Rewind to my senior year in high school, you could always find me looking up sorority life. A bunch of my friends had joined and I was wondering what it was all about. I had so many questions, and nothing on the Internet was giving me the answers I wanted. When recruitment finally came around I realized going Greek wasn't anything like it was in the pictures, or the movies, or anything that the Internet portrayed. However it made me realize "Hey, maybe Greek life can be for me!". The girls I met were so down to earth and normal it was surreal compared to what you see on TV and hear about. Greek Life is shown as a horrible thing, but in all reality it's beautiful. I thought Greek Life was glamorous; being all about meeting frat boys, wearing Lilly Pulitzer constantly, and every color of Jack Rogers imaginable. In the last few months I've truly learned what Greek Life is about. Greek Life is about pushing yourself to get the best grades you can (because your GPA doesn't only represent you) , Greek Life is about stepping up and getting things done, Greek Life pushes you to be the best you can be. Not only is Greek Life great for networking, but it makes campus feel like home. Before Greek life I never really thought about the impact I could make in the world. I may be blonde at the moment but I'm nothing close to being a barbie. I don't know anyone with a closet loaded with Lilly Pulitzer, I can't name all (if even half of) the frats on campus, and I pay for my own stuff. We do not throw huge parties, and we DON'T wear monograms constantly (even though I love a good monogram). I'm quite the normal college student. I may stay up all night at times, but it's not to party it's to get all of my class readings and homework done. Greek life hasn't changed me in any way, it's made me want to improve myself constantly.
Going through recruitment I thought I wouldn't actually go Greek, I rushed because all of my friends were doing it. I'm glad my friends were because I probably never would've rushed if it wasn't for them. I hate meeting strangers and throwing myself out there because I'm just a weird. First rounds came (I had to cram them all in one day), which was horrible at first but I loved it because it saved me from a lot of awkward moments that would've happened. When I first went through and made my list I ranked them based off of what they were wearing and which ones my friends were in. Apparently I didn't fit the criteria they were looking for because I literally got my last picks for second rounds, which I'm not complaining about at all it was a wonderful experience the next day. We had a longer time to visit and really know what each sorority was about, I started to realize where I felt comfortable. I was disappointed because all the girls in my Pi Chi group (a recruitment group) had gotten asked back by the ones they fell in love with. Then it happened. That moment that you hear about when people meet their soul mates or just know something. Instead I bet my best friend, and I felt like I was home. During first rounds someone said I looked like someone else identically so they paired me with her the next day. Second rounds was the day, we sat down and everything started clicking we had the same interests and it felt like I had known her for years. I met a few other girls and clicked with them as well. The funny thing is when I first visited Pi Beta Phi everyone kept telling me "You look like Dori", I didn't know who Dori was at the time so I thought everyone was telling me I looked like a cartoon fish. Which kind of threw me off for a while, until I met her. By the time preference rounds came I had my online shopping carts filled with Pi Phi stuff and I was ready to get my bid. During preference rounds I balled my eyes out because I just knew I was home (total TSM). I was a tad nervous that Pi Phi wouldn't like me as much as I liked them and could barely sleep that night. The day finally came, I got my bid day card and opened it, I was finally home. That day I realized my Pi Chi that I loved dearly was also a Pi Phi eventually she would be my aunt. Looking back I laugh because I never said Pi Phi right, I kept calling it Pi Chi.
Getting My Big, which by the way was THE BEST DAY EVER!
Greek Life can come off as extremely stressful when you first jump in but eventually you get the hang of it, and I'm a night owl anyways so the late night stuff didn't/doesn't bother me. Greek Life made me realize the importance of keeping an updated agenda on you at all times! We had all of our special events, and then came Big/Little speed dating. I was on a mission: Dori must be my big, and I must be her little; the great thing about that was she had the same mission (I later learned). I sent in my list of the top five people I wanted to be my big as soon as I got home and it looked exactly like this...
I also sent in a real list but as you can tell Dori was still pretty high up on that list. Dori was already my best friend , so why wouldn't she make the perfect big for me? Those next few weeks I was so scared she didn't want to be my big. I'm glad she did though because I started crafting before big/little speed dating and I put her name on everything. She's like my big sister, my mom, and my best friend all in one. The night came and she was indeed my big, and she even got me a happy meal from McDonald's to top the night off. I was finally in a Greek family, but most importantly I had my dream big. While being a new member I had Olivia, you can check her out here, help me with everything: she was our new member coordinator. She always had a smiling face, and was welcoming. For any chapter that doesn't have one you need one, they make the whole experience SO MUCH BETTER!
My future big and I on bid day,
ignore my crazy aunt in the background!
Greek life has opened so many doors for me. I ended up meeting people with the same interests and hobbies I had. I was so excited to finally have an excuse to craft. My bedroom floor will forever have glitter matted down into it. However I will have memories that last me a lifetime, sisters that I know will always be there when I need them, and a family I couldn't imagine living without.
First Time Greek
I had one cousin who went Greek but I never really heard her talk about it, so I was new to the Greek Life scene all together. Going through recruitment my mother worried about me being hazed; she watches way to much Hallmark and LMN (Lifetime Movie Network). The entrainment industry gives Greek Life a bad representation .To this day my mom asks "Are you sure you're not being hazed?". I always laugh because I would never join something that made me do crazy and disgusting things, why the heck would anyone pay their dues and be miserable? I've heard of hazing, but I've never experienced it and I never will. It makes me sad that some individuals bad decisions can hurt Greek Life as a whole. Greek Life can seem pricey when you look at the first time membership dues, however they go WAY down after the first dues. Just keep in mind if you're going to live in a Sorority house it could be a little bit more expensive because your housing and meal plans are usually included in that. If you're the first going through recruitment your parents might have a billion concerns. I was the first in my family to go to college, so that added a few more concerns. Don't let your parents discourage you, if I did I would've given up a wonderful experience.
Just assure them:
1) If they're going to haze me I won't go through with it. I'm not going to tell you hazing doesn't happen, but it rarely does. You don't have to join Greek life if you get a bid, that's why you're not considered a true member when you first get your bid. There's weeks, sometimes even months, to explore the chapter and make sure it's the right fit for you.
2) You don't have to parties and/or get drunk. It's all about the choices you make. I have sisters who don't drink at all. Honestly I haven't been to a party since college started. I feel like if your going to be in an organization to better yourself you truly should. I'm not saying if you like a few beers that you're a horrible person. However if everyone associates you with Greek Life and they see you sloppy drunk or at every party it not only affects you but everyone involved with Greek Life. Then people start to think "Wow that sorority is full of people who party all the time" or "All the Greeks do is drink". You make your own decisions!
3) Trust me, I got this. By the time you go through recruitment you'll likely be eighteen or older. You're an adult! You have the ability to make your own decisions; you do what you want to do. College kids in general have a bad reputation for partying. You need to establish a good trust barrier with your parents and you need to be open with them. You're not in high school anymore. It'd be embarrassing to call your parents from jail because you needed picked up or bailed out for underage drinking if they didn't know you drank in the first place. Some parents know what happens at college, yet again some don't. Being open with your parents is the best decision you can make. Lies turn into more lies!
4) If anything Greek Life will make you want to improve yourself, rather than set you up for failure. Greek life teaches you responsibility, commitment, and many skills you'll be able to use after college. Not only will you know girls who have went through a couple years in college and know how to do things right (such as that crazy scheduling for your first Spring semester). You'll have girls always cheering you on, making sure you're okay, and letting you know you can accomplish everything you dreamt of (like your first time going through finals week). You'll have girls that are disappointed when you mess up and expect more from you (which makes you want to improve); it's like having tons of parents in college, but they'll understand where you're coming from. In my sorority almost everyone has to do some sort of library hours, join a committee, and do community service. Greek life can show that you know how to balance things, and it has a ton of leadership positions just waiting to be yours.
If you're thinking about going Greek just try it, even if you're not thinking about going Greek just try it. Even if you don't go Greek you'll meet a ton of people and see familiar faces around campus afterwards. It never hurts to try something new. You'll probably find a place you can call home, possibly on accident like I did. Rushing can sound crazy, but once you're in the process of rushing the experience (unless you've already went through it) is unexplainable. You'll be missing out, and I'm not just saying that to be a crazy sorority girl. I may be blonde, but I'm nothing like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde: I'M NORMAL! Those girls you see on campus with their letters on aren't wearing them to flaunt them around, they're wearing them because it's a part of them. If you've met someone in Greek life and had a bad experience don't let them ruin it for you. We're not all the same. Just try it, and I promise you'll have an unforgettable experience; you might find something that will be a part of you forever.