The Sad Truth About Greek Life, From Someone On The Inside

The Sad Truth About Greek Life, From Someone On The Inside

The values and ideas that sororities and fraternities were founded on are becoming more and more obscure, and honestly, it's heartbreaking.

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Recently, I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across an article; this article was written by the Kappa Alpha Theta-Epsilon Zeta chapter alumni, Bradley Tune. She expressed her sadness about the closing of her chapter, but the saddest part of her article was how relatable it was. The title was "As a Kappa Alpha Theta, I encountered my fair share of judgment." Throughout her article, she talks about the tier system and how it affected how people saw her and the organization she was a part of.

After reading the article, I wasn't sad. I was angry. I realized that everything she wrote was something my sorority sisters and I go through all the time, and honestly, I am sick of it.

People judge sororities based on the type of girls they recruit. Theta has a bad reputation because the girls we recruit are all different shapes and sizes. There was this guy I met last year, and he asked me if I was in a sorority. I proudly said "Yes, I'm in Theta," and I kid you not he looked at me and said "Theta? You don't look like a Theta," and I must have looked really confused because his friend said, "You know because you're pretty."

How does that even make sense?

When I was going through recruitment my freshman year, I was alone and nervous. So, when I got a bid from Kappa Alpha Theta, I was so excited that I was actually going to be a part of the Greek community, but that excitement quickly faded. I remember my Gamma Chi making a big deal not because I only got one bid back but because of which house it was. I remember feeling the judgment radiating from the girls that overheard the conversation about me loving Theta. I remember hearing those same girls bash Theta saying "I would rather not take a bid than go Theta."

I was heartbroken and actually considered not taking the bid, but I thank God every day that I took it. Even though the judgment on my sisters and I continue to receive to this day, I have never regretted joining that organization. It makes me sad and angry that Greek life all over the world has strayed so far from the ideals and morals it was founded on. It's funny that they call it the Greek "community" because the definition of community Is "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals," and none of that is what comes to my mind when I think of the Greek community. I think of those girls from recruitment, and I'm thankful that I don't share "common attitudes, interest, and goals" with them. I'm thankful that instead of conforming to the stereotypes of this "community," I joined a sorority that produces leading women who have their own attitudes, interest, and goals.

Long story short, things have to change across all Greek life PHC, NPHC, and IFC; and not just here at LSU but all over the world. Thanks for coming to my TEDTalk.

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'Big' And 'Little' Are More Than Just Labels

It is a special privilege, an irreplaceable bond that two girls share.

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One night last year, I was at my big's apartment doing my laundry because I was a freshman and did not feel like paying to do my millionth load of laundry. We were hanging out with her roommates when one of them told me about this girl who dropped out of her sorority. And don't get me wrong, I can understand dropping a sorority for many reasons, but this girl did not tell anyone she was dropping out, not even her little. Her little heard that she dropped from other girls in her sorority that she wasn't even close with.

When the little texted her big and asked why she dropped and why she didn't tell her, the big just said she did not think it was a big deal. Little responded with, “But I'm your little? Don't you think I should have known?"

What breaks my heart is that her big responded with, “It's not a big deal. Big and little are just labels anyways. They don't mean anything."

And that is where she's wrong. Big and little are more than just titles or labels.

Being a big and a little is more than just candy, stuffed animals, stickers, T-shirts, and presents. It is more than just posting numerous pictures with the captions “Love my littleeeeeee" or “I have the best big everrrrrr" with an extreme amount of heart and smiley emoji on Instagram. It is a special bond that two girls share in the world of Greek life. It is something that lasts beyond just four years of college.

Your big spent weeks crafting for you just so that everything was just right, and she spent the week lying to you saying “I wish I could've been your big" or “someone else called dibs on you" and sending you BS hints in your big/little baskets just so you are all that much more excited when reveal time comes.

A big is someone who takes you under her wing and adopts you as her own. Bigs are girls who love you unconditionally — your college role model, if you will.

She is someone you look up to, someone whom you strive to be just like.

She is the one who will always be there for you, no matter what.

She is there during the middle of the day when you need someone to go to Starbucks with.

She is the one you want to pre-game with before all the mixers and parties.

But most importantly, she is the one who is there for you in the middle of the night when your boyfriend breaks up with you or cheats on you, or when your parents tell you the are getting a divorce.

She is the one you can always go to for comfort and will always do whatever she can to make you feel better about yourself — whether it takes a wine and chocolate night while watching "Friends" or "Gossip Girl," or a night out on the town. She knows you better than you know yourself. Having a big sister is one of the most valuable privileges of being in a sorority.

Not only is having a big an honor; having a little is, as well. Your little is the girl you spotted during rush who just had that thing about her that made you think, “Dibs, she's mine." She is the girl who was your bid day buddy, the girl you welcomed to the sorority you both call home. You showed her the way through rush blowout, fraternity parties, mixers, and how to dress up for Halloween so she didn't end up looking like Cady Heron at Chris Isen's Halloween party.

Your little is the girl you show off to all your friends. She is the one you will stick up for no matter what. If it is a bad breakup she is going through, having school problems, family issues or if your risk management is out to get her, you are always there for her when she needs you. You teach her how to be the best big so that when she gets her little, your grand-little, she is just as spoiled as your little was. You teach her how to be a better version of herself, and you can only hope that she takes as much from you as you took from your big.

She's your mini-me, and you love her until the day you die.

Being a big and a little is way more than just a label or a title. It is a special privilege, an irreplaceable bond that two girls share. These girls will be by your side the day you get married, and you will be there for them on their big days. Big and little is something that lasts way more than four years short years at college. It is a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

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No Matter How Much You Flaunt Your Letters, Greek Life Does Not Define You

Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else is doing.

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As a student at a university with a major sorority and fraternity presence, I know that those unaffiliated, like myself, can't help but wonder if there's something that we're missing out on. Seeing everyone walk around flaunting their letters can make a non-member feel a little left out. I have been told straight to my face "you're going to regret it if you don't rush." But, in all honesty, I don't.

Now, don't get me wrong, being a part of a sorority or a fraternity sounds incredibly fun. With formals to hold, fundraising events to be a part of, "sister photo shoots" to have, and socials to go to, there never seems to be a dull moment for a Greek life member. Not to mention, those affiliated say they have made their absolute best friends through their sororities or fraternities. My friends that are a part of Greek life are always gloating about it, and I can see why. I joined my past roommate at one of her sorority formals and I genuinely had a ball being able to dress up and pretend it was prom again.

However, as wonderful as all of this is, you don't need to be a part of Greek life in order to have THE college experience. Having letters on your shirts does not mean you are any better or any worse of a student than those without them. The letters do not define you.

As an unaffiliated college student, I have still been able to find my group of "forever friends," join clubs, spend nights out, and get an education (since that is, after all, what we're all here for). As cool as it is to be able to stick Greek letters on the back of your laptop, for me, it just leaves more room for stickers of Harry Styles.

Thankfully, college is a lot different than high school — there aren't really any cliques or status rankings. So, if you aren't a part of Greek life, that does not automatically put you at the bottom of the social ladder. At the end of the day, your affiliation does not matter at all. Instead of using a sorority or fraternity as a resumé booster, unaffiliated students can fill those blanks with other work, internship, volunteer, or extracurricular opportunities.

Sure, being a Greek life member may allow you to network and get connections for future careers, but it isn't the only way to do

so. Employers will not pick those in a fraternity over those who are not. They simply look for well-rounded individuals who are involved in something.

So, whether or not you're a part of a sorority or fraternity, I applaud you for making your own decisions and hopefully taking the college route that you wanted to. It does not matter what you are affiliated with, as long as it makes you happy. Otherwise, you aren't missing out on anything special.

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