Yes, I was in a sorority during college, and no we didn't pay for our friends.
Good. Now that we have that out of the way we can move on.
When I think about my time in college my best experiences came from one of the three following things:
1. Studying abroad in Australia (hello travel bug!)
2. Being an Orientation Assistant for 3 years
3. Joining Greek Life; specifically my sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta
Even years after college graduation I'm still raving about how joining my sorority was the best decision I made in college. Greek Life comes with a bad reputation for some people. And it drives me crazy. Being in sorority doesn't mean hazing, conformity, and being a bitch. It means being part of an incredible network of women who value the same ideals. It means being part of a community for life. Here are my favorite aspects of being a sorority girl:
7. Leadership Experience. It may not seem like serving on a sorority leadership board is a big deal but it truly does help develop leadership skills. Through my positions as Vice President Member Development and the President of the Order of Omega (Greek Leadership honor sorority) I learned a thing or do about what it means to be a good leader. I bet all of the US Presidents (okay, except 3) also learned a lot in Greek Life. And 85% of Fortune 500 key executives.
6. Philanthropy & Community Service. I'd love to say that I go volunteer with a charity twice a week but I don't. Sometimes I forget the importance of giving back to my community and to others. I'm so grateful that my sorority gave me the opportunity to work with incredible organizations like JDRF to support children with juvenile diabetes.
5. Time Management. Like whoa. Try balancing executive council, chapter meetings, social events, philanthropy and community service commitments, Greek Weeks, formals, exchanges, recruitment, having a little sis, participating in other sorority and fraternity events, taking classes (or being a double major), playing a sport, and finding ‘me time'. Tired just thinking about it?
4.Crafternoons. Nothing says fun like crafting for your little on a Sunday afternoon before chapter meeting, am I right?
3. Academic Support & Encouragement. You would think that Greeks would have a difficult time actually studying with all of their chapter commitments, right? Not so. At my university, and so many others, Greeks have a higher GPA than non-Greeks. My sorority had required study hours every week for new members and anyone with a GPA below a 3.14.
2. Social Life. I'm sure that you know all about this
1. Sisterhood & Lasting Friendships. I wrote about the importance of sisterhood before but I'm going to go ahead and just repeat myself. When I think about being in a Greek life, I truly think about sisterhood. When I joined the Greek system as a little freshman, I didn't realize the kinds of connections and relationships it would open up for me. From my pledge class besties (like Lauren) and other ladies in my chapter (Robin and Grace), to the amazing Greek bloggers (like Evani, Megan, Niki, & Nancy to name a few), to new friends that I meet at alumni sorority events (like LaTache), Greek Life has introduced me to some of the most amazing people. Almost all of my close friends in college, both women and men, were in Greek life. And every time I meet somebody new and find out they were in Greek life, I feel an instant connection with them, regardless if were in another house. But obviously, the ladies who belong to Alpha Gamma Delta hold a very special place in my heart. Especially the ones from my chapter. And over the last few years I've been so lucky to share so many wonderful experiences with these ladies.
I recently went to Alpha Gamma Delta's International Reunion Day, the day when all Alpha Gams, young and old, active, and alum, get together for brunch and celebrate sisterhood. Yes, sisterhood. Not the number of parties we went to, or the fraternities that we teamed up with for Greek Week. We celebrate our shared values and experiences, and the organization that brought us together. We celebrate our shared purpose:
To gain understanding that wisdom may be vouchsafed to me.
To develop and prize health, and vigor of body.
To cultivate acquaintance with many whom I meet.
To cherish friendships with but a chosen few, and to study the perfecting of those friendships.
To welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world's work in the community where I am placed because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiple.
To honor my home, my country, my religious faith.
To hold truth inviolable, sincerity essential, kindness invaluable.
To covet beauty in environment, manner, word, and thought.
To possess high ideals and to attain somewhat unto them.
This shall be my purpose that those who know me may esteem Alpha Gamma Delta for her attainments, revere her for her purposes and love her for her Womanhood.
Every time I hear women speaking the purpose, I get goosebumps. And every time I see women LIVING our purpose, I feel an incredible amount of pride to be part of such an wonderful organization. I'm so lucky to know that anywhere I move in the US / Canada, there are organized events and an instant network for me to belong join. I wouldn't be surprised if I ran into some ladies in South Africa. I can't wait for future IRDs when my pledge class and I look like this:
So that is what being in a sorority is all about my friends. Sisterhood. And Sorority squats when cameras come out. And singing throwing what you know. And buying everything with a squirrel on it. And wishing that you could still have a candle pass. And this entire list.
If you're a Greek blogger, you should check out Being Greek. It lists bloggers from all the NPC houses (and some NPHC as well, I think?) so that you can connect with sisters. Also, for any Alpha Gam bloggers, make sure to join the Alpha Gamma Delta Blog Network.
Are you in Greek Life? What are you thoughts on the system? love to other Greek sisters!
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