We In Greek Life Will Never Be Your Stereotype

We In Greek Life Will Never Be Your Stereotype

We are the exact opposite of the stereotypes.
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Before I even start this article, I want you to take all of those bad frat/sorority stereotypes and throw them out the window. This is the nitty gritty truth about Greek life, and I’m sure your opinion will take a complete 360 after reading this.

As much as I hate to say it, back to school time is upon us. Especially for college kids, because some move in as early as the first week of August! If you are an incoming Freshman, transfer student or a returning student, you have a lot thrown at you once you move in. Activity fairs, sporting events, mixers in your dorm, new classes and being lost in a sea full of people, all can be overwhelming.

Some people find it hard to stand out, make friends, fit in, to make a difference and are not sure where to start. Well, that’s when this little thing called Greek life comes into play.

Recruitment (this also has been referred to as rush) begins at the beginning of each semester. I joined in the spring rather than the fall (which is when people typically join, but it doesn’t really matter when you do anyway). As soon as Bid Day came around, my pledge class and I were welcomed warmly into the sorority. Pictures, donuts, hugs and new friends! Right away I felt included and a little overwhelmed too! But that is because it was all very new to me. Then we are given a “Big sister” who is like your “rock” and basically, your new best friend, along with the rest of your sisters.

I pledged my sorority on a whim and really didn’t have much of a clue what it may entail, I came in with an open mind, and knew that it was not what it was perceived to be in the movies. Most people think that frats and sororities are all about parties and are full of themselves. Or that they are full of “douchebags or sluts,” they “pay for their friends” and they're all about drama. Well, it is actually the complete opposite of that.

Frats and sororities have images to maintain not only on campus, but as an international organization as well. Instead of doing all of the stereotypes I listed, Greek life does the exact opposite of those. To stay in a frat or sorority, you have to have a certain GPA to maintain (and at least for my sorority, we have to log study hours together each week too). You also have to do a certain amount of volunteer hours per semester, and do the philanthropy work through your organization, campus, city and the greater good.

Although Greek life is strict on grades and behavior, we also do almost everything together. We have mixers with other frats and sororities on campus and have sisterhood events where we do something fun together. We go out to eat, hang out between classes or workout together. You all grow closer to one another, and it turns into your home away from home.

Since I have joined Greek life, I have never been happier. I have met so many inspiring, hilarious, and hard-working men and women. We are all dreamers and in search of finding the best version of ourselves which I believe is one of the biggest steps on the way to success.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. I never thought I would be some college sorority girl. I had all of those stereotypes in my head too about what it would be like. In all honesty, from what I have perceived that all the Greeks are in this together and are improving themselves as a person, giving back to the community and trying to survive college all at the same time.

Cover Image Credit: Amanda Formanek

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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority

Sorority girls seem to be getting more and more backlash, but why?
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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority,

I buy my friends? Wow. First time I’ve ever gotten that, good one.

Do you feel better now? Was it all you hoped for?

I doubt it.

I’m not the “typical” sorority girl but I’ve also come to the realization that there isn’t a “typical” sorority girl. We are all different and believe it or not we are all just like you. The letters I wear on my chest don’t make me stupid. They don’t make me a bitch. They don’t make me spoiled. They don’t make me an alcoholic. They don’t make me fake. They don’t make me a slut. And they sure as heck don’t make me any better than you.

What my letters made me is better than I was before.

Some sorority stereotypes are inevitable. Yes, I love my Big. Yes, my Littles are my life. I’m guilty of being a master with a glue gun, and I’ll admit that new letter shirts make me giddy as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

But here’s what you don’t know — before I joined my sorority I couldn’t speak to a group of five people without turning red. Now I help run meetings in front of 45 women. Before, I would never have had the courage to go up to a group of girls and sit with them for lunch. Now I’m actually invited (crazy, I know). Before, I struggled with my grades. Now I have sisters in my major offering help. Before, my resume was empty. Now, it's full of leadership positions and community service hours. Before, I didn’t quite feel accepted. Now, I’m welcomed lovingly into an extremely diverse group. What’s so bad about all of that?

I get it. Sororities aren’t for everyone. I’ll even go as far to say that some of us sorority girls can be a little much. But what’s the point of dissing something that you don’t understand? Next time you’re about to make a cruel stereotypical joke, think about how you would feel if someone did that to you. Instead of making fun of sorority girls, sit down with one and find out why it’s so important to her.

Sincerely,

A Proud Sorority Girl

Cover Image Credit: Megan Jones

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Sanctioning Sororities, Harvard? You Can Do Better

Taking away sororities on your campus is not going to make anything about your university better. If anything it's going to hurt it.

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There are many misconceptions about Greek life. According to a lot of people, Greek life is all about partying, drinking, drugs and loving ourselves more than anything else.

But Greek life isn't even close to any of that, it is so much more.

Harvard, sanctioning these organizations will NOT benefit your university.

Taking away these organizations means taking away potential friendships. It means taking away opportunities for your students to grow socially, academically, and professionally.

Being a part of a Greek organization has opened so many doors for me, and I can not express how thankful I am for that.I am an out-of-state student who decided to go across the country for school. I was terrified to go somewhere where I would know no one. Finding my sorority is what allowed me to be comfortable in a time where all I wanted to do was go home.

Now Harvard, people come from all over the world to have the prestigious title of owning a degree with your name all over it. Don't you think that they too are nervous to go somewhere where they might not know anyone? Don't you think that they might need a little help branching out and meeting people? Because I sure think so.

Being in a Greek organization is not about partying. It's not about seeing who can get the most likes on their social media, or being the most popular group of people on campus. It's about so much more.

It's about finding a home away from home.

It's about philanthropy.

It's about bettering the community around you.

Being a part of the greek community, you get to meet more people and experience more things than you would outside of these organizations. Because of my organization, I'm involved in South Carolina's Dance Marathon. I actually feel that I do better in school because I have more people to study with and have more people to ask questions to.

Kappa Kappa Gamma has given me the confidence to approach people and to network with others.

Basically, Harvard, I think that what you are doing is not a good idea.

Sanctioning these organizations on campus is taking away opportunities. Opportunities for women and really everyone to better themselves and your campus.

So, think twice before you really go through with this. Some of the most influential people in our world have been a part of these organizations, and continue to do great things for our country.

I know plenty of young women who can all say that their greek life organizations have changed their lives for the better and that they don't know where they would be without their sorority sisters and other members of the greek community.

Greek life could not have impacted my life more positively than it has, and I look forward to future young women that I know having the same experience as me. However, they can not have that experience if you simply take it away from them. Let people make their own decisions when choosing organizations that they wish to be a part of, do not make that decision for them.

Now that I've said my piece... please enjoy these pictures of myself and the people in the Greek Community who have impacted my life for the better and who truly make this world a better place.

Just a bunch of sorority girls who helped raise over ONE MILLION DOLLARS for our local children's hospitalphoto: Emily Riley

Going to formal where I had some of the most fun in my entire life along side some of my best friends. photo: Emily Riley

This girl next to me WILL change the world one day. I can guarantee it. photo: Emily Riley

The people who will be in my wedding. photo: Emily Riley

Three sorority women leading young college women to find their homes in Greek Life so they can hopefully find joy like this while in college also. photo: Emily Riley

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