It’s important to live and learn. To let mistakes teach you success. This is why I’ve spent my entire senior year bestowing advice and wisdom on the younger generation of my sorority sisters. I want them to be the best versions of themselves. Why not help them avoid making the same mistakes as I did by sharing mine with them? Here are six pieces of advice to help with college life and beyond.
1. You don’t have to like everyone. Stop pretending you do.
Some of your sisters will get on your nerves and sometimes you won’t want to be around them, and that’s okay. You don’t have to like everyone in the house. You have to be mature and cordial and be able to be in the same room as them: that’s standard decent human being shit. You don’t have to walk into a room and greet someone with a hug and a smile and so much “love” if you don’t even fucking like them. It looks so stupid. Please stop doing this. Sorority girls always get the stereotype that we’re fake and this is why. Be nice to everyone, but please stop pushing it over the edge.
2. You don’t have to support your sisters in everything.
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to be a supportive sister. Whether that means attending events your sister puts on or giving her a high five when she stumbles in from her slam last night. However, show no remorse not supporting your sisters in anything that you’re uncomfortable with. If they make a choice that you don’t agree with, don’t put on a face and have her back. Don’t bend your beliefs for any of your sisters because your beliefs make you who you are. If your sister cheats on her boyfriend, steals from someone, or gets in an argument with a rivalry sorority girl and you don’t agree with it, it’s perfectly acceptable to not have her back. Stand up for yourself and your values and never let anyone make you feel bad for that.
3. Pay it forward.
I can’t stress enough the importance enough of being nice. You never fully know the impact a single good deed can have on someone. Making one of your sisters’ dinner or complimenting her outfit actually means so much more than you think. Although the sister might not show her appreciation right then, trust me, it’s there. Underage sisters that make it a point to drive older girls to the bars on weeknights are the real MVP’s and when they’re old enough to drink on a Wednesday (or get a good enough fake) they’ll get the same favor from a younger girl. You get what you give and this is super relevant in Greek life.
4. Only take on what you can handle.
It’s happened one too many times that a sister will take on responsibilities on top of responsibilities and become so overwhelmed that she won’t fulfill the duties of those responsibilities. When it comes to house positions, this negatively affects the entire sorority and it’s not worth it. It’s okay to only bite off a little chunk of your sorority. You don’t have to have an E-board position or the most service hours to prove your worth. All you have to do is have a voice, be present, and be loving. That defines you as a sister. Being in a house made me so aware that some people can handle way more than others can, and that’s okay. Don’t get down on yourself. Be a good sister by your definition. That’s all that matters.
5. Drama is a thing and it’s never going away.
The less you pretend like drama doesn’t exist, the easier your life will be. When you group together so many girls, it’s inevitable that there are going to be issues. My mom is 52 and tells me stories about drama at her workplace. It never stops. Embrace it and use it as a time to learn about yourself. Learn your point of view on things and express your opinion because guess what? You’re allowed to have an opinion! Speak your mind and stand your ground. My backbone has gotten so much stronger since joining a sorority and I am forever grateful for that. Don’t be a doormat because you deserve better.
6. Open your eyes.
It’s shocking to how many 20somethings choose to be sheltered from such real problems. There are people in every sorority who suffer from all types of things: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, lack of self-confidence, OCD, addiction, etc. In fact, one in three girls are affected by these issues so take a look around you and see how many girls truly are. Here’s what you do: don’t be judgmental, don’t be obnoxious, and definitely be accepting. Understand what your words mean before you spit them out. Do some research and educate yourself. If you think someone around may have an issue, talk to them, but do it correctly. Don’t call them out. Express your concern and your love for them and realize that you could actually be saving someone.
Four years of sorority life teaches you a lot of different things. Live for the good and learn from the bad. It’s never too late to grow as a person. Take the time to listen and learn from those around you..
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