8 Steps Towards Making The Perfect Banner, For The Artistically Challenged Sorority Girl

8 Steps Towards Making The Perfect Banner, For The Artistically Challenged Sorority Girl

So no one told you srat life was gonna be this way.
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When I joined a sorority, there were plenty of things no one told me I would have to do. For example, I was never told how much I was going to have to sing. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have been asked to stop singing happy birthday at a party before, was given the baseline part in a choral performance of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” so I couldn’t be heard, and that I really just cannot sing, period. But because I love my sorority from the bottom of my heart, I will do just about anything for these girls and this organization. At times that means doing things I’m not particularly good at.

Now, as Emory’s EPC 2018 Recruitment has come to an end, I can finally share my experience with making this year's Bid Day Banner. Although mine wasn't the banner we ultimately used, it was the process that was significant. After going through this experience, I am a changed woman, pushed to the brink of my talents: to put things simply, I have just as much creative ability as I do a chance at a singing career; both can be defined as the category below “slim to none” in the odds department.

I doubt every sorority girl has the artistic capability to make a poster that vaguely resembles anything like this (but if you do, you deserve an award for your talent)...

… So I’ve made a guide for those of us who lack a bit in the art department but still want to give our sisterhood our best. While this article helped me get started, two of Katie’s steps involved just stepping back and admiring your work. I don’t have time for that. This is a straightforward, step-by-step solution when you are tasked with the hardest challenge you as a srat star can face.

1. Cry to your reflection, not your New Member/ Bid Day Chairman

Groveling and begging on one’s knees is not a good look for anyone, least of all a smart, confident, sophisticated young woman such as yourself. You are a boss, a queen, a Khaleesi. You tell your chairman, “Yes. I have got this.” If you say this enough times, there is a chance it will come true.

2. Pinterest the shit out of your theme

No art is without inspiration, and other people’s successes are what you need to complete this mission. I’m talking full stocked private board the second you get your bid day theme. Believe me on this: even if you don't think there are any pictures of hippie 70s Woodstock themed bid days, there are. The more options you have, the more likely you are to find an image you could feasibly draw.

3. Buy your supplies

This involves going to Michael's, Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond because Home Goods doesn't have the size sheet you're looking for, CVS for new Sharpies so you can trace your design cleanly, and going back to Bed Bath Beyond because you bought two sheets to be safe and only need one obviously (that comes after you measure your purchased sheet to make sure it is the proper size; see above).

4. Start tracing your design and pray for a miracle

(Can you see the design? Neither could I the entire time I was sketching.)

I had to vacuum my floor three times to get up all of the eraser shavings. At this point with a canvas this size, it's a little hard to find stencils that work. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I free-handed my banner which induced enough stress to take 30 years off my life.

5. Begin painting after selling your soul to the devil


Once you've completed tracing and likely broken your back doing so, it's time to paint. This is when things go make or break for those of us who cannot paint. I recommend isolation in a room where the paint fumes will either get you high or drive you insane. Also running "The Office" in the background to keep you company.

6. Step back

This is less about admiring your work as it is preserving your sanity. Just literally walk away. Go to bed. Don't look at the banner anymore.

7. Trace everything over with sharpie

As good as your banner looks down beneath your feet, you have to remember it's going to be hanging up somewhere and people won't be able to see the precise definition of the lines you drew outside of. You can fool everyone by tracing the true designs with Sharpie and it will literally make everything look better (I promise).

8. Show it off like a newborn child

I sent this picture to literally everyone I knew. This banner is my baby, my sweet sweet child. I have not known a pain or devastation stronger than the day I was told we could no longer use it outside of our lodge. Never fear though: your banner doubles as a wonderful tapestry for your sorority house!

All in all, pride yourself on doing this. You are a goddess, a true warrior. You are now officially a trained professional artist. Congrats!!!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Sharp

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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5 Things That Happen When It's Greek Week

It's like a sports pride week, except it's for sororities/frats.

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The weather is warmer, people are happy, spring rush is over and most of the new members have been initiated into their respective frat or fraternity. Snow pants have been traded for jean shorts, winter coats have been traded for tee shirts and cardigans. Crowded libraries are now emptied out as people move outside to study. There are now kids napping in hammocks instead of the floor of the library. Instead of gloves, hands now hold iced coffee and tea. It's no longer dark at 5 pm and you can walk back from you're night class not in fear. In general, life is good and it keeps getting better.

The greeks like to capitalize n this to have the most fun and successful greek week possible ( I should know, I'm in a sorority). The outdoor games, the friendly competitions, and the smiles make the week much more fun.

1. Letters everywhere. 

Everywhere you you look someone is wearing their letters. Weather it be for point check in or just general pride, the amount of letters worn this week, increases exponentially.

2. Games

Games like corn-hole or flag football make a comeback for some friendly competition between different frats and sororities and are just fun in general, especially with warmer weather.

3. Music being played loud and outside

Now this usually happens when the warmer gets warmer no matter what but greek week just lends it self to large groups of young men and women gathering and playing music.

4. Your friends will ask you to help their sorority/ frat "win" 

"Please place coins in the coin buck for X sorority/frat!!"

"Don't forget to sign up for this and to put our sorority in the description"

With competition comes the need to mobilize all of our friends.

5. Social Media

Suddenly everyone's stories are just picture of their letters/ promoting the sorority. It seems strange but think of it like posing your team's mascot to your social media during a really big game

Greek Week: it's fun, it's loud, it's warm, it's spirited. Even if some of the activities are a little bit confusing, I promise you'll have alo more fun if you participate in the skits, races, corn hole tournaments than if you stand by and judge those who are. It's also a great way to break down stereotypes and get to know your greek community in a fun, non competitive way.

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