8 Unexpected Things I Gained From Joining A Sorority

8 Unexpected Things I Gained From Joining A Sorority

I knew I would gain sisters, but I had no idea about the rest.
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On November 12th, 2017, the newest chapter of Chi Omega was installed at Coastal Carolina University. I never saw myself in a sorority and I didn’t really know what to expect. The only exposure I had to sororities was what I had seen in movies, which I now know was completely inaccurate. I wasn’t expecting to join a sorority, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to gain so much. Aside from the ninety-seven sisters I now have for life, I also have so much more.

1. Confidence and self-love

Being accepted into a selective group of astonishing young women was the ULTIMATE confidence booster. As soon as other people saw potential in me, I was able to see the potential in myself. From bid day on, I could thoroughly appreciate myself and all I had to offer. As I became closer and closer to my sisters, I became more and more comfortable with myself.

2. Greek community

Being chartered just this year, we spent the better part of our first semester running around lost and confused. Fortunately for us, we joined the most welcoming and helpful greek community out there. Through homecoming, mixers, Panhellenic events, Greek Week, and other activities, we have had the opportunity to work with so many other Greek organizations. The connections and friendships I’ve made outside of my sorority are just as important and valued as the ones on the inside.

3. Motivators/supporters

In so many ways, having a sorority behind you is like having a 24/7 Support Team. No matter the time of day or night, if I have a problem, I have ninety-seven girls to help me out. It’s basically impossible to have a bad day because anytime I see a sister on campus, my mood is instantly lifted. The genuineness and authenticity that surrounds me when I'm with my sisters is a constant motivator to push myself to the best of my ability.

4. Coffee dates

By coffee dates, I mean coffee dates, dinner dates, lunch dates, beach dates, baseball game dates, library dates, and just about anywhere else. I always have someone to hang out with. Obviously, my sorority has brought me my best friends, but my favorite thing to do still is putting in our group message that I’m going to lunch and just seeing who wants to come. It has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing girls, of whom I would not have met otherwise. Life is a crazy, hectic thing, but I know I’ll never have to do it alone.

5. Advisors

The practical purposes of advisors are to offer leadership and management to our chapter. But they have so much more to offer than their practical purposes. Having an advisor is basically like having your mom at college with you. They provide endless amounts of wisdom and insight and unfailingly support every single one of us in whatever we do. Our advisors have all been in the same exact positions as us, so they can help as a leader, a mentor, and when need be, a sister.

6. Consultants

In Chi Omega, all new chapters have an in-residence National Leadership Consultant. Our NLCs provide professional leadership and guidance for our chapter. Our NLCs so far have been the most fearless, strong, beautiful women who have devoted their entire lives for four months at a time to building one of the most incredible chapters. The hard work, determination, and persistence they have put in is the reason we have been able to achieve great things our first year. Their ability to effortlessly love and care for every single one of us has truly inspired me to become a better person. Our NLCs have given us someone to look up to and go to with any problem. They served as leaders, my best friends, and most importantly, my greatest role models.

7. Alumnae

Being the largest and one of the oldest women’s Greek organizations, Chi Omega, has an enormous alumnae base. No matter where life takes me after college, I will always have a sister, supporter, and friend in the area. But even more importantly, the alumnae serve as inspiration. We have sisters who went into acting, writing, and performing. We have sisters who are doctors and we have sisters who are senators. We have sisters all over the world in every career imaginable. Our sisters have achieved wild and lofty goals and if they can do it, we can do it.

8. The world (well basically)

Being a part of a sorority has provided me with so many opportunities, from leadership to self-development, to bettering the community. I never thought I would join a sorority, but looking back, I cannot see myself without one.

Cover Image Credit: Clara Comiskey

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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Hating On Greek Life Isn't A Personality Trait, Get Over Yourself

Congratulations, you don't like Greek Life...now what?

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I was doing my usual scrolling through Twitter recently, and I found a tweet that seemed to be making fun of a set of photos. In hopes of discovering some classic Twitter humor, I decided to engage further. The tweet referenced a photo series that a group of sorority girls created, where they attempted to defy the stereotypes of sorority girls in America with statements like: "Society says sorority girls are rich and spoiled, but I pay for my dues and tuition," or "Society says sorority girls buy their friends, but you can't put a price on sisterhood." The photo series itself is sweet – it has a message of inclusivity and positivity. Yet, the responses to this photo series were anything but that.

One Twitter user responded stating that the photo series was "pathetic" because, "Some of us are actually from diverse backgrounds, immigrant families, low-income households, etc."

Another Twitter user mentioned, "I saw some s*** like this on my Facebook literally a week ago lmao why do they wanna be oppressed so bad."

It is absolutely no secret that Greek life has a bad reputation. Popular movies like "Neighbors" paint members of Greek life as shallow, rich, and incompetent for the purpose of shock value and humor. Although this image was manufactured for the purpose of entertainment, the idea has seeped into the mindset of society to ultimately promote an extreme overgeneralization of an opportunity in college that is anything but harmful.

Many of the responses to the original tweet seemed to stem from the assumption that being an intelligent and reasonable student and being a part of Greek Life are mutually exclusive. This concept is extremely hypocritical. The human identity is multifaceted and contextual. Every person engages and utilizes their intelligence in different ways depending on what the context requires, and to reason that members of Greek Life are not privy to this exact ability simply because of their affiliation is absurd.

Furthermore, users who claimed that Greek life lacks "diverse backgrounds" or "immigrant families" are only reinforcing this stereotype. Although I'd like to first state that I believe that Greek life absolutely does harness a fair amount of diversity, I think making this type of argument would be stale. Instead, I believe that restating stereotypes such as the above only isolates those from diverse backgrounds who may want to join Greek life, because they worry they will be cornered or ridiculed by their peers.

If you believe that Greek life is exclusive, my first recommendation would be for you to challenge that exclusivity by joining and breaking the barriers and proving Greek life wrong. But if we as a society continue to paint Greek life as this "whitewashed" organization and then ridicule any person of color who may be interested in joining, we are simply generating redundancy and contributing to the perceived issue.

In response to ideas of oppression, I agree with the statement that members of Greek life are by no means oppressed. There are minority groups who face genuine and violent oppression, and to use a word as strong as that to describe Greek life demeans those who endure a genuine struggle. However, I would argue that members of Greek life are unfairly stereotyped against, which is only highlighted by the backlash this photo series received. A photo series that had no purpose beyond defying stereotypes and promoting a well-rounded understanding gathered sarcastic feedback such as "sorority girls are braver than US Marines." Yet, all this negative feedback manifested in response to a photo series that had no intention of marginalizing or ridiculing those who were not a part of Greek life.

Instead, Twitter users took it upon themselves to assume the worst of Greek life.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to go rush to their nearest flower shop and send a sorority a beautiful bouquet of flowers begging for an apology. In fact, I couldn't care less if you like Greek life or not after this. What I am saying is that isolating and marginalizing members of Greek life because you believe that they unfairly prejudice those from diverse backgrounds is a problem. If you believe that joining an organization that promotes positivity, philanthropy, and mentorship isn't for you, that is absolutely ok. It isn't for everyone, and that's not a trait exclusive to membership in Greek life by any means. It is worthy to note, though, that making fun of sororities or fraternities for unreasonable assumptions you maintain makes you no better than what you perceive Greek life to be, and that is something to absolutely be mindful of.

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