“From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it.” -Unknown
For as long as I can remember, I knew I definitely wanted to join a sorority in college.
This quote embodies how I feel about my experiences within Greek life and how they have impacted and will continue to impact my life.
Both of my parents were in Greek life when they were in school, and told me what an amazing experience it was and how many lifelong friends I would make. Upon coming to school, I was beginning to be made aware of all of the negative stereotypes present in Greek life in some schools and was nervous to join a community where terrible things could happen to me. Even with this forewarning, I decided to go through a Sorority Recruitment weekend two weeks into my freshman year: it was the best weekend of my life and put me on track to change my life in so many positive ways. I joined the Epsilon Delta chapter of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority at Chapman University and it truly was the best decision of my life!
Throughout the past three years since accepting my bid to my sorority, I have found myself growing exponentially as a woman and leader within my college community. Prior to joining a sorority, I had never envisioned myself being able to lead Community Service committees, organize, fundraise for and lead a successful walking team for Relay For Life at my school, and become a member of the Panhellenic Council as well as hold a position on my sorority’s executive board during my junior year.
Before college, I was an extremely quiet, introverted person who often had difficulty standing up for my opinions and speaking my mind. Being surrounded by 100 supportive, accepting women encouraged me to use my voice and become involved. I have seen my confidence blossom so much already and I am more confident in engaging in conversations in classroom discussions, giving my opinion in sorority meetings, and meeting new people.
As an aspiring business professional, I have already seen how my sorority has helped prepare me for the corporate world. Through recruitment, I learned skills to introduce myself to new people, hold interesting and meaningful conversations, and present myself in a positive, confident way with body language. Additionally, I have had sorority meetings with required business attire to practice wearing business clothing and learning how to look presentable and feel comfortable in meeting style situations.
One of the areas I have seen a lot of personal improvement in is my ability to organize and multi-task. Without the help of my Erin Condren Life Planners and calendaring, I don’t know how I could budget my time to keep up with all of my school work and sorority functions while still maintaining a healthy 3.8 GPA and being on the Chancellor’s List. This ability can be translated into postgraduate life and allow me to do everything I want while still succeeding with work functions and requirements.
While sororities are thought to only provide social experiences for college students through parties, socials with fraternities, and Greek Life events – but it is so much more than that. I have learned so many new skills and have seen such improvement in my personal and public life and my confidence. Joining my sorority has shown me that I can do whatever I put my mind to and that no matter what, my sorority sisters will always have my back and be there for me in any times of struggle or need. It was the best experience I have had and I am blessed to be able to be a part of such a great organization full of women striving to be the best they can be and encouraging others to be successful in their own endeavors. It truly is hard to explain from the inside looking out and impossible to understand the complexity of it from the outside looking in.
What experience has been life changing for you in a positive way? What aspects of your life have changed? Feel free to share!