I Went Out Of My Comfort Zone And I Couldn't Be Happier

I Went Out Of My Comfort Zone And I Couldn't Be Happier

Informal recruitment - I didn't know I needed you
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Greek life.

Those two words were something I wanted to stay very much away from my entire life.

I went through high school never wanting to go through the process of rushing and getting rated by other people. To me, it seemed demeaning and time-consuming and absolutely draining.

That is, until my second semester of college.

I am now realizing I did my first semester of college very wrong. I focused on school and my academics very much, which is great, but my social life lacked. I had a few friends, but my weekends were spent inside binge watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix.

I think I went out a total of three times my first semester. Coming into the second semester I knew I needed to change that and put myself out there.

I am not opposed to nights in, it's just that I am more introverted than I am extroverted, so my introverted tendencies will make me want to just stay in bed a be comfortable.

Large groups of people are also not my thing. So the times I did go out I felt very overwhelmed and I knew only two or three people when I did go out. I needed to realize that I was at a university that was states away from my home and I needed to make friends.

So, with that, I signed up for rush for the beginning of spring semester. That lasted about all of two weeks before I sent an email saying I couldn't do it anymore. I could definitley do it, I just panicked thinking about two full weekends of screaming girls and smiling 24 hours a day. I couldn't bring myself to do it.

After the rush process was complete I felt a little down. I was disappointed in myself for not trying and pushing aside my insecurities and my fears. Then, I found out about informal recruitment.

For those who don't know, informal recruitment is another process of joining a sorority, just minus the long days and screaming and singing. Now, this did sound better but I was still so nervous. I wanted to make a good first impression and I was nervous about putting myself out there.

I had absolutely nothing to be nervous about.

I signed some papers, met with and got to know some of the girls and then boom. I was in.

This was EXACTLY what I needed. I was able to sit down in a calm environment for more than twenty minutes and really get to talk to someone. It was through this process that I found my home. I have never been more comfortable or enjoyed getting to know people as much as I have the past few weeks.

Now, two weeks away from initiation, I have no regrets and I am loving the experiences and new friends I am making. I have met so many wonderful people and I have felt so welcomed by everyone.

All that free time I had before? Yeah, that is definitley gone now, but I am just fine with it.

I stepped out of my comfort zone a little and I found my people and the place where I belong and I couldn't be happier.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Johnston

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'Mom, I Am A Rich Man'

Cher owned it, and you can, too.
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Most likely if you’re on any social media platform, you’ve seen the iconic video of Cher in an interview with Jane Pauley telling the story of her mother telling Cher that one day she should settle down and marry a rich man, to which Cher replies, “Mom, I am a rich man.”

*Disclaimer: Don’t worry boys, this article will still pertain to you, too.

In the days of “Mad Men” and Andy Griffith, the family unit was very much structured and known: a mother, who made the home and raised several kids, and a father, who earned the money for the household. There was never any confusion as to how one was to live one’s life, because every individual knew that this was the structure to follow. Be born. Make friends. Play. Grow up. Go to school. Meet someone. Possibly attend college. Marry. Have multiple children. Follow gender-assigned role. Repeat for next generation.

Then one day, the world began to change.

Women began attending college for more than an MRS degree. Divorce rates began to increase. Individuals began staying single for longer. Couples began having fewer kids and also having kids later in life. Homosexuals and other members of the LGBTQ community started coming out and sharing their voices. Schools were finally being desegregated. Technology was beginning its exponential growth, and the world woke up.

Cher’s mother was raised to believe these were the next steps Cher should take in life, just as probably similarly your parents have made comments to you that you do not believe line up with your generation’s viewpoint in today’s society. You’ve probably come to already realize that this is a generational gap between you and your parents; however, this is not the topic I want to focus on today. I want to talk about the concept of the individual unit.

Earlier on, I spoke about the '60s family unit. Back then, that was the unit. Even while there were several different roles within a family unit, every family made decisions and moved together. Today, we move into the individual unit. We have gone from making decisions on how we think they would impact the family onto how they will impact the individual. Often, people think negatively on this way of decision making, because isn’t it selfish to makes decision based off oneself?

The answer is… no.

Now before I get some serious hate for that statement, let me back it up. For all my business majors out there (yes, I am one myself), you’ve likely taken or will likely have to take an economics course. One of the basic goals of economics is maximizing profit, which is sometimes depicted as not focusing on how large your slice of the pie is but determining how to make the pie as large as possible. Let’s take this back to the family and individual units.

When decisions were made based on how they would affect the family unit, sometimes the decisions of one individual would hold back the others within the family from “maximizing their profit” or maximizing their potential. Perhaps this was staying home to raise the kids rather than following a career path that interested the parent. This may have been staying in an unhappy marriage to follow society’s standards rather than leaving the marriage and benefiting one’s family more by being happy alone. Although at first glance, these sacrifices may have seemed heroic and for the best for the family unit, looking back the alternatives may have actually put the individuals of the family in a happier place which would have reflected in the long run positively on the rest of the family.

Maximizing your potential is maximizing your happiness, and vice versa. We often think that to be successful and have an abundance of money must make us an evil person to be so selfish. We think that the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness” means that money equals success and therefore if we’re successful we’re not actually happy even if we think we are. That idea is often what holds so many back from their greatest potential.

To be successful doesn’t mean that one can’t look back and help the people from their past and their family up the ladder once they’ve reached the top. To be successful doesn’t mean that one can never marry or multiply their happiness in others surrounding them, friends, family, spouse, children and all. To be successful means that one takes a step back, looks around, and asks, “Am I the happiest I can be at this present moment? And if not, what can I do to take myself there?”

It’s with those answers that we maximize our potential and growth. It is in our growth that we find gratitude for our efforts. It is in our gratitude that we find happiness in all that we have become.

XOXO, Isa

Cover Image Credit: David Carroll

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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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