My Sorority Changed Me Not Because I Joined, But Because I Stayed

My Sorority Changed Me Not Because I Joined, But Because I Stayed

Sometimes why you stay is more important than why you join.
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Sorority recruitment is one of the strangest experiences I've ever gone through in my entire life, and that's saying a lot.

As a freshman in college, I made the decision to go through formal recruitment in the fall with high hopes of joining a group of women who shared the same interests as me. I didn't know much about Greek Life, as none of my immediate family members went Greek, but what I did know is that I was a nervous wreck.

As my fellow potential new members (PNMs) and I gathered outside of chapter houses waiting to go into our events, it was almost impossible to keep our opinions to ourselves. There was constant side chatter about how one woman found her dream home and how another woman talked to a chapter member who was exactly like her. While these comments were positive, I began to feel insecure due to the fact that I hadn't really had an incredible conversation at all that week.

I didn't know how these women had found their "home" in just a matter of six days. I was confused and felt overwhelmed, but the week came and went and then there was bid day.

As a PNM, I had done my research and knew that bid day was the best day out of the entire week. It was the day you got to run home to women you could officially call your sisters.

For me, bid day was just another day. I'm not sure if it was because I'm really not that of an outward emotional person or because I still wasn't sure if being in a sorority was the right choice for me, but I just didn't feel that bid day spark that I heard everyone talking about.

Flash forward to the end of my freshman year. I was initiated into my sorority and sort of just coasted through the year. I went to a date function here, a social there, philanthropy events, meals at the house, and all of that jazz, but I still didn't know if I'd found my place. I wasn't that invested in my sorority, and I wasn't really sure I had a desire to be. So, summer came and went and then it was back to school before I knew it. The beginning of fall semester means the beginning of recruitment week.

This time around, I wanted to put myself out there.

I wanted to be a woman who made a difference in my chapter. I wanted to be known. I made efforts to hang out with women in my chapter that I hadn't really known before and I tried to have a friendly conversation with everyone on a daily basis. Through this, I slowly but surely began to understand why the women in my sorority loved being there.

During recruitment, I think every woman has this idea that they are going to fall madly in love with a specific chapter and they are going to have the time of their lives in that chapter once they become a member.

For some, that's true, but that's not always the case. Sometimes you're like me. You receive a bid, you kind of just go with it, and you aren't really sure what you're doing or why you're in the place that you're in. That's why I firmly believe that the reason why you stay in a sorority is far more important than the reason why you joined.

I could talk endlessly about the amount of money that my sisters raise for our philanthropy, how involved my fellow sisters are on my school's campus, or how I couldn't imagine calling anywhere else my home, but those statements are recycled. I'm not saying that they don't matter, but to me, they don't make a difference. Instead, I'm going to talk about the parts of a sorority that make being a sorority woman important to me.

Your experience is your own, and it's what you make of it.

During my freshman year, I chose to isolate myself instead of get to know my new member class. I didn't attend events as frequently as I should have, and thus didn't make as many friends as I probably could have. During my sophomore year, I branched out. I was tired of isolating myself, so I took matters in to my own hands and decided to get out there and embrace being a sorority woman. In doing this, I've found women that I'm lucky enough to call my best friends.

I've found women that empower me every single day and are constantly pushing me to do things that put me out of my comfort zone. I discovered what a true friend is and how to be a true friend. I've learned that without these women in my life, there's a good chance I would be a lesser person than I am today.

Because I stayed, I have been blessed with the opportunity to know 200+ women who continue to inspire me to be a better individual day in and day out.

Essentially what I'm saying is this: everyone grows at different rates, and sometimes it takes a little while to truly find your place away from home. Finding your home could happen in one week, but it could also happen in one month or even one year.

Give it time, make an effort to put yourself out there, and enjoy yourself while you're doing it. Don't get caught up in the silly things that don't matter, focus on finding a group of women you can feel your best around even when your guard is down. Like I said, it will take time, but in order to experience highs, you sometimes have to go through lows, but that's why you stay.

Cover Image Credit: Toria Clarke

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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20 Things I'd Do If The Concept Of Time Was Abolished

If only our lives weren't limited by time.

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Recently, news outlets have been reporting on how the people of Sommarøy, a Norwegian island located north of the arctic circle, would like to remove the concept of time. This is largely in part due to the fact that the sun does not set during much of the summer nor does it rise during the winter. The inhabitants of Sommarøy do not have rigidly separated days and nights like the rest of the world and can be found doing normal daytime activities at 2 am in the summers.

They also would like to take clocks out of their society. Although this lifestyle might seem impractical to the rest of us, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world where time is irrelevant, in regards to the concept AND the physical effects of its passing. This newfound information gave rise to ideas of things (some simple, some whimsical) I'd do if the concept of time did not exist and we had as much time to do the things we wanted.

1. Live on a ship at sea.

2. Watch a flower grow from a seed to its death.

3. Apply as much makeup as desired without being late.

4. Retake my favorite college courses and participate as fully as I possibly can, including the completion of every single reading and film.

5. Take a non-stop trip through every country in the world.

6. Learn to play and fully master every single musical instrument in existence.

7. Watch a full rotation of Earth around the sun from space.

8. Live by myself in a cabin at the edge of the woods a la Thoreau.

9. Reread every single book that shaped my childhood.

10. Have a brief conversation with every old friend.

11. Re-drink that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee.

12. Observe how the tides change with the lunar cycle.

13. Learn as many languages as possible.

14. Sit at the beach and listen to music for days.

15. Train for an Olympic event.

16. Write a detailed, thorough analysis of every track in my favorite movie soundtracks.

17. Take a photo of every interesting place I visit and every little nook I find peace in and make a physical photo album.

18. Cook food without burning it.

19. Watch a star's life cycle from birth to death.

20. Replay the feeling of coming home.

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