Eighteen-year-old me is sitting in front of my computer, contemplating applying to join a Panhellenic sorority at Sacramento State University. I went through sorority recruitment with an open mind and no expectations. But little did I know, the memories and friendships I was going to gain I would cherish forever.
I had numerous questions. How do I know if a certain chapter is right for me? Am I pretty enough for this? Is it like in the movies? I had several concerns and I realized the only way I could truly find out is if I jumped right in. It was completely out of my comfort zone. A whole new world filled with endless opportunities to be yourself and build connections.
In going through this crazy and exciting weekend of sorority recruitment, I learned a lot about myself and about those around me.
1. It is one of the best ways to give back
Every sorority has a philanthropy that they hold close to their hearts. Ours was domestic violence awareness. My sorority gave us the platform to volunteer and give back to the community. It truly makes my heart full knowing that every donation we solicit and event we coordinate makes a difference. Through community service and volunteering, my sorority allowed me to be part of an organization bigger than myself.
2. It inspired me to be my best self
I was still trying to find my way my freshman year of college. I heard about greek life, but I had very little knowledge about it. It was new and something I had ever experienced before. My sorority brought out all this different sides of me I thought that never existed. It taught me to be kind, empathetic and patient. I joined a chapter of 75 women. That’s 75 different personalities, 75 different stories and silent battles most people didn’t know about.
Regardless, we always put our sorority and our friendships before anything. My sisters were supportive and kind and because I was surrounded by some real strong women, it pushed me to be a better person. It taught me find joy in the little things, like grabbing coffee with a sister before class or late-night study sessions; every little moment is a memory I’ll cherish forever.
3. It provides you with leadership opportunities
While there are so many benefits to being in a sorority, the leadership opportunities are unmatched. These opportunities can aid in your future career and help to be a team player. Politicians such as Condoleezza Rice joined alpha chi omega as an undergraduate at the University of Denver. Late supreme court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most influential women in the world was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi at Cornell University.
4. It gave me some of my best friends
I met some of my best friends and my future bridesmaids in college because of my sorority. From going out on Thursdays nights to late night taco bell runs, I wouldn’t change any of this for the world. I’m so thankful for each and every women I’ve met even the terrible ones, because that made me appreciate the amazing ones I have in my life. When one us celebrated, we all celebrated. When one of us went through a heartbreak and was upset, we all were upset. Through thick and thin, these women, my sisters stood by my side without hesitation.
Greek life may not be for everyone. I had the best experience, but some may beg to differ. While there are many negative stereotypes surrounding this topic, I urge you to give it a try if you get the opportunity. Decide for yourself, you’ll never know what you can gain and you could potentially change someone’s life. Remember, the future is female!
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