Real Greek Sisterhood Is Nothing Like What You See In The Movies

Real Greek Sisterhood Is Nothing Like What You See In The Movies

My year has been filled with genuine people and exciting things.

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epgainey
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This year, I was lucky enough to run home to Kappa Alpha Theta on bid day, with 130 other girls in my same boat. That day was a blur — throwing on our colors, meeting our 300+ other sisters, and getting on a bus to go to Bham for a retreat — yet it still feels like yesterday. Well, yesterday was eight months ago, and so much has happened since that little, clueless freshman ran to the steps of Bryant Denny. I've gotten to experience what sisterhood in a sorority is and it's impacted my life for the better.

No, it's not like the fake sorority sisterhoods in the movies. It's nothing like that at all. It's real friendships that are going to last more than just the four years were in college. It's genuine people and long fun nights and people there to pick you up when you've fallen down. In fact, one phrase that my friends and I use sums up what our friendships here are like.

What is sisterhood to me? Sisterhood is…

Long, music-filled car rides to unknown locations. Easter Sunday, my friends and I came up with the random idea of making a fun video, so we drove around until we found this beautifully set train track, and cold "not-mountain-runoff" creek.

Lauren and I on the railroad tracks we found on EasterCourtesy of Elizabeth Gainey

Getting ready for swaps and date parties. Always in 508, the "party dorm," the best dorm. Picking out outfits, dancing to fun music, and just getting to be with my friends is always a fun time.

My friends and I getting ready for Theta's formalCourtesy of Elizabeth Gainey

A friend to bring you to DCH, and then the Health Center when I finally convinced her it was NOT an emergency. Random stomach pain isn't the best, but my friends who make me see a doctor and are willing to sit with me in a waiting room are.

Girls weekends. Have you ever been a tourist in your own city? I was when I brought a group of my friends down to NOLA for Mardi Gras. And, due to some canceled events, we got to stay a little bit longer for a weekend that we didn't want to end.

My group of friends in front of the Tulane Theta house during our Mardi Gras trip.Courtesy of Elizabeth Gainey

Impromptu day trips to other colleges. Sydney, Haven, and I decided last minute we wanted to go to the Ole Miss game. We didn't have tickets and we weren't even packed. We got there at 3 p.m., ended up at the game somehow, and, after a long series of events and nowhere to stay, drove back to TTown at 2 a.m.

Having a shoulder to cry on when everything just seems to be going wrong. They're there for you at your best and worst.

Studying with you until 2 in the morning for that engineering exam that you just have to pass. While my friends are all in different majors, sometimes it's nice to just have someone there for you to make sure you're on top of your game.

Sisterhood is.

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The ABCs Of Greek Life

Greek Life From A to Z
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When you enter into Greek life, it's like having to learn a whole new language, but it's a language that everyone comes to love. So here's the Greek alphabet, from Alpha Chi to Zeta.

A is for Alum

The members of our chapter who have graduated. These members are a range of ages and can participate in all kinds of alumna events.

B is for Bid Day

The best day of the year when our chapters get to accept a new pledge class of members.

C is for Chapter

Our weekly meetings where we learn about sisterhood and philanthropy events, date parties, etc., as well as take care of any sort of chapter business.

D is for Date Parties

Some of the best nights of the year are getting dressed up with your friends and your dates and attending date parties.

E is for Executive Board

The people that make the chapter run smoothly. The chapter wouldn't function without your president, VP, finance, standards, etc.

F is for Fried Friday

The best day of the week at the house. When the chefs cook up chicken, mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, french fries, corn dogs, fried mac n cheese, fried corn, fried green tomatoes and whatever else your heart desires.

G is for Greek Week

One of the most competitive and most fun weeks of the year. Spent playing dodgeball, whiffle ball, doing dance-offs, and more!

H is for Hand Sign

No matter what sign it is, we love to throw what we know!

I is for Initiation

The day that we get to cross from new member to active member of our chapter.

J is for Just Here So I Don't Get Fined

As much as we love to hang out with our sisters, sometimes life gets in the way and we wish we had more free time. Sometimes we're only attending an event so that we don't get fined.

K is for Kick-Off

Of course, all college students love football but game day is something special when you're Greek. From getting ready with your sisters to eating at the house to tailgating with the fraternities, it's all a part of the game day experience when you're Greek.

L is for Letters

Our identity within the Greek community.

M is for Mom

Our house mom can never take the place of our real mom but she is great for lending an ear and helping solve any issues that come up within the sorority.

N is for Norts

Part of the "sorority girl uniform." We can't get enough of our Nike shorts

O is for Organized

With constantly running between classes, chapter meetings, and other events, you become extremely organized when you join a Greek organization.

P is for Philanthropy

One of the biggest reasons many people choose to go Greek. We love to spend our time, money and energy towards a cause that's close to our heart such as Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish Foundation and CASA.

Q is for Queso

Okay, maybe a bit of a stretch but it's true! Ordering Fuzzy's to the sorority house or going out to eat at Moe's or Chuy's are not uncommon activities. We love chips and queso!

R is for Recruitment

The craziest week of the year where the chapter decides which PNM's would be the best fit for the chapter and new members run home to your chapter at the end of the week!

S is for Sisterhood

What a sorority is really all about. The friends you make in your sorority are some of the most interesting and genuine girls you'll meet!

T is for T-Shirt Tuesday

The one weeknight that tons of people go out. Whether you're at Harry's bar or Rounders, T-shirt Tuesday is sure to be a blast.

U is for Unique Experience

No two people have the same experience with Greek life. Whether you're the most involved person, just in it for the sisterhood, or you're fairly uninvolved, your experience will be different than everyone else's. You get out what you put in, as the saying goes.

V is for Vineyard Vines

One of many popular brands among sorority women and fraternity men alike.

W is for Wine Wednesday

Another fan favorite of the week is Wine Wednesday. Whether you're celebrating at Gallette's or from the comfort of your own dorm or apartment, Wine Wednesday is awesome.

X is for XL T-Shirts

Another part of the "sorority girl uniform". The bigger the T-shirt, the comfier and more confident you'll be. It's science.

Y is for Youth

Many philanthropies work with children, which is great because we love to spend time with the youth in and around Tuscaloosa!

Z is for Zero Sleep

When you're taking 14-18 credits, working, in a Greek organization and you're involved with several other organizations it's easy to see why we never get our full 8 hours of sleep. We're always going and we're fueled by coffee and a passion for whatever it is we're doing on and around campus.

Cover Image Credit: UA Panhellenic

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The Competition Of Busyness In College Is A Useless Social Pressure

Since when has busyness become synonymous with success?

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For those who know me, this headline might be ridiculous. As a personal, quirky habit, I tend to take on more than I can chew – stretching my mouth and my time like a game of "Chubby Bunny" that no one wants to watch. Yeah, I didn't love that metaphor either.

The point is that I'm not certain I should be one to speak on this topic, given that my planner is too full of scribbled appointments, shifts, and meetings. Additionally, I can't say no to any opportunity that comes my way.

But all the best advice is hypocritical, so here goes nothing.

I like trying new things – lots of new things. I like meeting new people – lots of new people. These interests of mine have led me to inadvertently overcommit myself to one or two entities over the years. For instance, I accidentally joined five bible studies when I started college.

Now, I realize that this overzealousness was a poor decision that Baby Freshman Riley ™ made; and since, dare I say, Riley has learned a couple of lessons. By watching how college students have interacted in these past two years, I wanted to focus on one experience in particular for this article. Everyone in a university is measuring himself/herself up with others' lifestyles because he/she lowkey wants to be the busiest.

So far, I have seen this very real social pressure of everyone desiring to be the most over-scheduled, the most stressed out, or the most sleep-deprived.

This pressure is typically manifested through the following statements.

"I legitimately need espresso through an IV to make it through my day."

"Sleep is for the weak…until I crash for an entire week."

"I literally don't have any time to exercise."

"I went to bed at 4 AM before this 8 AM."

"Social life? What social life?"

And I get this desire! I firmly believe in taking life by the utters and milking your existence with gusto! But carpe diem is not equivalent to not giving yourself seasons to breathe.

Since when has busyness become synonymous with success?

As young people, we face a tremendous burden to live our best lives during our "prime".

As Americans, the value of hard work is instilled in our bones and slapped on our butts by nurses after we pop out of the womb, straight into the marketplace.

As educated people, we ought to take advantage of the incredible opportunities surrounding us.

The combination of those three identities can result in a noxious burnout of a generation if we aren't careful.

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes seasons of non-stop action occur and sometimes life slows down enough for you to sniff those bluebonnets (yeehaw). If you, in your core, genuinely thrive with very little free time, then (by all means) go out for all the organizations, hours, and internships! However, I encourage you to reflect. Do you enjoy busyness? Is never slowing down a coping mechanism for you to never have to think about your situation? Are you sacrificing your psychological, physical, or spiritual health to be more involved? How much better would your life be if you joined another thing? Have you ever experienced true burnout?

Go through each of your commitments. Ask yourself: how important is this to me? How is this advancing my future?

We have all heard that comparison is the thief of happiness. Your overall health shouldn't go down faster than Kesha yells "timber" for the sake of trivial matters. Here is the bottom line: if you give up stillness for busyness, make sure this choice is for you, not for a pointless pissing contest.

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