7 Things People Will Tell You When You Join A Co-Ed Professional Fraternity

7 Things People Will Tell You When You Join A Co-Ed Professional Fraternity

"So it's like a fraternity where all you do is study together?"
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1."You mean a sorority right?" 

Pretty much, except we also let our male members join in on the sorority squatting and girl talk. #inclusion

2. "So both guys and girls can join?" 

We also accept applications from dogs, dolphins, hobbits, Grindylows, Hippogriffs, Inferi, Ninja Turtles (regular turtles need not apply), and the occasional evil spirit contained in a videotape.

3. "What if people start dating?"  

We require them to embroider a Scarlet "A" on their chest and stand on a scaffold in public for as long as we see fit. We used to just banish them from the village but the population was getting too small... but actually, for the most part we turn our heads the other way until they care to admit what everyone else already knows.

4. "I don't think Greek Life should be Co-Ed."  

I don't think the Comic Sans font and pumpkin spice flavored cream cheese should exist, but isn't it nice to have opinions?

5. "So is it like an honor society?"  

It's exactly like an honor society except without the honor society part.

6. "So it's like a fraternity where all you do is study together?"

Absolutely. We discuss Treasury Bill Rates and the Principals of Accounting and when that conversation runs its course we twiddle our thumbs until its time to go to class. Sometimes when we're feeling wild we go to office hours together.

7. "Why didn't you join regular Greek Life?" 

In all seriousness, Greek Life should be about finding an organization where you feel as though you belong. With people and values with whom you can identify. I have a chapter full of people in my life who taught me a lot about not only professionalism, but myself as a person. They are my family away from home, so I can comfortably say I found what I was looking for.

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school. I’ll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted. Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I’m 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?” A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?”, I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week.” I let it roll off of my back, I’ve spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back”… but I think it’s time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister. She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn’t have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her. I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn’t though. I didn’t let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization. Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn’t directed to what we, in today’s society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one’s self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so. This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God’s creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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PSA: Get Off My Back for Wearing Birkenstocks

"Jerusalem Cruisers", "Are you going to the last supper", "Are you a disciple?" these are a few of the sayings that have been thrown my way for my footwear choice, but hey get off my back.

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Birkenstocks, one of the most comfortable shoes known to man. A shoe that I once traveled in, as my only pair of shoes, from Boston to Paris for 12 days. People get off my back for wearing the most comfortable shoe known to man.

Yes, I understand they aren't everyone's style but to me, I find them cute and comfortable.

My friends have thrown a variety of jokes my way for my footwear choice ranging from flat out telling me my footwear is ugly to calling my Birkenstocks "Jersulem Cruisers."

Made in Germany in as early as 16th century Birkenstocks have been around for awhile. This foreign footwear wasn't introduced to the states until the 70's with classic styles of sandal as well as clogs made from a material designed to mimic the imprint of your foot. All of this possible through the material the shoe is compromised of in the footbed, cork.

The flower child became the trademark person in the states to be walking around looking for peace, rocking their Arizona sandal or Boston Clog. It's pretty cool to wear a shoe that was popularized during a different era in American society.

I also like the idea of supporting a company that is animal-friendly in the production and distribution of its products. The next time you question my Birkenstocks let me first ask you the conditions which were used to create the Nikes on your feet or the harmful chemicals coming from your $1 flip flops from Old Navy. I feel as though it is my duty as an American citizen to be conscious of the products I consume. You must stop and ask yourself, what did someone have to do to make the product you will consume, was a young teenager enslaved in a sweatshop to make your fresh Nikes?

Going to the University of Maine the Birkenstock brand has quickly taken over the student body.

From the students that live stateside to the international students Birkenstocks unite us all. From the student-athlete to the sorority girl you can find different people both in the Arizona sandal.

Quality, comfort, support three ideas that resonate in the ideas of Birkenstock, a shoe I proudly wear with comfort.

Next time you try and diss my birks please think first about the companies you wear and support.


Cover Image Credit:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkIDUXyDQl9/?hl=en&tagged=birkenstock

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