Why Go Greek

Going Greek Is More Than What You See On Social Media

What the stereotypes get right and where they go (very) wrong

Emi
Emi
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Greek life has a primarily negative connotation. As a student ambassador, parents always ask on tours about the culture of Greek life on campus and if what they see in the movies is really true. The answer, quite honestly, is not at all. There is a huge disconnect between those involved in the Greek system and those who only view it from the outside. And it is understandable why this gap in understanding exists.

Recruitment videos, Instagram photos, matching t-shirts and nightmarish images of girls piled on top of one another singing: all these things are what Greek life portrays itself as to the general public. These things do happen. Recruitment videos are images of real girls in real sororities, but they are not doing real things. All of these videos and photographs are staged and rehearsed and edited. So while this portrayal of Greek life is not entirely inaccurate, it is far from the whole truth.

Here is what you don't see:

A room full of 50 girls being their most open and vulnerable selves with one another, asking for support. The comfort you can find with people that may not even know you well but love you well.

The feeling of freedom that comes with being surrounding by friends that want to laugh with you at midnight about Twitter memes and then cry with you at 1 a.m. because you are overwhelmed and lost. The feeling that comes with spontaneous dance parties and deep conversations about the important things in life, with waking up to notes of encouragement and coffee on your desk and balloons on your birthday.

The people that push you to try new things and be more involved. The ones who help you find internships and encourage you to put yourself out there, even when you don't feel good enough. The individuals who spend afternoons with you exploring coffee shops and studying, who make you posters on the days of big exams. The friends who are always willing to get food and accompany you to Target, who make time for you regardless of how busy they may be. The strangers who turn into future bridesmaids.

So yes, Greek life can look (and sometimes be) very cheesy and fake. There are days I wear matching t-shirts and sing at the top of my lungs to strangers. There truly are never-ending photoshoots and an abundance of awkward posing. However, my sorority is so, so much more to me than the pictures I post. There are real people behind the (possibly) fake smiles, and they are strong and silly and empowering and honest.

When parents ask what Greek life is like, I tell them it is one of many opportunities for involvement on campus. However, I also tell them that the Greek system is a place where individuals are empowered to pursue their passions. It is a place where service and scholarship are valued, where leadership is encouraged, and where authenticity flourishes. Despite what the pictures and movies may portray, Greek life has provided the foundation for the rest of my college experience. It has given me the confidence to pursue whatever I aspire for.

And that's the truth.

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

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We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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Coming Home From College For The Summer Is Much Needed

Wait, how do you drive a car again?

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Since finals week began, I believe I can say for all college students that we were ready to come back to our hometowns for the summer. We had grown tired of eating at the dining hall, spending countless hours in the library, and pulling laundry from the dryers for it to still be damp. Being home for the summer rids you of those worries and only provides a sense of comfort and security with a furnished home and bedroom to yourself. We sometimes forget how things were before college, with a fully stocked refrigerator and even a dishwasher to keep things clean. Coming home often makes life much easier.

Coming home means revisiting all of your favorite places around town — restaurants, parks, or museums — with fresh eyes. Being away from these places for months on end only causes you to develop a deeper appreciation for the little things. In my case, the first thing I did upon arriving home was take a trip to my favorite local coffee shop. Not only is the coffee delicious, but going back to the shop itself also brings back numerous memories made over the past four years.

That is one of the best things about coming home — it's as if you're rediscovering parts of yourself that you left behind.

Being back in your hometown also enables you to reconnect with only friends and classmates whom you haven't seen in months or even a full year. Whether it be going for a walk together or grabbing breakfast, being able to update one another on your year of college life makes for great connections. You oftentimes find yourself missing your old friends more than you thought, but once you all get together again, it seems like nothing has changed.

One of my favorite parts of being home is spending more time with my family. I have never felt so grateful for home-cooked meals or a real washer and dryer until I stepped into my house again. Rather than talking on the phone with my parents about our days, I can sit down with them at the kitchen table and have a conversation in person. I also never realized that I would miss my parents — or my dog — as much as I did over the past year.

Though finding activities to pass the time can sometimes get "boring" in one's hometown, spending some time away can reinstate plenty of ideas. My sister and I found ourselves making a list of things we can do throughout the summer, and though some of the things we had done before, it sounded so much more exciting after spending the school year in a different city.

In the end, coming home makes you appreciate your town even more.

Even if you didn't love it before, being home for just a few months keeps you from taking life's finer things for granted. Especially when it's summer, you can relax on your own couch without the stress of school in front of you. Enjoy your city while you can, because it is always there to welcome you back.

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