Living Up To The Legacy

Living Up To The Legacy

Finding your home is a journey only you can take.
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I was not your stereotypical Greek. I don't drink. I don't like partying. I'm not the biggest social butterfly in the world.

I wasn't the kind of girl that my high school friends pictured going Greek. Whenever I voiced my interest, I got a lot of questioning looks and and cautious remarks from peers and teachers alike.

They didn't really understand why I wanted to go Greek.

To them, going Greek was secretly for all the reasons I listed.

To me, it was a culmination of how I was raised.

I am what is called a Legacy. My mother and aunt were both part of an organization on campus when they went to my university. My father was also part of an organization on campus during his time in college.

Unlike most people considering taking on letters, I grew up with parents who understood what it was all about. I grew up knowing what a sorority and fraternity mean to their members. I was raised with my mom and aunt being open to explaining the relationship they had with their sisters and how they started up their chapter of their organization here on campus.

I was lucky. Not many people have families that are so completely understanding and open to the idea of joining an organization.

Everyone assumed that I would want to join my mother's organization. It's not that simple.

Being a Legacy is a lot more that having a guaranteed bid to join the organization. I wanted to want them for the girls that were in the organization now, and not for the women who started up the chapter 25 years ago, and that can sometimes be hard to come to terms with.

Not everyone is happy with the group that currently runs the chapter, yet they still join.

Sometimes it's the external pressures from their mothers, sisters, and aunts that push them to join. Other times its the innate fear of disappointing them. Still, it can stem from a place of insecurity, a place where they may believe they are not good enough to join any other group.

If you are a Legacy, please, keep your mind and heart open to every single organization on campus. Don't build up any particular organization. Don't listen to any of the other girls rushing and their negative opinions to your number one.

If your number one is your Legacy organization, that's great! Make sure you are doing it for you, and that you love the girls, their values, and their hearts.

If your number one is not your Legacy organization, that's totally and completely okay. Don't feel bad or ashamed by it. You're rushing to find your home for your time in college. If those girls love and accept you for who you are, then it doesn't and shouldn't matter which letters they wear on their jersey.

With Spring recruitment starting this month, I wish everyone interested good luck! . Don't force yourself to like an organization because you have one friend there, or it's your Legacy. Stay true to yourself and your values throughout the week and everything will fall into place. Trust the process my friends. Remember to hold your letters with pride and love, and they will love you back. There is history in every organization, so take the time to thank those who came before you and plan where you want to help your organization go in the future.

Much love,

A fellow Greek

P.S. If things don't work out, know that they happen for a reason. I will write about my personal experiences another time. Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: FIU Panhellenic Instagram

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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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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