What I Got Out of My Sorority

What I Got Out of My Sorority

My chapter has given me so much more than just a home away from home at Ohio State. It has given me a family away from my "real" family

During formal recruitment, a lot of new members asked me what Gamma Phi has meant to be in the year I've been a part of it. At the time, I struggled to find the words, feeling tears well up in the back of my eyes, as I give the lame response of "Gamma Phi has given me so much love and happiness over the past year." In the time since recruitment has ended and we've welcomed so many incredible new members into our chapter, I've begun to find the words I wish I could have shared with the new members during recruitment.

I knew two things for sure when I started my freshman year: I wasn't going to be the girl that was in a relationship all through college, and Greek life wasn't for me. Those two things were both proved wrong by November, and they ended up being two of the best decisions I ever made.

Formal recruitment was hell. First of all, who does recruitment in January??? I have a lot of cute clothes for FALL recruitment, not this "it's negative 10 degrees with freezing rain, good luck trying to find an outfit that is both snappy casual and warm!" weather. Also, what is snappy casual? Regardless, with the weather and the long walks in heels, recruitment was emotionally draining. I went through recruitment because my roommate didn't want to do it alone, and I thought I had nothing to lose. I was an awkward, uncomfortable and self-conscious 18-year-old who had literally no knowledge of Greek life other than overdone stereotypes. You can imagine how the system ripped me to pieces from day one, but overall, I went into preference round loving the choices I had.

I can bring myself back to bid day in a heartbeat - squirming in my chair, holding my bid in my hand, desperate to open it, nervously texting all my friends about where they thought they ended up. Kim Kardashian ugly crying when I ripped it open, the words "Gamma Phi Beta" written in huge letters across it. Running to our house, I wrapped my arms around my best friend (who had by some stroke of fate, ended up in the same house as me). I can put myself back to dancing on the furniture in the MY new house, ignoring the freezing rain outside, and meeting what felt like a thousand people who were my sisters now. I can remember it all like it was yesterday, and I would do anything to relive those memories again. I finally felt at home at Ohio State.

My chapter has given me so much more than just a home away from home at Ohio State. It has given me a family away from my "real" family - my big is always there for me when I need her, getting dinner and laying on her couch and complaining. I have learned so much from her, and I strive to be more like her with each day - confident, optimistic and driven. My twin is my other half, the person I go to for everything, good and bad. She is the person I always wish I could be - outspoken, smart as a whip, more loyal than any family pet. I took a little this spring, and she truly is like a little sister to me. I want so desperately to show my little the loving family she has joined, and for her to know that I'm always there for her (as is the rest of her kind of crazy family). I want so desperately for her to have the same experience in this chapter as I have, to love this group of 207 women as much as I have.

My chapter has given me so much more than sisters. It has given me a group of strong, passionate, and confident women who strive to surround themselves with other strong, passionate and confident women. When I joined my chapter, I was quiet, shy, anxious about even thinking of talking to someone I didn't know. The women of this chapter have nudged in all the right ways and taken me under their wing; the me of last year wouldn't recognize the me now. I am so much more confident (there's still some work to do, but no sorority is claiming to be performing miracles), and I am self-assured. I even have a leadership position, something I would have never imagined a year ago. I get emotional when I think of how much this chapter has helped me to grow, to become the type of woman I could only dream of.

More than anything else, my chapter has given me so much more than life long friends. This fall semester, I was having a really hard time. I was desperately homesick, battling health issues, and generally not doing great. My sisters would text me every day to make sure I was feeling alright, check in continually, help me with my school work that I was perpetually falling behind in, and laying in bed with me, watching Netflix and crying. Without the love and support of my sisters, I would have transferred home to be closer to my mom and given up on my dream school. Without my sisters, I wouldn't be where I am today, not quite thriving but certainly surviving.

I truly believe that everyone can find their home in Greek life, and I hope that everyone who does can get everything I got out of my chapter.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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Greek Life, I Love You, But No One Should Feel The Way You Made Me Feel

My wish is you hear me with an open heart.

What does it mean to be part of a sorority? Recently, I've been struggling to come up with an answer that truly reflects my current relationship status with my Greek organization.

I love you unconditionally.

You have given me a place to grow. You have given me lifelong friends. You have given me a family I can call my own.

Thank you. You will never know how much that means to me.

It may be senioritis. It may be new leadership. Or it may be my lack of involvement as I enter into my final semester being part of this organization.

You have shown me tough love. No harm in that. However, the execution was poor.

We all fall short, and I understand there are consequences that come with that. However, I feel more defeated. I feel hurt. And I feel judged. Caused by my very own sisters. I don't think any member of this sorority should feel the way you've made me feel.

I have questioned the character of the people in this room, along with my own. Who is blame? I don't think you can point fingers, but somewhere... someone... slipped. I forgive you. I accept it.

That being said, I don't expect an apology. I just want to call it to your attention. I know I'm not alone in this.

My hope is you hear me and try to understand.

There is a place for rules and regulations, and there's no way around that. You hope everyone respects that, but there will always be those who try to tip-toe around it.

I can't justify anyone's actions other than my own.

In my actions, I had no intentions to cause harm or put my family members in jeopardy. My little, grand littles and great grand little mean more to me than they or anyone will ever know.

It is my wish, however, that they learn from my actions and leave this chapter better than how they found it. I want them to be the best version of themselves during their time here.

I never want them to know the feeling that I am feeling in this moment.

Judged. Embarrassed. Ashamed.

It still amazes me that this chapter gave me so much confidence, love, and support. It all fell apart within minutes between me and 10 sisters.

I still love you all unconditionally because we will forever share a common bond within our sisterhood.

You all have been elected to lead our chapter, and my hope is that you do so with grace. Please keep your heart open and maintain a good head on your shoulders.

Everyone looks up to you. You set the example.

I leave this chapter with faith in your leadership and your ability to make a difference for the future generations. This is a heavy burden, but I have confidence you are able to take on the responsibility.


Cover Image Credit: Belle Bressler

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Greek Life Isn't All About Partying, My Sorority Teaches Me To Succeed

Being in Greek Life is not all parties and booze like the media makes it out to be.

Think of Greek Life in college and describe what comes to you when you think about it.


Basic girls and frat boys.

Mistakes that end up all over the news.

All of these things are terrible things to think about and highlight the issues with Greek Life. While this is happening, no one seems to notice the positive things that come with being in a sorority or fraternity.

There are many standards upheld by houses on IU’s campus. With things that have been happening on campus in general, not just in houses, greek organizations are taking extra new measures to ensure nothing terrible is going to happen. Among those things include closed socials, wristbanding people over 21 at parties, and providing rides to and from parties. While this is true, that is only the social aspect of sorority life.

To be in houses at IU, you must first have decent grades and be a well-rounded student.

In order to go through recruitment alone, you need a 2.8 grade point average. While this is not difficult, this is only the minimum GPA. Other houses can have requirements of a 3.0 or a 3.2. If you fall below this GPA while in the house, you will likely get sent to your VP of Scholarship where you will have weekly meetings requiring you to raise your GPA. Some houses do it differently, but most take a course of action helping you to do better work and bring it up.

Another crucial thing houses do to help you focus on your school work is study hours. In my house, we are required 3 logged study hours per week. Of course, this is not too difficult, but it forces students to go to their library or sit down in their house and log the hours they spend studying.

Sororities also place a huge emphasis on their philanthropies and volunteering. This helps members focus on things outside of school that are important in making students a well-rounded person. In my house, we are required to get 12 service hours per semester. Whether it is through going to a site or doing projects in your house for some of the hours, this is a great way to get involved!

Being in Greek Life is not all parties and booze like the media makes it out to be. It is focused on personal growth and self-improvement. The women and men in the houses are intelligent and work hard in school. You can find this in a house somewhere, I’m sure of it.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah George

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