During my freshman year of college, I resided in Harris Hall. It's that three-story brick building sitting right across from Bryant Denny Stadium and right next to sorority row. Most people mistake it for a sorority house, and it honestly may as well be. I will never forget the day after I moved in. Usually, I woke up to the sound of my alarm repeatedly blaring a wind chime sound effect. On that particular day, I was woken up by the sound of chanting and screaming coming from outside my window. I had no idea what was going on.
I bolted out of bed, scurried to my window and looked outside to see hundreds of girls teetering in wedges and waving fans in their hands. There were wooden Greek letters being waved in the air. Girls were crying as they embraced each other and I heard "Welcome home!" more times than I can count. I was confused. Were girls being adopted today? Did girls go missing and are just now being reunited with their families? What is this? I saw girls in neon-colored trucker hats with words like "Alpha" and "Gamma" and "Chi" written across them. They were wearing over-sized jerseys with funny letters embroidered on the front. I looked at my roommate and asked, "What's going on?" He looked me square in the face and said, "Oh you don't know? It's sorority bid day."
Throughout my time living in Harris, I learned the that girls became grandmothers at twenty-one years old and glitter sales are on the rise due to elementary school children and sorority girls. Before I knew it, I was immersed in sorority culture. In Harris Hall, the first and second floors were inhabited by sorority girls; thus, I spent a bunch of time around them. After a while, I was spending Fridays eating fried macaroni-n-cheese bites in the Gamma Phi Beta house. I was grabbing 'AOΠ hearts the Tide' stickers before walking to Bryant Denny for a football game. I was wearing gameday t-shirts and wearing a few of those neon-colored trucker hats.
I remember there was one moment when I went home to Mississippi for Fall Break and I was driving around with a few friends. They were experiencing their freshman years of college as well, and we were discussing differences between our schools. Some of them were in various organizations, while I was not affiliated. Before I knew it, I was talking about Alabama's Greek system and I ended up talking about the history of how Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu were created. I don't know, it was just word vomit. The information just fell out of my mouth and I have no clue that I knew that. Younger girls from my high school were beginning college and I was telling them about the recruitment process as a potential new member. How did I know so much? I just retained so much knowledge from listening to my sorority friends talk. I joke about how I should have my own composite photograph hanging in one of the houses.
Sorority girls, you've taught me so much during my time at Alabama.
1. Wearing Big T-Shirts Is OK
Not going to lie, I used to hardcore judge people who wore the "srat uniform" of big T-shirts, Nike shorts and sneakers. One day, I was late to class and I tried the look. Since then, I've never looked back. You sorority girls may be on to something.
2. Play Hard, Work HarderGiphy
I've always wondered how sorority girls can go to parties and still maintain a stellar GPA. I can't tell you how many times I've seen girls stroll into an 8 a.m. class on Thursday morning after being at a party on Wednesday night. Girls will ace an exam on Friday morning, even though they were out and about on the Strip on Thursday night. That takes skill, and thankfully some of you have taught me this skill.
3. Anything Can Be a Costume
I used to think that the only time to go to a themed party was during Halloween, but sorority girls have proved me wrong. With swaps and date parties, I've learned that I exclusively enjoy going to parties if there's a theme. Wearing a basic T-shirt and jeans gets really old. If there isn't a '70s theme or Area 51 theme when you invite me to your party, I don't want to come.
I say all of this just to say that even though I've made friends outside of Greek life who have changed me for the better, I realized why sorority girls are constantly talking about how much they love their sorority. Yeah, there's more to it than just glitter, T-shirts and fried food. I've learned so much from them. As the kids say, throw what ya know!