Your first year of college is a big deal. New faces, new room, new classes, new environment, and total freedom (well almost). I entered college knowing absolutely nobody; not a single person from my high school came with me. This may have frightened me a bit, but I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to grow as an individual and experience college before I ever did sorority recruitment. Now as a new member of Alpha Omicron Pi, I am able to dive into sisterhood knowing who I am as a person and what college has to offer me.
1. I learned how to be independent. Going to college alone forces you to learn to do things yourself. I learned how to make friends without having anyone there to introduce me first. I learned how to get around town before I ever found a friend a with a car. Most importantly I learned how to be alone when I didn't have 100 sorority sisters to hit up on a Friday night.
2. I experienced what college is like as any other non-Greek student. I went to parties, I hung out with friends, I pulled all-nighters studying with other kids on my dorm floor. I did similar things with my college friends that a sorority girl could do with her sisters.
3. I saw what the Greek system at my college was all about. I didn't do sorority recruitment not knowing what a chapter meeting was or a big sis was for. I had friends in houses and saw secondhand what Greek life was all about. I knew what serenades and socials were and I learned it was nothing like what I expected. Here at San Jose State the Greek system is pretty laid back and genuine. I met so many sorority girls that didn't fit the sorority stereotype and I learned how false that stereotype was. Greek life in Northern California is nothing like "The House Bunny" (as it probably isn't elsewhere too).
4. I got to know the fraternities on my own without sorority sisters giving me their opinions of certain houses. I learned which house I felt safest partying at and which ones I avoided at all costs. I met the guys and made friends with them without the help of a social or serenade.
5. I got to know the sororities without others preconceived notions. Having friends in the houses definitely helped show me what certain houses were all about. Unfortunately though, I knew different houses' reputations so it was more of a struggle for me to keep an open mind during recruitment.
6. I learned how to do college. I'm talking academics, people. I learned how hard the classes were and how you don't have to ask to go to the bathroom. I learned how to study and how to cram. I learned to take naps in between class because I barely had time to sleep some nights. I took a year to get to know the academic side of college.
7. Lastly, I took time for myself. I adventured my new town, dated new people, made new friends, lost a few, started two new jobs, ate lots of junk food, and through that I learned a lot about myself.
I shaped myself as a person on my own before a sorority could effect who I was. Alpha Omicron Pi will definitely change me, there's no doubt. But it won't change who I am. My freshman year of college was time I spent getting a pretty clear idea of who I am and what I will become. Because I know this, Alpha Omicron Pi will only change my life for the better because it is just a small piece in the puzzle that makes me, me.