Why ‘Go Greek’?
Sorority recruitment season is upon us. Well at least the “us” that participates in fall recruitment. This will be my second year to not participate in sorority recruitment, and well, my mind yearns for it. I read the other day on facebook that my greek adviser was going to watch theme night skits. My mind immediately jumped to the joys of collaborating with friends to come up with something that we thought would ‘wow’ potential new members. A smile crept up from the corners of my mouth and before to long I realized that I was in fact day dreaming of the days of recruitment. Now don’t get me wrong there were moments during sorority recruitment that made me think I would never be happier when it was over. But now that it is over for good, I have to admit I spend more time wishing it was not.
In honor of recruitment I am going to post just a few of my personal benefits of being in a sorority.
There is the ever popular networking. This topic is pitched as join a sorority to meet people in sororities and someday it will pay off. When I head this as a new member I laughed, out loud I think. Yes, it is good to think of the future but as a freshman, I could barely fathom what the next semester would be like much less the rest of my life. But fast forward 5 years from joining a sorority and I can tell you that it can be beneficial to be greek. One example of how networking played a factor in my life, is my internship. Two months after college graduation I pack my car to the brim and left Edmond, the town I was born and raised in. I was on my way to Colorado. Aurora, to be specific. I had landed an internship with CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. They are an agency that represents college speakers. I found this internship from facebook, a social networking site. David Stollman, a speaker and co-founder of CAMPUSPEAK had posted his status to be something along the lines of CAMPUSPEAK was still accepting application for an internship with his company. I had been so inspired by David Stollman’s presentation’s to my college campus that I researched the internship and had my packet in the mail with in days. After I was hired I headed to Colorado to meet my roommates. I was going to be living with two other interns, both of which were strangers to me. Besides a few short conversations on facebook, I knew nothing about these two women who I had been living with. We hit it off fine and the six month internship went by fast. At first the only thing we had in common was that we were all greek. And, our first conversation the night when we all got there was about greek life. Now looking back on the times when I heard that networking would be beneficial to me someday I don’t want to laugh, but cherish the fact that it is true.
Another popular topic thrown out to new members of sororities is leadership. Join a sorority and you will become a leader. Now this one I can say is not always true. Sometimes the biggest benefit of joining a sorority is not becoming a leader but instead learning how to be a follower. While I do believe leadership is important, leaders are ineffective with out their followers. While I was in my sorority I was a leader and a follower. My first semester in I was appointed social chair, I was under the leadership of the Chapter Life Vice President. This was a big step for me, as I had not planned to get so involved in my sorority. During this time I learned to work with others, take orders and give them equally. The next year, I was chosen to be the on Executive Council and was appointed Chapter Life Vice President, I held other hats while a member of my sorority but this is not the time to list those. Just know that sororities give you amazing opportunities to step up and be a leader, accomplish things you never thought you could or never dreamed you would and they also give you the opportunity to understand how and why to take direction from others.
There are many points and benefits that I could list about being in a sorority, I could go on for hours about the things I learned, the people I met and the fun I had but I won’t do that in efforts to keep this blog at a decent length. I will share my last tip. Joining a sorority, developed my sense of me. It helped me grown and learn who I was going to be in life. When I graduated from high school I did not have much direction in life. I was a runner and I was going to college to run. Running was the biggest thing in my life. My first semester in college I was dating the boy from my senior year. He was in a fraternity and starting his second year of college as I started my first. My life got intertwined with his fraternity. The men in that fraternity were my friends and I felt at home when I was over there. I spent many a day over there hanging out with my boyfriend at the time, those guys and their girlfriends. I had the time of my life, but I had never considered that maybe being in a sorority was for me. That is until three girls from a sorority, I ended up joining, started befriending me. We hung out while or guys were doing fraternity things, once they took me for ice cream and I think they genuinely cared about me and who I was. After the second semester started they invited me to their house to hang out and meet their sisters. I was skeptical, I did like these three ladies but was a sorority for me? Was this what I wanted? Well needless to say sometime passed and I became one of them. I met women who I just knew I was destined to be friends with. And from that moment on it is history. I was apart of something that would be a part of me for the rest of my life.
Speaking of the rest of my life, let me tell you an awesome story about an alumni association that took me under their wing. When I moved to Denver to take that internship I talked about earlier, one of the first things I did was contact their alumni association. I called a lady named Barbara Hoover, left a message, told her who I was and that I wanted to come to their next event which just happened to be a pot luck in one week.
This is Barbara Hoover.
I waited a day or so and got a call back from Barbara. She might have been one of the sweetest people I have ever talked to. She immediately offered to give me a ride to the party and gave me directions to her house. Of course I left my house incredibly to early the day of the pot luck and ended up at her house like 30 min early. So I drove around the block and around her neighborhood for probably 20 min, I think one man walking his dog might have seen me drive by like 6 times…oops. Then the time came, I parked in front of her house, got out, grabbed my dish and rang the door bell. You would have thought I was meeting my long lost family member or meeting the president of the united states for the first time. I was so nervous. The door opened and there appeared Barbara, she was everything I had expected. She invited me in, finished getting her things together and we got ready to go. She informed me that we would be picking up one other member on our way. We did and we were off. Every time an event came up, from that month on, Barbara called to see if I needed a ride, I was so drawn to her as a person I always accepted. One month I even noticed she had a classic Oldsmobile convertible in her garage. She was as cool as I had thought.
The last month I was there, Nov. 2008. I went to Barbara’s house as I had every month before and we were getting ready to leave for a night of sisterhood and fraternity education. On these nights the alumni association in Denver has all their members get together memories from their collegiate days. Scrapbooks, new member books and other things to share. Barbara was still getting her stuff together sharing with me about pictures as we passed over them. If I am not mistaken I think Barbara graduated from Ohio in 1952. She showed me composites and other things from sorority days passed. It was bliss. As I think back to all the wonderful memories that were created in those six months with the Denver Alumni Association tears well up on the brim of my eyes and I tear up when I think of the women in that alumni association. Those ladies, the way the embraced me, even though they knew I would not stay with them forever was amazing. Their faces smiled every time I saw them. I was truly humbled by the generosity of those women and I hope that someday as an alumni I can embody the characteristics of my sorority to that extent.
So this is an extremely shortened list as to why ‘go greek’ but, it will do for now.