6 Reasons I’m Glad I Chose to go Greek
I’m going, to be honest with you, the seventeen-year-old version of myself wouldn’t have been caught dead saying the title of this post. I was actually proud to tell my parents, teachers, and anyone who asked that I was not someone who would be in a sorority when I went to college. All sorority girls do is party, they only care about appearances, and I mean honestly, who wants to live with 150 women?!? You wouldn’t catch me being forced to wear dresses (my high school attire involved jeans, flip flops, and crew neck sweatshirts found at value village, not kidding), and honestly, the reputation I’d been exposed to about sorority women wasn’t all that great. I stood my ground with these thoughts until the last day of recruitment sign-ups. All the girls I knew from my hometown who were going to the same college, were signing up and I had serious FOMO (fear of missing out). So, I broke down, signed up, and spent the remainder of the summer envisioning what the next four years of college would be like.
Turns out, going Greek was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my twenty-three years of life and it was nothing like the picture I had in my head at eighteen years old. Looking back now, I’m not sure I would’ve even made it through four years at a school with admission over 20,000, without my sorority & all the women and experiences it brought me.
Here are the six reasons I continue to stand up for the Greek community and encourage young women to branch out of their comfort zone;
1.It was a challenge
I didn’t know it as an incoming freshman, but it turns out, college is actually hard. What’s even more difficult? Juggling homework, Monday chapter meetings, philanthropy events, new member Ed meetings, and a social life. Did I always want to do all of those things? Heck no. But since becoming an adult, your career is scary similar. Do I want to go to staff meetings every Tuesday? Definitely not. Do I want to dress extra nice for our fundraiser? Nope. But you do it. I like that sorority life challenged my beliefs, comfort zone, and what I had seen as “normal” in high school.
2.I felt safe & secure
Bear with me on this one. I would never condone underage drinking. But I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t happen or that I didn’t participate. Drinking and partying was a reputation my university had (& most do), but being a part of a group of women who had high standards they were up expected honor, made me feel cohesive and safer. I knew if I needed something, any one of my sisters was there to make sure I was ok and was also there to make sure I was the classiest version of myself and our chapter. Yeah, puking was something we constantly got yelled at about, but they’d rather have us come home and do it (to make sure we were ok), then hide in a frat bathroom somewhere. One thing I look back on now is how safe and protected I was by my sisters, but also the entire Greek community. There will always be competition between houses, but I witnessed men and women helping each other regardless of letters countless times in college.
Would I have said this as a sophomore in the house? Definitely not. I probably would have made comments about standards being fun suckers and how I am nineteen years old, an adult, and can technically do whatever I want.
Again, adult me thanks to my Greek life decision. You learn so much about what is appropriate to post on social media, how to present yourselves in social situations, and even how much alcohol (& which kinds) you can handle.
This is such a common reason, but so true! I love that if I ever wanted a career change, was going to be moving across the country, or wanted an internship, I could reach out to any of the members of my chapter or even our entire organization Facebook page for help.
It’s also great for learning about other people. I grew up on the east side of WA State, but of course, a lot of my sisters grew up on the Westside. It was always interesting to hear about the differences in our lives and culture, and how to be better prepared when one of us was crossing over into each other’s side of the state.The friendships
4.The forever friendships
I found my absolute best friends & soulmates. I could probably go on for pages about the relationships I built because of my sorority. I’ll make it short and sweet. You know how people say friends are the family you get to pick? Well, I got two pretty great ones. I’ve always been someone who has been able to lean on my family for support, but the friends I made in college became those friends you go to lean on as well. One of my best friends (and big) and I went to the same high school and were two years apart. We knew who each other were but didn’t hang out or have a relationship. Then we go to the same college, 3 hours away, choose the same house, and became big-little. My other best friend was from four states away, and our sorority brought us together to the point of road trips to Utah and being in each other’s weddings <3
5. Learning the real-life life lessons
I learned a lot about what I wanted in my life, in all realms. Guys, career, kids, even financial responsibility. I learned what I would tolerate, what was a deal breaker, and learned some tough lessons that would’ve been a lot harder, had I been doing them as a full blown adult. Even the littlest things, like learning what to wear to an interview (chapter attire & recruitment parties) helped give me confidence that I didn’t even know I would need, later on.
6. As cliche as it sounds, the sisterhood
Although the stereotype is a bunch of girls sharing makeup, partying, hazing, and not caring about their academics, my experience was none of those things.
You get in the Greek system, what you put into it. By my senior year, I wasn’t in a good state, mentally (now that I look back). I lived by myself, focused on graduating (basically the opposite of freshman year), and was facing the stress of having to leave the place and people I called home for four years. But I am forever thankful to have had a house to walk into and a PC to always welcome me back in when I wanted to relive the glory days and be around people who made me love my chapter.
When I think about my experience overall, most people would probably think that I didn’t have the time of my life. And I admit, there were times that I didn’t. By senior year I hated chapter meetings, I hated that as 22-year-old women, we had to live by rules my parents didn’t even give me in high school and I hated the fake ness of some relationships I had built. But now that I am in the real world and I look back, I feel fulfilled from my college experience. There isn’t one thing I regret and I think my sorority is a large reason for that. I am proud of my four years as a coug and those four years (although, I’m not sure I’d ever want to re-do) were the greatest of my life so far. Moving back to a college town and working with people my age who are currently still in college, it makes me so glad that I got to experience Greek life, the reputation and all because I feel prepared as an adult. There was nothing about leaving Pullman after graduation where I thought, man, if only I had done that or I wish my school had blank. Or I wish. My sorority taught me more about _____.
The point of this post is not to convince you that all the stereotypes you hear about sororities are untrue because in some cases, they are. But, not everyone in Greek life has the same experience, and through all the negativity the Greek community experiences from those who don’t know, they deserve to be talked about positively. This may not change everyone’s opinions, and you may have your thoughts about mine, but if I could change one person’s mind about the Greek community & what it’s about, I’d be happy.
Thanks for reading,