Go Greek!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sorry about my little sabbatical but I've been so busy with recruitment! To make up for it a bit, here's a saga about Greek life and how I became a DG.

It’s no secret if you pay attention to my life at all that I’m a proud member of Delta Gamma.  In the midst of recruitment happening across the nation these past few weeks there have been a number of negative Greek life stories in the headlines.  As an adviser, I’ve had a couple of people reach out to me about why I decided to join a sorority, do I think their child should go Greek and if the stories in the news have any merit.  The main news story that I’ve gotten questions about is the most recent incident involving Greek life at the University of Alabama.  Since I don’t know anything first-hand about this Greek life system I don’t feel it’s fair to comment on it.  I can, however, comment on why I went Greek and what an incredibly positive impact it has had on my life.

I didn’t go to college with the intention of joining a sorority.  Frankly, I think it surprised most of my high school friends when I told them what I was doing (I might’ve waited until after I’d accepted a bid to tell any of them- I honestly don’t remember).  I had tons of high school friends starting freshman year with me at Texas A&M including 3 of my best friends so I didn’t see the need to meet new people.  Especially not snotty sorority girls.  So I happily started freshman year, focusing on school and joining on-campus organizations.  I made fast friends with one of my dormmates who then introduced me to 2 of her new friends.  Turns out they met during recruitment and were now all in the same sorority.  I started hanging out with them 24/7, bringing them around my high school friends and everything.  Something was different with these girls though.  Something different between the 4 of us and the rest of my friends and something different between the 3 of them and myself.  Whenever they would go to sorority functions I’d feel so sad being left behind.  They brought up the idea of my joining Delta Gamma close to the end of my first semester and I kinda blew it off at first.  That’s when I first brought it up with my parents.  Oy vey.

My mom has this awful story about going to a sorority rush party at FSU with her best friend and how it was basically Animal House and she didn’t want anything like that for me.  My dad was actually in a fraternity in high school and he DEFINITELY didn’t want me going Greek.  I would be hazed and I’d never have time to study and it was too expensive and on and on and on. 

The more I hung out with these girls and their sorority sisters, the more I knew the stereotypes my parents were worried about didn’t apply here.  These girls were the most kind, genuine, funny, wonderful  and down-to-earth girls I’d met.  They reminded me of my best girl friends from high school who were spread across the country at various colleges.  I remember one night I went to the library to study with my 3 friends and an older Delta Gamma who had already taken the freshman Biology class I was cramming for came over and sat down to help explain something because she'd heard my groaning. She spent 2 hours with me and she didn't even know me.

I called my parents that night and said I’d pay for it myself if they would just support me in this decision to join a sorority.  They were still hesitant but being the fabulous parents they are, they said yes.  In the spring I was welcomed into Delta Gamma and my life has never been the same.  Of course the friendships changed my life but it’s so much more than that.

I learned some tough lessons about working in groups and leadership, balancing all aspects of my life and not crumbling to pieces, the importance of taking breaks to act like a 13 yr old with friends, how to be confident with who I am and the things I believe in and how to handle the ups and downs of life.  I was involved in other organizations on campus but none of them could even compare to my experiences in Delta Gamma.  I learned more, cried more and grew more in those 4 undergraduate years than I’d ever expected to.  I became a leader in my classes as well and heard more than once that some of my peers wished they had gone Greek based on what I was able to bring to the table.

I’m not going to try to tell you that all of the stereotypes of sororities and fraternities are made up because sure, some of the things you see in the movies are true.  But the good overwhelmingly out-weighs the bad.  Especially in my case because I decided to sail with the best and become a Delta Gamma.  We are a strong group of women who hold fast to our beliefs, most importantly of those is Hope.   Although many of us vote differently, come from different walks of life and live scattered across the globe- we’ll forever have at least one powerful thing in common.  We’re all Delta Gammas.

I’m an adviser now and I love getting to help younger girls through their undergraduate DG years.  I get why teachers like what they do so much now.  And when moving to a new city, the first group I reached out to was the local DG chapter.  I didn’t know anyone here but I wasn’t worried because I knew there was a group of my sisters waiting for me.  I used this example with my undergraduate girls a few months ago when I first met them to describe what this wonderful sisterhood means to me at this point in my life.  I had just met them but within a few hours I had already begun forming relationships that I knew would grow into something meaningful.  I knew then that if I was stranded 3 hours away in the middle of nowhere I could call these girls and a SUV full of them would come to my rescue.  I knew that these girls were going to teach me as much as I would teach them and most importantly that after those few short hours I already felt at home in Alabama.  My parents didn’t need to worry because I wasn’t alone.

I may not be the next President of United States or celebrity (still waiting on Bravo to call me about my TV show) but whatever I do, I’m a better person for being a part of Greek life and for being a Delta Gamma.  I whole-heartedly believe that everyone should give Greek life a serious consideration when going to college.  Ultimately, it’s not for everyone but it definitely isn’t what our parents experienced when they were in college either.  People who are jaded by their experiences back when hazing was allowed or from the way Hollywood and the media make Greek life out to be would be making a mistake if they didn’t support their children in considering joining a sorority or fraternity.  Remember, “bad apples” and scandals plague organizations of all shapes, sizes, and beliefs.  That doesn’t however make membership in that group any less special or important to those who are also affiliated.


1 comment:

  1. Love this. I'm so glad you became a DG! I don't think I knew that you joined after your first semester, but I think I could take an educated guess at who the girls are that inspired you to join! Glad you're loving being an adviser!