To The Girl Who Thinks She Hates Greek Life, But Hasn't Given It A Shot

To The Girl Who Thinks She Hates Greek Life, But Hasn't Given It A Shot

When I began my freshman year of college, I thought I hated it too.
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Girl, I get it. You saw that one horrifying ADPi recruitment video when you were 14 and you thought, “No thanks, not for me.” I was in the exact same boat.

I entered my freshman year giggling at the girls who dressed to the nines in 105-degree weather to impress upperclassmen in hopes they’d be invited to join their clique.

When I got an email from my now-sorority’s Recruitment Chair inviting me to a Pumpkin Painting Party in October, I laughed out loud and made fun of it with my roommate (spoiler alert: she joined too).

The only reason I showed up to paint pumpkins was because one sister went out of her way to invite me face to face. I knew then that this wasn’t a sorority who was in it for the numbers, they genuinely wanted to make me a part of their sisterhood.

So, I went. Long story short, I loved it. It wasn’t the picture of tall, skinny, blonde, white girls that I’d always had in my mind. As far as sororities go, I’d never seen one like it.

Since joining, I have made friends that I never thought I’d have. My Big (I know, a gross sorority word) is one of my best friends. I recruited my roommate and a random girl from my English class, and both of those friendships have continuously bloomed since. I have a list of 144 women that I could call at any time and say the words, “I need you,” and they’d be with me in ten minutes.

Not every sorority is like mine, but I’m convinced there is at least one like it on every campus that has Greek Life. So give it a try. Open your mind to change and invite amazing new people and experiences into your life.

If you find it isn’t for you, no harm done. At least you can say you gave it a shot.

Cover Image Credit: Phi Mu - College of Charleston

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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To My Graduating Great-Grand Big, Sister By Chance, And Friends By Choice

You were the first person I ever met in my sorority before I even knew I was going to be in that sorority, little did I know I would be crying over the fact that you're leaving

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To my Great-Grand Big,

If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be a part of such an amazing family here at UA. You were the first person I met here at UA that wasn't a freshman.

Little did I know you would spend more than just a week with me.

Little did I know you would make such an impact on my life.

Little did I know I was going to be your great-grand little.

Coming to UA not knowing anyone was already super stressful, but going through rush added so much more stress on it. Having you as my Rho Chi eliminated so much of that stress. I always felt like I could come and talk to you. You were my biggest supporter. I don't think I would have been able to get through rush without you.

So, finding out that we were in the same sorority on Bid Day was just the greatest news ever.

Having you in the same sorority already made me feel at home. At first, it was scary because I didn't know a lot of people and the idea of big/little was thrown at us right away. I didn't know many upperclassmen so how was I gonna find a big? You introduced me to your roommate and we clicked right away. We all hung out and I was so happy to find friends like the two of you. When Jaci was my temporary big the idea of having both you in my family seemed like a dream to me. I couldn't wait to be a part of such an amazing family. You were always including me in things and hanging out with me.

When the day came that I found out that Jaci was my big and you were my GGB, it was the second best day of my life. The first getting my bid to Gamma Phi. Running home to a family like yours was the best thing ever. Our family has its ups and downs, but I know I can always rely on you and everyone in our family.

This past year has been so great and it didn't hit me until today that you wouldn't be here next year. You're only a four-hour car ride away from me at home, but it's so sad to think I won't see you at chapter, or at dinner or all the above. Joining a sorority I hoped that I would be close to my whole family in it. You made that possible and without you, I don't know if I would be where I am today.

This past year you have not only my best friend but a role model for me. You are a strong, independent and amazing women and I hope that when I am in your shoes three years from now that I am where you are today. I'm going to miss you so much next year so you better come visit. You helped me through my freshman year of college and I thank you so much for that. I can't see myself here without you. You have been with me from the start. You will always be my great-grand big, but most importantly you will always be one of my best friends.

We became sisters by chance, but are friends by choice and I wouldn't have anyone else as my great-grand big. I love you and I'm going to miss you!

Love,

Rachel

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