What I Learned Being in a Sorority

Seriously.  I can hear the internet groaning by the title of this post alone.  And I get it.  I totally do.  The stereotypical image of shallow vapid people buying their friends.  That's what they say, right?  And I know that there are plenty of Buzzfeed articles about sorority life and why it sucks, why it's the best, etc.  But I can only speak to my own experience.  And the truth is I loved it.

Going to a university with a large Greek presence I knew I wanted to go through Rush.  I didn't have any preconceived notions about any of the sororities, I just kept an open mind and I picked the house with the members I felt I clicked with most.  My hometown friends that were going through Rush with me picked different houses, so I was on my own with a new group of girls.  To be honest it was intimidating at first.  I tend to be shy with large groups of people I don't know.  But after some time, I got to know and really like these girls.  They just got me.  Some of my best friends to this day are women I met in my sorority.  We still email/text almost daily and get together as much as we can.   And when I look back, I realize that most of my confidence, the belief in myself to do good, to be a positive influence in the life of others stems from my time in my sorority.

After that first year, I jumped all in.  I lived in the sorority house with 60-something other sisters (another 80-something lived out).  I became Alumni Relations Chair, Public Relations Vice President, and eventually President.  With each new year, we welcomed a new class of girls looking for a place to belong, to help those young women grow and learn to come into their own.

My junior year composite picture -- holy moly look at those drawn-on eyebrows!!! #totally90s

And yes, it was fun.  We had a lot of fun.  Too much fun.  In fact, I've been sworn to keep certain pictures and video from our college days permanently private and off the internet - with the threat of serious bodily harm. Lol!  But it doesn't stop us from watching those videos over and over again when we have reunions.  Thank goodness easy access to the internet and social media did not exist for our teenage and 20-something selves! #forreal #rowruns

A view of my house on Bid Day waiting to welcome our new members.
I also met my husband through one of my closest sorority sisters so for that alone I'm grateful.  I love that he knows my core group of girls and that they know him.  That we can reminisce about how stupid/silly/fun we all were in our co-ed years.

We seriously look like babies

I know I'm lucky that I was able to participate in Greek life and do as much as I did as an undergrad.  But those leadership roles, the responsibility bestowed upon me... it prepared me for the outside world.  For internships, job interviews and life in the workplace.  I learned how to deal with large groups of people who may not necessarily have the same opinion.  I learned how to really listen and make sure that everyone knew that their ideas mattered.  I learned to not take things so personally.  And I learned how to take pride in others' achievements.  To this day, when I see the success of the women I befriended in my house, especially those that were younger than me, I feel like a proud mama bear.

So I'm proud of my time in my sorority.  For the way it shaped who I am today.  I'm thankful to all the older members and advisors who came before me, who took me under their wing to help me grow.  It's because of them I was able to do the same for the girls that came after me. And I'm thankful for my sorority sisters who have been by my side for over half my life; who have loved me and gifted me with their friendship and support in good times and bad.  As the saying goes (cheesy as it may be...) "Not sisters by blood, but sisters by heart."  For this only child, I feel blessed to have gained so many sisters in life.

Go Gamma Phi!

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