Things I Learned From Being In a Sorority

12 Shocking Truths You Learn When You Join A Sorority

You learn things you never though you would learn.

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As a senior in high school, the idea of going through formal recruitment to find a sorority had always been in the back of my head. My mom was in a sorority when she was in college, and I saw how close she still was with her sorority sisters. Even though it seemed like a fun idea, a part of me was still a bit skeptical. If I'm being completely honest, I had those stereotypes of what sorority life was like stuck in my head. When I did end up joining a sorority, I quickly realized that all of the things I thought of I would gain from a sorority were completely false.

I ended up gaining so much more than I thought I would.

1. You find genuine and intentional people

Coming from a small school, I only had a select amount of people that I knew were truly there for me through anything. When I joined a sorority, something that I never expected was to find people who were looking for the same thing I was. Through this sorority, I have found people who become my friend not because they have anything to gain from it, but because they truly like me.

2. You find people who will help you succeed in all aspects of life

I never thought that my sisters would help me in my academic and professional life. Just this year I have already had girls give me advice about my major, help me write a resume and cover letter for internships and even help me in a class I was struggling with.

3. Your t-shirt drawer will reach maximum capacity

When my cousin joined a sorority, I really didn't understand how she could have so many different t-shirts and sweatshirts...until I joined a sorority myself. Every time I go home I take at least ten t-shirts with me and my t-shirt drawer is still overflowing. Nothing stresses me out more than when I have to somehow fit more shirts into my drawer after doing my laundry.

4. You would find an immediate support system

From choosing the right dress to wear for events or just words of encouragement, I know my all of the women in my sorority have my back. Nothing feels better than knowing there's always someone to help you with something.

5. You would find your home away from home

The first semester of college is really hard and trying to make it feel like home is even harder. Going to dinner or just random nights hanging at the house always made me feel more at home.

6. You would find people who (truly) love you for who you are

When I went through recruitment, my panhellenic counselors said that I should find a house that I could feel comfortable walking around the house with no makeup and a messy bun. I am so glad that I can say that I feel this way with my chapter. I know that I can show up with no makeup and a baseball cap and my sisters will still think I look gorgeous. I know that they will love me for all of my quirks, bad dance moves, and bad fashion choices.

7. You would find people to go to church/library/literally anywhere with

I'll be honest and admit that I never in a million years pictured myself going to church with people in my sorority. It's just something I never associated with sororities. I am so glad that I have people that are always down to go to church, the library or random ice cream dates with.

8. The sorority squat...it's actually a real thing

I'll even admit it and say that I made fun of this before I was in a sorority. Once I was in one though, I realized that it's an actual thing. We even make fun of it ourselves.

9. Formals and semi-formals are loads of fun

If you like to dance your heart out like me, semi-formals and formals are the dances for you. It's basically the same thing as homecoming and prom, only alcohol is allowed and there are no slow dances. Some of my favorite memories are from my first semi-formal and formal.

10. How exciting it was to get a big AND a twin (if you're lucky).

I wish I could be a little every week for the rest of my life. I've loved getting loads of t-shirts, canvasses, and gear and then finally finding out who my big is.

11. The girls in your house are not like the stereotype assigned to the house

Going into recruitment, I was not aware of the stereotypes of any of the houses. It was a rude awakening when I overheard people talking bad about one of the houses that I really liked. During my first few weeks in my chapter, I realized how hateful people could be when they only knew the stereotype of your house. I wish that all of the girls who had preconceived notions of my chapter would actually get to know all of my sisters and realize how cool, genuine and kickass we really are.

12. How hard its going to be to say goodbye to all of your sisters

At the beginning of the year, I never would've thought that I would find so many compassionate and kind women that could potentially be my life-long friends. Saying goodbye to them at the end of the year is going to harder than I thought.

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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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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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