Park Homecoming Tailgate
Two of my favorite sisters, Staci and Lindsey, before Formal
Coty and I before Formal
Before Formal with Amy
Before another Formal with My Roomie of two years, Staci!
UF AOII CP Lene and me at HQ!
Cait and I at Headquarters
With Susan Danko, PIP!
Mardi Gras Mixer with Caitlin!
AOIIs at the UT Baseball Game "Light the Day" Event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Lizzie, Courtney, Morgan, and I before Carnicus!
With Kaitlin and her New Member Committee before Parent's Day
Kaitlin and I before Formal!
AOIIs Courtside at a UT Men's Basketball Game
Panhellenic Pandas! Alissa, Allie, me, and Carrie
One of my biggest role models and life influences. Life coach, best friend and AOII sister, Carrie.
One of my other biggest role models and life influences. Life coach, best friend and AOII sister, Alissa.
One of my best friends, Coty and I at the 50th Annual AOII BBQ.
2007 PC. Love You ALL!
With sisters at the 2010 Homecoming Game!


  1. Well, from the 7th paragraph on, I was fighting back tears. You are such an inspiration to so many people and I cannot begin to explain to you how lost I am going to feel when you graduate! I love you, Micah!!

  2. You have been such an influence on each and every one of us in Omicron and on UT's campus! Don't ever think that it goes unnoticed. I don't want you to leave us but I know you'll always be close by :)

    Alpha love and ALL of mine forever!

  3. Ok so I cried, not that you would expect anything less from us. I have no doubt that Panhellenic and AOII will be just fine after you are gone, but I can't help but be sad that all the new members of Panhellenic won't have the privilege of knowing you and having their lives forever impacted by everything you have done. There will be a part of all of us that feels a little empty after your gone. Thank you for everything you have given our chapter and Panhellenic. I have no doubts you will go on to do amazing things with your life. Thank you for everything you have given us as a chapter and as sorority women. You will always be missed.

    Alpha Love and Mine!

  4. Some how I knew that would bring tears to my eyes and sure enough it did. Micah, you have been such a great friend and inspiration to me over our three and a half years together, and I am so lucky to have you as a friend. I know there are so many more great memories to be made with you in the future. Next semester will not be the same with you not around all the time. You have so many great things to come in grad school, your career, and AOII. Thanks for what you have done for this university and especially for AOII. I LOVE you!

    Alpha Love and Mine

  5. Micah,
    Reading this entry, I'm fighting back tears. It's hard to believe your time in AOII has come to a close. I can't imagine AOII without you. You have made a huge contribution to our chapter and univerisity. Looking back at your time in AOII, your impact has spread far and wide. Not only have you influenced our chapter to make the huge stides in the past years, but you have influenced me personally as well. Seeing the amazing job you did as VPAD, I looked forward to your presidency. Throughout your presidency, you faced as you said many "ups and downs" and you accomplished it all with a positive, effective, and classy way. Your strides as President as well as VPA will not be forgotten. I am so sad to see you leave and offically become an alumni of AOII and the University. You will truly be missed and I expect you to come back and visit every chance you get!I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication to this chapter, it has meant so much for us and for our future here at UT. I hope as Erin once stated on facebook "I wanna be Micah Johnson when I grow up". I love you Micah, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

  6. I absolutely love love love reading your beautiful blog. If it hasn't been mentioned before, AOII at UT would be nothing without you. We will forever be grateful! I remember those days where we thought we were gonna pull our hair out and the times where we wanted to give up but let me be the first to tell you... YOU HAVE HAVE THE IMPACT ON ALL OF US and especially me:) I look up to you in a thousand different ways and I have no doubt that whatever you do, you will succeed beautifully at it. Love you to the moon and back!