For all my fellow high school girls:
I know this topic is so cliche, but living in a college town my entire life has opened my eyes to the many perks and flaws of Greek life. The media often gives us a bad rep, and sometimes rightfully so, but being a part of a Greek organization can not only be rewarding but can fulfill your inner desire to belong. My sorority has been a huge part of my life for the past two years, and I would hope to pass down some of what I have learned to any young girl worried about their future.
SORORITIES: After all, that's what they're about, right? A home away from home, a bond, a group of people that consider you to be family?
College is very different from high school. A lot of serious life changes happen all at once, and weather or not you want to admit it, you change too. It is crucial to feel like you have a place to belong. This is not a post to glorify Greek life, but rather to encourage everyone to be open minded and confident in whatever path they chose.
Sororities are not what they look like on TV. It's not a bunch of bleach blonde models throwing parties with their perfect fraternal counterparts. It's not about booze. It's not about being perfect. While these movies and shows are often funny, they push that you have to be a stereotype to fit in. This is so far from the truth.
I have learned so much about myself being an active member of a Greek organization. We are a chapter of around 350 girls that are all different. Not a single one of us is the same. We are a group of people from all over the U.S. with different backgrounds, different stories, and different lives. Yes, we all enjoy wearing XL size t shirts, and yes we enjoy our functions with fraternity boys. But there is meant to be something more.
I have written a list of the top 3 reasons you should go through recruitment, at whatever school you attend.
1. Recruitment will test your limits.
Sometimes it's a great experience. Usually, it's hard. The "system" isn't perfect. Maybe you don't end up where you want. It's exhausting. It's frustrating. But if it was easy, why do it? There's no good way to sort out 3,000 girls in 5 days. But, no matter where you end up, you have an opportunity to make your experience exactly what you want. recruitment was rough form me. I am not an innately loud or super outgoing person, and it seemed like everyone else was. The first day passed, and I thought I had it together. But, the next morning came and I got my card back. I didn't get asked back to the "top" house I THOUGHT I had wanted since high school. I knew so many of the girls and had been told I had nothing to worry about! I was heartbroken. I spent most of the week confused, upset, and standing around in the Arkansas summer heat wearing the same t shirt the other 3,000 girls were wearing, wondering what the hell I got myself into. Every house I walked into was a bunch of screaming girls chanting annoying songs at me. Why did everyone look the same?! Bid day was anti-climactic for me and I was still stressed at the thought of starting class the next day. But, by the end of the first week, I had been taken to dinner twice, texted almost a thousand times, met the girl who would be my future big, and met more girls (that surprisingly did NOT look exactly alike when they weren't wearing matching shirts and chanting in my face) than I could remember the names of. Someone waved at me in every class. Someone sat with me everywhere I went. This is what's worth your time. I was welcomed with unconditional love by girls that had never met me. This is the beauty of Greek life. Campus is too large of a fishbowl to go through without some fellow fish to swim with.
This word is almost a joke. Yes, this is the first (and only) time in your life that you will be thrown into a group of rambunctious, crazy girls that ALL what to talk to you and be your friend. But at the end of the day, you are NOT going to like everyone you meet. That's the point. Your sorority is meant to be a means of making friends, not all 350 of them are going to be your dearest friends. The ones that do, that's what the system for. I have made 3 friends that I think will last a lifetime. Not all 350. And it wasn't overnight that these things happen. Learn patience. These girls are all just as excited/scared/overwhelmed as you. When the chaos subsides, you will see who is standing with you. Keep those girls. They will love you for who you are. These girls will take you on road trips, eat ice-cream with you, sir by the fire with you at 2 am and complain about boys, dress up with you when you don't have a date for a function, and be the first number in your phones "favorites" list. I am still meeting and falling in love with the amazing girls in my sorority!
The girls in your sororities are all going to graduate someday and you will all be in the workforce together. Some of them may even end up being your competition, or even your bosses. Their parents are all working, just like yours, and can be valuable assets when your older. I encourage everyone to start a LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/elenilenore) when you are a freshman. Add your friends, your sisters, and any people you meet! Attend networking events with other sororities. Go to all the career fairs your college has to offer. More often than not, the employees in the area were alumni of your school, and possibly your Greek organization! Use this to your advantage. You share a bond with these women! The older girls have internships and can help you pursue your academic career as well as your future career! Ask them for advice. Ask their parents for advice! They can give you better information than anyone else can. You have access to hundreds of girls who have just experienced the classes and teachers that you will. They know! They will help you. They are an invaluable amount of knowledge that will help to guide you. One of the juniors in my sorority not only gives me advice weekly and shares my major, but she takes me to club meetings and pushes me to do everything I can to better my Walton College of Business experience. Some of my friends parents have helped me get interviews and introduced me to people in their offices. These people care about you. Take the time to get to know them!
Overall, you may still not like Greek life. IT IS OK. All good things take time. My advice to everyone is to give it at least a year. Don't give up just because you haven't met your perfect best friend. Branch out. Meet as many people as you can! Go to all the events that you can fit into your schedule (without sacrificing your grades!) and introduce yourself to everyone. Remember that people will only go so far to pursue you. Make an effort back! Sometimes all it takes is a text or a call. This is the only time in your whole life that you will have this many opportunities to make friends. Take advantage of it! Live in house. You will never live in a mansion with 80 girls again! Push yourself, and find people that make you happy. Sororities are not meant to replace your family, your religion, your high school friends, or anything else for that matter. They are meant to make you a better person and help you find girls that will love you for the rest of your life!
The Vagabond Blonde