Let me go ahead and preface this blog post with this: my sorority, at our highest numbers, was a 65 member chapter. My experience will be different from a woman who went to a D1 school where greek life made up 90% of the student population.
People who only know of Greek life from the movies are always the best critics of what it is.
“You pay for your friends.”
“Sorority women are spoiled rich kids.”
“All you do is party.”
“It is just a big clique.”
But my goal here is not to defeat those stereotypes, my only goal is to give you perspective. To tell you what sorority life can offer you and how it helps you to be social.
Joining a sorority is the easy part. Honestly, you can make any place your home if you work hard enough. Now the type of home that will be isn’t always up to you.
Luckily for me, my home turned out to be exactly what I needed. A challenge.
I originally joined because I wanted to make more girlfriends. I was bullied in elementary school and it was really hard for me to make friends ever since then with other women.
Before I even joined I knew it was going to be difficult for me to make friends inside of my sorority but let me tell you I am not the only one that feels this way. Any person would feel intimidated having to make 60 new friends and trying to make sure everyone liked you, especially as a freshman! (Think about 200 member chapters!)
Now, this shouldn’t be your mindset. It should be to just be yourself and everyone will like you! Right?
Find me one freshman girl who comes right out of high school who isn’t insecure in some way about her body, personality or status. I will wait. Nothing? Yeah, let’s move on.
I believe there are two parts of membership if you join freshman year. The first four semesters are what I call the Younger Years and the time thereafter I have coined the Home Stretch.
The YY produce this unique feeling of earnest and passion for your letters, that you can just do anything. You sign up for everything, you go to all the events and pose for every picture just to see your sorority grow. Then comes the burnout.
You feel distraught because the work you do, in your mind, goes unrecognized. Meanwhile, you realize you have been keeping an unhealthy balance between school and sorority leading to disappointing others. You start to pull away from your sisters and the sorority as a whole.
There are two routes when you get to burn out; quit or push through.
I decided to push through.
This is where I learned my most valuable life lessons in greek life.
- You aren’t always going to get verbal praise for every single thing you do.
- That there is a balance between mental health, school, and greek life.
- You don’t need constant approval from your peers.
Those are just a few of them. I will probably do a video over the lessons I learned in a vlog here soon.
Now the HS is quite a different beast. You aren’t quite as naive, you understand the world around you a little better, and you feel like you know what you can handle in terms of keeping a healthy balance.
During this time you want to be apart of it all without letting it consume you. You want to continue to make a difference when it comes to the direction your sorority takes. So you take on what you can handle and apply all the lessons you have learned thus far.
Usually, this is a pretty great time but it comes with downfalls as well.
You don’t feel as connected as you used to. It almost feels like the sand is running out of the hourglass and you are tapping it hoping someone will make it stop.
This is normal. You are moving on and even though you would love to have a couple of more crazy nights with your sisters, the reality is that your head isn’t in that space anymore.
But the trump card to all of that depressing stuff is this. You have found the women who will be your lifelong friends, the ones who have proven time and time again that they will stick by your side.
Through every boy, every drama and every bad mistake (it’ll happen but you will make it) they choose to be your friend at the end of the day. Was it always easy? No. But that is what makes the bond so strong.
Sorority life is a crazy and unmatchable experience. A crash course in growing up if you will. While college is a time where you develop and grow – being greek demands the best version of you at all times and challenges you to push the envelope.
And when you fail, it is determined to pick you back up and make you a better person.
Personally, I want to thank my sisters, advisors and the chapter of Gamma Zeta – Gamma Phi Beta. You have made me who I am today; joyful in the face on my fears, thoughtful in the midst of trouble, calm in the most stressful situations and wise enough to know I have a long way to go.