Greek life always seems to have a controversial presence in the media. More recently, it’s been focusing on the few negative and unfortunate instances going on around the country. When the media and the general public bashes Greek Life consistently, it becomes harder and harder to vouch for our organizations and the great things that we do.
If you’re a part of greek life, you’ve probably had to defend yourself and your organization while talking to a colleague, co-worker, or even your best friend. You rattle off your philanthropies, the community service work that you do, and how you contribute to your school’s community, but they never seem fully sold.
I always get the question, “Well, what do you guys do?” But I’ve never once been asked, “What have they done for you?” I think there’s a lot more to be said there. Here are 5 things my sorority has done for me over the past four years.
No, it’s not all frat parties and gossiping about each other. There’s actually a business side to sororities. There are countless positions that each chapter has that gives sisters opportunities to step up and become leaders. In most of those positions you need to work with people outside of your organization, so you need to be able to communicate with others in a professional manner. Not only that, but have you looked at the to-do list of a Philanthropy, Recruitment, or Community Service Chair? It’s filled with writing emails, making phone calls, filling out paperwork, booking venues; things that any event planner would be paid to do, they’re doing it for free. Having a position within a sorority is basically like having another job. We uphold ourselves to the standards and ideals of our organizations, so that carries over into our actual jobs too.
Community service and philanthropy work are two things that are very close to my heart, and my sorority allows me to help more people than I ever thought I would. I’ve been presented with opportunities to work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the New Haven community, and various organizations in state and across the country. It’s forced me to see that people are struggling in the world and any little bit helps. Whether you’re donating blood to the American Red Cross, or raising money for a children’s research hospital, it’s all going somewhere and helping someone in need. It’s made me want to volunteer on my own and find other places in the world that need our help. Working within the community opened my eyes to issues I may not ever have to face in my lifetime, but because of my sorority, I’ve been able to help someone work through them in some way.
Those who only associate Greeks with Animal House or American Pie assume that we care more about alcohol than we do our academics…false. On Southern Connecticut’s campus, our overall Greek GPA is higher than the average student at Southern, and that’s true for many campuses. I was struggling my first semester at college and with joining Delta Phi Epsilon, my GPA went up almost immediately. With all of the mandatory study hours we have to do, it’s pretty hard to fail. We’re here for our education first, so why waste all that money?
Let’s face it, being in a sorority means you’re required to craft. There’s literally no way around it. I took extra art classes when I was younger, but it was something that slowed down come my high school years. I now make projects for school, décor for my room, and presents for my friends and they suddenly become much cheaper. I’ve noticed that people enjoy handmade gifts more than anything you can buy, so if you’re a crafter, you’re lucky. You’ll also have a few extra places of residence known to the general public as Joann Fabrics, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. If I’m ever bored on a snow day or a weekend, that time is now consumed with painting canvases and Mod Podging mason jars.
I don’t think my self confidence has been higher in my entire life than it has while I’ve been in sorority. My sisters never judge me and it’s so easy to be myself around them. Since joining, I’ve grown to love myself because they have taught me how to. It can be something as little as a like on a selfie or as big as giving me a pep talk before an interview. They reassure me that I can do anything I set my mind to and if I don’t, they’re there to help me put myself back together and try again. They know all my goals and ambitions and they motivate me every step of the way until I meet them. No matter what I’m going through, they always assure me that my feelings are valid, that I can work through any problem, and most importantly, they’re there for me.
When I was a new member of my organization, I thought I was really going to have to work to get the other girls in my class to like me. I soon realized that all I had to do was be myself. I have never grown closer with a group of girls so fast, I thought it was bizarre. Not to mention I had my big, my grand big, and the rest of my sisters sticking by me throughout my new member period. When I officially became a sister, I realized exactly what I had gotten myself into. I now have best friends that will eat ice cream and let me cry with them at four in the morning. I have friends that will be bridesmaids in my wedding and godmothers to my children. I have sisters that I will grow old with, and I have a family that will always be with me. People say that from the outside looking in you can’t understand it, but from the inside looking out you can’t explain it, and that couldn’t be truer. The bond I have with my sisters is eternal and something I will cherish for the rest of my life.