August 4, 2014

Lessons We Learned from Sorority Life

Alpha Delta Pi, Recruitment 2014
To start off part one of our little mini-series on sorority recruitment, we have been thinking about some of the things we wish we knew before entering Greek life. We hope today's Monday Musing will encourage those of you who are attending recruitment this year, or those of you on the other side - welcoming new members into your chapter.

Julie: I remember it being such a whirlwind. Going into my first year away from home was scary enough, let alone going through the whole process of Panhellenic formal recruitment. But I did know long before I started college that I wanted to be in a sorority. I remember my mom showing me her Chi Omega pin when I was about 10 years old, and I knew I wanted to be a part of something that I would value like she did. It was pretty much a done deal that I would go through recruitment, as both my parents and my older brother had been in Greek life, and I was sure that I wanted to be as involved as I could. Little did I know when looking at my dad's fraternity president picture in his college yearbook, I would one day follow in his footsteps.

Whether or not you're set in stone of whether a sorority is right for you, I hope to offer you a few of my insights into why a sorority was right for me. Being a member of Alpha Delta Pi at UNC has been one of my greatest, most challenging adventures to date. My sorority house became my home away from home for four years, and although my real home was less than 45 minutes away, it was so reassuring to know I had a place to come to and find respite from the hustle and bustle of campus. The feeling I always got when I walked in our door, whatever emotion I was feeling that day, is something I'll never forget. I always felt at home, with women by my side to support me, stay up late with me studying for a final, or simply make me laugh when I needed to most.

The friends I made through my sorority, more than anything, is what I treasure most about my sorority experience, and frankly, what I feel was most important. It can be overwhelming to enter college with so many new faces, and joining a sorority made it easier to get to know others on a deeper level. My ADPi friends truly helped shape who I am today. They inspired me with their own skills and talents, while teaching me valuable lessons I would never have learned on my own. College can be quite a juggling act, and these girls were my rock through all the ups and downs. I always thought about how there is really no other time in my life that I will have this many friends in one place, always looking out for me and caring for me. Between traveling the world, making memories in Chapel Hill, visiting hometowns, and having sorority roommates, it has been truly amazing to get to know the women I met through Alpha Delta Pi.  Looking back, that is something I often took for granted. What I wish I could tell my 18 year old self now!

If you're on the fence about whether to go through recruitment or not, I would encourage you to give it a chance. You may meet those people who will be "your people" forever, like I did. I know I may be getting a little sappy - (maybe that's because this is going into month three of not having them by my side or down the hall!) But, I am serious in the fact that I don't think I would be the person I am, or where I am today for that matter, without those girls the past four years.

Katie: I went through recruitment in a bit of a non-traditional way. I rushed as a sophomore, as did three other of my closest friends in college. So first, my advice would be to not be afraid to go through recruitment even if you aren't a first-year! Going through rush later than most, I was lucky to have an older sister that had been through it and could provide some insight. However, that leads me to my next point. While I did end up in the same sorority as my sister, I want to encourage everyone to go through the process open-minded. It is easy to hear rumors that stereotype the houses with different reputations. When you're going through each round, see if you can picture yourself amongst the girls at each house. You want your sorority to be filled with people and personalities you actually enjoy and want to be around. Ultimately that is what being in a sorority is all about. Surrounding yourself with women who motivate, inspire, challenge and support you to be the best you can be. I can honestly say the girls I met through Alpha Delta Pi played a major part in my growth and maturity throughout college.

Alpha Delta Pi seniors, 2014
Being in a sorority was a wonderful part of my college years, however it was not the only part of my college experience. I was blessed to have a wonderful group of ADPi friends, many friends in other sororities and friends that were not affiliated with any house. Having this balance was wonderful because all of my friend groups were able to interact and hangout with each other. I loved that I had my sorority because it filled my social calendar with events, helped me get involved with other organizations on campus, allowed me to hold a leadership role as philanthropy chair and provided me with so many genuine friends. I also loved having my various other friend groups to go out with, get involved with campus groups with and be a support system when sorority life wasn't so glamorous.

Ultimately being an Alpha Delta Pi was a major highlight to my college career. I will always hold the women in my chapter near and dear to my heart. Alpha Delta Pi helped me develop valuable life skills, provided me with unforgettable memories, introduced me to some of my best lifelong friends (including a post-grad roommate!) and taught me how important it is to surround yourself with people who support you. Best of luck to anyone choosing to go through recruitment this year! I wish you the courage to follow your heart and find a place you call home with friends that feel more like family.

No comments:

Post a Comment