What Nobody Ever Tells You About Greek Life

What Nobody Ever Tells You About Greek Life

I remember my decision to go through the sorority recruitment process was not an easy one. I would be the first Greek in my family. I didn’t really have any friends or acquaintances that were Greek. I hadn’t even seen House Bunny. I learned about it through my future roommate. We got each other’s information before school started and of course she brought up recruitment. I figured if she was going to rush, I might as well do it too. To this day I still remember the question I dreaded the most during recruitment – Why did you decide to join a sorority? Honestly? I had nothing better to do. I thought it might be fun. I thought it was an easy ticket to making friends. I didn’t know why I joined a sorority three years ago. But now I do.

I thought I joined a sorority to make friends, instead I got sisters.
I won’t lie, it took me a while to truly feel sisterhood in its entirety. My first semester in, these girls were just my friends. They were just people I hung out with and had fun with. I have real sisters, so I wasn’t expecting to feel the same way towards my sorority sisters as I do them. At some point that changed. I don’t remember the exact day or even what caused it, but these girls stopped feeling like my friends and starting feeling like my sisters. I began noticing everyone going out of their way for each other. I began feeling completely comfortable around them. I starting feeling as protective and loyal to my sorority family as I do to my real family. I would find myself hanging out with my sisters, laughing, having a great time and just take a moment to appreciate it. Being around these girls made me happy. They made me feel whole.

I thought I joined a sorority to get involved, instead I fell in love with a ten-year-old girl with autism.
I didn’t understand what philanthropy meant when I joined. I knew we would volunteer and raise money for our philanthropy. I knew it was a great thing to do, and I knew it made us look good. I know everyone loves to battle “we do a lot for our philanthropy” anytime someone talks negatively about Greeks. But the truth of the matter is, you don’t connect to a philanthropy. You connect to the people it benefits. I never felt a strong connection to our philanthropy during the give-back nights at Chili’s. I didn’t care about it as much as I made it seem whenever I was talking to a PNM during recruitment. It changed when I started volunteering with a young girl. I finally understood why we put so much effort into our philanthropy. I understood why we were so proud yet humbled to be a part of it. Now, whenever we do our big events to raise money I am motivated by her smile. Whenever I speak about the organization, I do it with passion. Whenever I think of our philanthropy, I think of that little girl I’ve come to love so much.

I thought I joined a sorority to get better grades, instead I got, well I actually did get good grades.
Maybe it’s just me, but I am so tired of hearing “Greeks have an overall higher GPA than the average college student blah blah blah.” Frat does something racist? GREEKS HAVE A HIGHER GPA. Sorority caught hazing? GREEKS HAVE A HIGHER GPA. Just flat out don’t like Greek life and think it’s not for you? GREEKS HAVE A HIGHER GPA. Like, we get it. Statistically, Greeks have an overall higher GPA. That does not mean every Greek has a high GPA. That does not mean every non-Greek has a low GPA. I had heard this line so many times that I figured if I joined a sorority my GPA would magically be high. The thing that no one explains is why our GPA is higher. They don’t tell you that a sister you’ve never spoken to in your life will sit next to you in Biology because she saw your letters. They don’t tell you that she will share notes with you, be your lab partner, quiz you for the test. They don’t tell you about the all-nighters you’ll pull at the library. They don’t tell you how exhausting and fun those will be. They don’t tell you that you’re getting 250 tutors, that you have an incredible support system. If there’s ever a time when I’m struggling with something- all I have to do is post on our Facebook wall and sisters will come running to the rescue. I’ve learned that it’s not being Greek that determines your grades, it’s you. If you work hard and study, you’ll have a high GPA. Having an awesome support system doesn’t hurt though.

I thought I joined a sorority for the networking opportunities, instead I became the unofficial adopted daughter of a crazy, fun and caring woman who owns a coffee shop.
I walked into a local coffee shop one day a few years ago wearing my letters. When the owner started making her way around the store, asking everyone how they were doing, if they needed anything, I was surprised when she stopped and sat down at my table. She was so excited to see my letters. Turns out, she was one of my sisters. It is such an enriching experience every time you meet a sister you didn’t know you had. Long story short, I began going to that coffee shop religiously and developed an incredible friendship with my sister. A few years down the line, I’m always the first she calls to babysit. I always get invited to family gatherings and parties. She is the first person to recommend me for a job, or a scholarship, or an internship. My sorority gave me this woman who has become such a huge part of my life.

I thought I joined a sorority for the leadership opportunities, instead I became a fiercely loyal exec member.
I knew I wanted to get more involved in my sorority from the moment I joined. That was something I had been taught from day one- the more you invest in it, the more you get out of it. I kind of had a “yeah, woo, okay, lets move onto the fun stuff” attitude when it came to the traditions of my sorority. I didn’t really care about initiation, the secret handshake didn’t impress me, our history straight up bored me. I never really felt connected to our traditions. That all changed when I was elected to the executive board. I don’t know what exactly it was. Maybe it was the national convention I went to. Maybe meeting sisters from all over the country changed my perspective. Maybe it was working with advisors and alumnae. Maybe it was seeing what generations upon generations before me had worked so hard to build. Whatever it was, I began caring a lot more about my sorority than I had before. At first I loved my sorority because of the people in it, now I love my sorority purely for the organization it is. I love the history, I love our symbols and what they stand for, I love our creed and find myself striving to live by it day in and day out. Now I truly believe in the statement “it’s not four years, it’s for life.” I can’t imagine ever not caring or being involved with my sorority.

I joined a sorority for the big picture things. I thought I would make some friends, get decent grades and have something that looked good on my resume. Luckily for me, I got so much more than I ever expected.

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