Why Joining Alpha Phi Omega Will Change Your Life For The Better

Why Joining Alpha Phi Omega Will Change Your Life For The Better

It didn't take long for me to realize that APO was the perfect middle-ground for me.
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I joined Alpha Phi Omega the first semester of my sophomore year on kind of a whim. Alpha Phi Omega wasn't something that was advertised much through our formal Greek life, and it was the perfect fit for me that I had never heard about. Luckily, APO was pamphleting the plaza a few weeks into my second year and I started reading more and more about it. I looked it up online, creeped on our chapter's Instagram, and planned on going to one of the casual recruitment events. It didn't take long for me to realize that APO was the perfect middle-ground for me, between not joining Greek life at all and becoming a member.

So here's why joining Alpha Phi Omega was one of my best college decisions:

1. Brothers!

And lots of them! I have to say I have never met a more inclusive group of people in my entire life, and they make you feel right at home from the first time you meet them until you are rapping the Greek alphabet together for your pledge test.


2. Time-management

APO has many requirements to fulfill throughout the semester: a certain number of service hours, leadership requirements, fellowships, and more. But I promise its all amazing! This has been my toughest academic semester yet, but I have been able to manage a great balance between work, school, and a social life.

3. Cost

APO is definitely an affordable fraternity for those who, like me, couldn't pay for a sorority or fraternity. This was especially important as expenses were one of the main reasons that led to my decision to not join formal Greek life.

4. House sorting

(Forget-Me-Nots where you at?!) Is your dream to be sorted into a house like Harry Potter? Well, APO will give you that experience. Its a unique way to symbolize Alpha Phi Omega and brings on a little friendly competition between houses.

5. Friendship

As one of our pillars, friendship is essential to APO. I have made so many friends through this fraternity, that I see on campus or hang out with, that I know I can turn to in times of need, and that will have my back when I need it most. They have supported me through so much already, I can't wait to see how much we all grow.

6. Leadership

I tend to think of myself as a quiet leader. I will refrain from stating my opinions or questioning what someone tells me to do. But APO made me want to try a leadership position and so I went for it. I was lucky enough to become our Fellowship Pledge Officer and this experience has taught me so much already! (I already feel better about speaking in front of 80 people without saying "Um" twenty times.)

7. Service

Its true that when you immerse yourself into something, you can get a whole new understanding of what that thing represents. Habitat for Humanity, Fort Collins Rescue Mission, McKinney Backpacks, and any other service event I have done has completely altered my perspective on my own community and the APO community. Service is a vital part of APO and we are able to raise thousands of dollars for our local organizations every year.

8. Non-traditional Greek Life

Alpha Phi Omega chapters don't have houses or socials. We are informal Greek life and are a dry fraternity. But I promise that you will get to know where everyone lives and have a lot of social gatherings, including some with other Greek organizations on campus.

9. But also some Greek Life traditions

APO has pledge ceremonies and initiation, as well as Littles and Bigs. We have formals every year and work with other Greek life organizations at some of our service events as well. (But if you are also interested in traditional Greek life, you are able to join a sorority or fraternity while also being part of APO!)

10. You're a lot like a boy scout

APO was founded the principles of scouting, which are derived from the Boy Scouts of America Scout Oath and Scout Law. We focus on service to the chapter, to the campus, to the community, and to the country.

11. Like sex? We got both!

Did I mention APO is a CO-ED service fraternity? Yes, that's right, different men and women come together with the same values and that makes our chapter even more diverse and strong. So don't worry when people ask you how you're in a frat if you're a girl. And its always fun to tell people your biological sister is actually your brother as well (wink wink)!

Cover Image Credit: Maddi Burns

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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I Didn't Join A Panhellenic Sorority

It's okay if you don't join a panhellenic sorority. Sometimes a different organization can turn out to be the best thing.

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Before going to college I was faced with a dilemma, should I rush? I wanted to rush just for the social aspect, I thought it would be my best shot at making a bunch of friends. However, deep down I knew that greek life really wasn't me. I didn't want to do something if I wasn't one hundred percent behind it. There was a part of me that did want to be in a sorority but the other part of me really didn't want to rush. Let me be clear, I don't think Greek life is bad, I just think it wasn't for me. I talked to my brother and sister-in-law about this because they both were in Greek life at the college I attend now; they told me that they didn't think I would like it either.

What my brother and sister-in-law told me that I might like was, a Christian sorority called Sigma Phi Lambda. When they described it to me it seemed like exactly what I was wanting. As soon as I got to college I sought them out; and I went to their recruitment nights. I loved it! It was exactly what I was looking for. I ended up joining. This sorority brought me an amazing group of friends! Most importantly, I have joined the perfect sorority for me! A few things I liked most about Sigma Phi Lambda was the people were so welcoming, it was more low key and laid back, I was still able to have a big and a "Pham", we still did lots of sorority things whilst also having activities that strengthened us on our walks with the Lord, and I gained so many sisters that I now have strong relationships with. Sigma Phi Lambda gave me so many friends and something to be involved in on campus. They gave me somewhere to belong and I am so glad I chose to join them.

Rushing may be exactly what you need when you go to college, but if it's not that is okay. Just join something that makes you happy. Join an organization that helps you grow and surrounds you with people that you want to be around. I promise when you get to college that there is an organization for just about everything, find the one that fits you. No matter what you choose I promise it's good. Just make sure you choose what is right for you.

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