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sororities

In sorority on
January 18, 2016

10 Things You Need To Know Before You Join A Sorority

Last week on January 10th I celebrated my 4th year anniversary of signing my bid card for Sigma Sigma Sigma. I am continually obsessed with my sorority, even now as I have been a sorority alumna for about 8 months now (crazy I know!) Today I am sharing 10 things I think you should know before you join a sorority.

 10 Things You Need To Know Before You Join A Sorority | Are you considering Greek Life? Read this post for 10 things you need to know before you decide to join a sorority so that you can make the most informed decision about deciding to Go Greek!

1. The Ranking Of The Sorority You Love Is Just A Number

Sorority rankings are going to happen. There are whole sites about rankings and your friends on campus will surely have their thoughts on what sororities are hot and which ones are not. At the end of the day, though, this is completely your decision. If you love the sisters, think that you fit in well with them, and y’all have a mutual love for each other–go for it. Don’t listen to what other people say or think about the sorority you love. The only opinion that matters is yours.

2. Your Friends May Not Agree With Your Decision To Go Greek

Not everyone is going to love your decision to Go Greek. They don’t have to though. Your decision is yours alone to make. You don’t have to push Greek life down their throats or make them appreciate your sisterly bonds. Greek life isn’t for everyone and if it’s for you that is fine and dandy. Understand that your friends might not agree with your decision, but don’t let this decision come between you and your friends.

3. You Need Friends Outside Of Greek Life

Sisters are great, but having friends outside of Greek life is pretty amazing too. You need that balance, and most of all you don’t ever want to miss out on a potential friendship or connection just because they aren’t in Greek life. Sisters are amazing, but sometimes you just want a break. You don’t want your entire friendship circle to be made exclusively of other sorority sisters. Branch out, don’t be afraid to meet new people, and get involved in other things.

4. Sorority Life Is A Huge Time Commitment

I’d be super lying to you if I told you going Greek wasn’t a time commitment. Sororities and fraternities are probably the most time consuming registered student organizations on your campus. There is so much that you have to do, especially during your new member semester.

  • New Member Meeting (At least 1 hour a week, every week during your new member period!)
  • Chapter Meeting (At least 1 hour a week, every week! You may not have to go your new member semester, but most new members do)
  • Volunteer Hours (You will probably be required to do 5-10 hours of volunteer/community service hours per semester)
  • Library/Study Hours (Depending on your grades you will probably have to do about 1-10 hours per week; but this is study time so if you’re studying already this will be easy to accomplish.)
  • Mixers, Tailgates, Sisterhoods, Intramural Sports (The more you give to sorority life the more these events pop up and you can literally spend hours and hours on these things per week.)

Sorority life will push your time management skills to the limit. You have to be able to manage the time commitment along with your classes and other involvements. It can be a bit daunting, but your older sisters can point you in the right direction, plus I am always here too!

5. Sorority Life Is A Huge Monetary Commitment

Throughout my Undergraduate career I spent $3,390.57 on my sorority. Not to mention the various things that weren’t billed through our billing system like my personal donations to our Sigma Sigma Sigma foundation, extra t-shirts that I bought on my own, Big/Little Week stuff (which I went through 3 times), and other events I went to that were sorority related. So all-in-all I roughly estimated that I spent around $5,000-$6,000 on my sorority experience while I was in undergrad. I still spend money even as an alumna through donations to the Foundation, paying my Sigma Sigma Sigma alumnae dues, and the fact that I am still obsessed with letter shirts and buy them all the time.

We didn’t even have Greek housing when I was in undergrad at the University of Central Arkansas. If we had that I would have been paying substantially more for sorority life. So I paid a lot in undergrad. I am not saying this to scare you, but I am saying this because part of being Greek is paying the fees associated with Greek life. It’s not easy, but I feel like it was worth it (although I am not going to lie, I’m kinda missing that money now that I’ve added it all up.) Greek life is one of the best experiences ever. To know that you are part of something bigger, support awesome causes, and have a group of people to do awesome things with is awesome.

I am not paying for my friends, I am however paying to keep my National Headquarters staffed; paying for a ton of awesome activities like Officer Academies, Leadership Experiences, Conventions, Prevention Institutes, and Volunteer Training; I am paying for activities and t-shirts from my local chapter; I am paying to keep a legacy going that was started so long ago and to keep our ritual amazing and beautiful.

6. Going Greek Will Give You A Family Away From Family

One thing is true, your sorority will become a family away from your family. It won’t happen overnight, and you have to work at it, but with practice and going to events you will find some amazing people. Those people will support you more than you think you deserve and really help you grow as a person. Again, I am all about being realistic about this though: It’s not going to happen overnight. This won’t happen automatically, but if you are doing your best to reach out to your sorority sisters they will reach out too.

7. You Need To Learn To Appreciate Greek Life As A Whole

I feel like I need to shout this out at the rooftops. You need to learn to appreciate Greek Life as a whole. So many women snub girls from other chapters during formal recruitment or burn bridges with other sororities entirely. This is not Panhellenic behavior. There are better ways to show you are not interested in a sorority (ranking them last during recruitment continually) but while you are around other sisters during recruitment (even in sororities you don’t want to go in) be nice and cordial. This will open up so many doors and connections on campus. We are all in this together and we are more alike than you think. You should praise sororities in other chapters, even if they don’t do things exactly like your chapter would.

This is so important because you are going to meet a lot of different types of sororities. Even in your own sorority, different chapters do things differently, you want to make sure you are always appreciating the whole Greek life process, not just how your chapter does everything. You don’t have to agree, but you don’t have to be hostile either.

8. You Won’t Like Every Sister (And That’s Okay)

Sororities are huge! They are made up of so many members. Some chapters are upwards of 200 at some schools. There is no way that you will like every single sister in your chapter. This even happens in super small chapters. You don’t have to like all your sisters. You probably don’t like all the qualities of your actual sibling sisters. It’s okay to have those thoughts. You don’t have to hang out with every member of your sorority. You can be a floater, you can find a group of sisters you love and hang out with them, it really depends on what you want to do.

On the other hand, if it doesn’t feel like a match, don’t force it just because they gave you a bid. There is a difference between not liking a handful of sisters and hating being Greek with your sorority. You don’t have to stay with a sisterhood if it’s not what you wanted it to be. Before you make that rash decision though try to pick apart what it is. Do you just not like a certain sister, or is it the sorority as a whole?

9. You Will Find The Most Amazing Mentors

Sigma Sigma Sigma has given me so many amazing mentors to look up to in my collegiate life. I am continually impressed by the amazing things my sisters continue to do and I am so blessed with perfect role models, mentors, and people who push me to be a better Sigma Sigma Sigma everyday. Without all of these friendships and connections I definitely wouldn’t be the Sigma woman that I am today. I wouldn’t have the courage to volunteer for my national sorority or the courage to continuously try to do better things within Tri Sigma. My mentors are what kept me strong when I wasn’t feeling like I’d found my place in Tri Sigma. So many amazing women to look up to that make me a better person each day. Now that I am a national officer that is growing even stronger.

10. Collegiate Life Is Just The Beginning

The interesting part about sorority life is that collegiate life seems like such a big deal, until it’s not. The transition from collegiate to alumna was a bit hard on me. I didn’t really think about it until those days when something would happen and remind me of collegiate life. For me that time came when I went to North Little Rock the weekend of move-in day for the freshman at UCA last summer. As I was leaving my sister’s I realized quickly that on any other occasion I’d be going to Conway, instead of going back to my hometown with my parents for one more week before I left for my new school. This feeling also came when it was time for Recruitment and all my friends still in college had to deactivate their social media accounts and/or not post on them. It was so nerve-wracking waiting to get back our numbers, I had never had to wait like that.

I know this feeling will come again this spring as my sisters go through All-Greek Step Show in April and try to take home a threepeat (we are TRI Sigma after all.) I will feel that as we get more sisters from Spring Continuous Open Bidding, but I won’t be there to hear all the news as it comes. Every blue moon when I am in class on a Tuesday night, I will think about the chapter meetings that used to dominate my Tuesday nights. I will miss it when they attend the Arkansas State Day that I won’t be able to attend for the first time in three years. Lastly, I will definitely feel it on the Founder’s Day celebration I will miss in April that I won’t be able to attend for the first time in four years! Don’t get me wrong, there are certain parts about collegiate life I am okay with missing mostly, but I do miss that constant connection.

On the other hand I realize that collegiate life is just the beginning. I realize that I get to celebrate Tri Sigma each and everyday and I am more connected to my sorority than a lot of alumnae women are. I am lucky for the position that I have and I am always trying to become better at my officer position.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you joined a sorority?

In sorority on
January 4, 2016

Your Guide To Surviving Deferred Recruitment

At some schools the formal recruitment of freshmen is deferred until the spring. When I went through recruitment my school was still using the deferred recruitment method which has its ups and downs. We eventually switched over to the fall formal recruitment method, but I know a lot of schools still choose to use this method of formal recruitment. Deferred formal recruitment comes with its own set of unique challenges for potential new members and today I want to give you a quick run down on surviving deferred recruitment.

 Your Guide To Surviving Deferred Recruitment | Does your school practice spring formal recruitment? If so, I have some tips you will probably love to hear. I joined my sorority during spring formal recruitment so I know about the unique challenges that potential new members face, but I also know about the overall fears that people have during any kind of formal recruitment. Click through to learn more so you can crush deferred recruitment and find the sorority of your dreams.

There are a lot of unique challenges I want to cover for women going through deferred formal recruitment. I want to share some of my stories with you about the changes I saw, what I had to do, and what I encourage you to do as well. I will be breaking up the text below into three categories: before, during, and after recruitment.

Before Deferred Recruitment

The first semester of your freshman year can be super important if you are going through deferred formal recruitment. Below I am listing some of my favorite tips to having a productive first semester before deferred recruitment!

Meet Sorority Women

If there are any Panhellenic events on campus I would definitely suggest attending as many as you can. Or if you have a sorority woman in one of your classes get to know her. During recruitment it obviously helps already know one or two girls in each room. This will help you feel more confident and also help you practice your formal recruitment small talk skills. You will be meeting a ton of people during recruitment, so if you can, it’s so much better to start now.

Join A Registered Student Organization On Campus

Sorority women absolutely love to see involvement on your application. In fact some sororities require that their members are involved in organizations outside of the sorority. A lot of sorority women are leaders and members in other organizations on campus. Not only is this a way to potentially meet sorority women; it’s a way to meet other people on campus and boost up your resume.

Clean Up Your Social Media

The use of social media is completely different once you join a sorority and even before you are in a sorority. It’s important that your social media reflects the best version of yourself that it can. Also if you sign up for formal recruitment, there is a 90% chance that sorority women are probably looking at it to get a better vision of who you are before you get in the door, this helps them recognize your face and match you with the best sisters to talk to before recruitment starts.

Keep Your Grades Up

One of the hardest parts about sorority recruitment being in the spring is that you have a semesters worth of college grades on your transcript before you go through recruitment. You can’t afford to have a GPA under the minimum required by your Panhellenic Council. Some sororities take grade risks, but the large majority of chapters can’t handle that. This will severely limit your chances of getting into sororities. It’s best to keep your grades high and go in with at least the minimum GPA required of sorority women (usually a 2.5 GPA or higher.) Not to mention that once you join a sorority your GPA may suffer a bit during the first semester (but not always, mine went up the semester I joined my sorority.) It’s important to be prepared and have a high GPA before you go into sorority recruitment if you have the chance.

Clear Your Mind Of Rumors

One of the worst parts about deferred recruitment is that rumors are literally everywhere. The semester you have to get acquainted with school and Greek life also breeds rumors about certain sororities that just aren’t true. Before you go into recruitment, clear your mind of any rumors you have about the sororities on your campus, and go into every room with an open mind.

During Deferred Recruitment

You may not have time to mingle with sorority women on campus before recruitment begins. If that is the case you definitely have to make a statement during recruitment Even with deferred recruitment you still follow similar formal recruitment tips and tricks. Here are some tips on going through recruitment with style.

Be Your Best Self

I am going to talk a little bit later about the dangers of faking who you are, but please be your best self. When you are a part of a sorority you gotta do certain things: you gotta do your hair, you gotta shower, you gotta skip wearing the hole-y jeans (at least during recruitment). It isn’t superficial to showcase your best self, and to be the best version of you that you can be. You don’t have to wear heels if you don’t want to, you don’t have to wear makeup if you don’t normally do so, but put your best foot forward.

By putting your best foot forward, you are allowing the sorority woman to really key in on your personality and all the awesome traits that you have.

Smile

One of the easiest ways to show that you are interested in a conversation, a person, or a room in general is smiling. You don’t have to go through recruitment with a smile plastered on your face 24/7, but offering a genuine smile when someone is talking to you, or laughing at a joke is great way to show interest in what a sorority woman is talking about.

Write Everything Down

If you are like me and you have the memory of a goldfish, write everything down if you can. You may want to bring a small notepad in your purse along with a pen so you can write things down between rounds. I didn’t do this and I kinda regret it, recruitment was such a stressful process and I got so many things mixed up or I forgot things. Better safe than sorry when it comes to this, especially if you are visiting a lot of rooms each day.

Don’t Try New Things

Okay this is such an important rule: don’t try new things! Don’t break in new heels, don’t try new makeup, don’t try a new hairstyle, don’t wear new clothes if you can help it. Recruitment is all about showing off your best self, and nothing says the opposite of that like feeling uncomfortable in a scratchy shirt or having an allergic reaction to new makeup. You have got to make your first impression count and you can do this by being confident in what you are wearing. You are confident when you are comfortable and so you need to wear items that make you exude confidence.

Follow Your Heart

A huge rule when it comes to recruitment is not to discuss your thoughts with other potential new members, but we all know that just doesn’t happen really. There are certain rules that should never be broken like being in contact with sorority members during recruitment; but potential new members talk to each other.

I went through recruitment with my roommate and we definitely talked after each day of recruitment was over. It’s natural to talk. But don’t let the opinions of others stray you away from following your heart. Join the sorority that works well with who you are as a person.

Be Who You Are

This is another great rule. Be who you are all throughout recruitment. You don’t want to get into a sorority based on a fake persona, because then you will have to keep up with that persona throughout your time in the sorority. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a happy life to me. Be who you are, everyone else is taken.

After Deferred Recruitment

This semester is going to be completely different from your first semester. Here are a few tips to managing your second semester of college, and your first semester as a sorority woman!

Prepare For Major Changes

By the time you get involved in a sorority your second semester, you have already established a lot of stuff in school. Things are definitely going to change a lot. Sororities take up a lot of time and you may have to make some adjustments to accommodate that.

Time Management Is Everything

Adjusting to sorority life is a huge time management issue. You have got to be willing to work smarter, not harder when it comes to balancing your old registered student organizations, education, your sorority, and whatever else you have going on. It can be done though, and lots of people do it well. You just have to focus, be productive, and plan everything! If you are feeling overwhelmed though, there are tons of older sisters who are there to help. Just ask and they can help you unlock the secrets to living a fulfilled, and sometimes sleep deprived, awesome college life.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

This is such an important rule with sorority life and college life in general. There will be times where you have to say no. Times when friends want to go out and party, but you have a test the next day. Don’t be afraid to be a party pooper, especially when your grades are on the line.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say Yes

So I know I just gave you the exact opposite rule, but this rule is just as important. There will be times when you want to wear pajamas and laze around even though someone invited you out. Say yes every once in a while. Doing things that are out of your comfort zone will make your sorority experience a million times better. If someone invites you out, and you have no reason to say no, consider saying yes. Somethings will be scary to you, but it’s cool to branch out sometimes.

You Have To Work At Getting Involved

I am working on writing my book all about this, but remember, you have to work at getting involved. Involvement isn’t just going to fall into your lap, and just because you join a sorority doesn’t mean you will automatically have a million best friends. Sorority involvement takes time, dedication, and perseverance. I promise it’s all worth it in the end though.

In sorority on
July 17, 2014

Sorority Love: Recruitment Videos That Give Me Feels

I can’t be the only sorority woman who gets chills watching other people’s recruitment videos! It doesn’t matter the sisterhood, I love watching recruitment videos on YouTube. When I get in the sentimental mood I can be seen searching for any sorority recruitment video out there, but I love slideshows and recruitment videos the most.

 Sorority Love: Recruitment Videos That Give Me Feels | Sororities often put out amazing and emotional videos during recruitment to share their sisterhood with potential new members and the public. Click through to watch 6 amazing sorority videos that give me the feels and learn more about the sorority experience while you do.

Here are some videos that give me major feels.

1. Tri Sigma HPU Sorority Recruitment Video 2014

2. University of Memphis Sorority Recruitment Video 2013

3.  USC Chi Omega Recruitment Video 2013

4. SLU Panhellenic Recruitment 2014

5. AXID RECRUITMENT VIDEO 2011

6. Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority Recruitment Video 2010 at Belmont University

I hope you got chills too! I love watching other sorority women talk about their sisterhood and really prove that this is something important. Sorority women should celebrated for all that they do for women across the country. I don’t know what I’d do without my sisterhood, so it feels great when other women talk about how their sororities have impacted them and made them better people.

What is your favorite sorority recruitment video? I’d love to see some down in the comments, because I love watching them!

In sorority on
July 16, 2014

Sorority Love: Getting To Know Sisters During Formal Recruitment

Welcome to Day 2 of my Sorority Love series. If you are just tuning in check out Day 1, it has a ton of tips on fashion and beauty. If you are a returner, thanks a million! Lets get started. I will start with a lovely slideshow filled with amazing tips on getting to know sisters and choosing your sorority forever home. This is probably the hardest part about recruitment. There are guides on what you should wear, but not a lot of great guides on getting to know sisters. There is no perfect catch all guide for making friends and connections during recruitment.There is no guidebook, but we can tell you a couple of things on how to best get through recruitment with sisters you can be yourself around on the other side.

 Sorority Love: Getting To Know Sisters During Formal Recruitment | Getting to know sisters during formal recruitment can be a daunting task, but not if you have tons of advice from sorority sisters themselves. Click through for advice on how to properly get to know sisters during recruitment.

Here is what all the lovely sorority women who participated had to say:

Thanks a million to the lovely ladies who helped. Some were kind enough to leave a social media account. Check the links to see if your favorite advice giver is listed:

Alyssa P.//Hannah E.//Kelsey B.//Madison M.//Courtney B.//Megan M.//Kathleen M.//Emily J.//Hailey S.//Alex B.//Sarah O.//Brittany H.//Lydia M.//Christina D.//Annaliese L-K.//Briana W.//Amber D.

So now on to my advice:

Have a true open mind

It’s easy to fake an open mind and be none-the-wiser. If you can, try to come to recruitment with the most open mind you can. Even if you are a legacy, a prep, an athlete, a musician, whatever. Don’t feel the need to go to the place your group tends to flock. You are not destined to end up in a sorority just because you are a certain thing.

When I went to recruitment I swore up and down that I had an open mind, but honestly I didn’t. I wanted Sigma from the jump and I didn’t try my absolute hardest to get to know other sorority women. Women in Sigma got me interested in going Greek in the first place, because before them I had never really even thought about Greek life.I wouldn’t have changed my mind, but I wish I’d gotten to know other ladies.

Don’t burn bridges

As you are crossing sororities off your list day by day, don’t burn bridges! Sororities are a community, if you don’t like a house, you don’t have to be rude to the members in the house. Your dislike for a sorority should be silent. If you don’t like a house use your ranking list and rank them at the bottom. There is no reason to be rude, because recruitment will not be the last place you see those women.

At my school we have a ton of Greek stuff like All-Greek Step Show and countless Greek pageants throughout the year. Not to mention the fact that you have classes with other Greeks and they are all over campus. You will see members of that sorority you were rude to again. Also by burning bridges during recruitment you are cutting out the fact that the sorority you are mean to might actually be a good choice for you. Always get to know every sorority that invites you back.

Don’t mourn your losses

Dropping out of recruitment after your favorite house drops you is a horrible idea. Dropping out in general is not a good idea actually. I promise you will find somewhere you belong in recruitment. If you take too much time getting upset over houses that drop you, you can’t fully appreciate the ones who invited you back. Take the time to get to know the sororities who invited you back, because obviously they see something in you and want to know more. Something about you intrigues them!

There are plenty of reasons why a sorority might drop you–and it’s not always because they didn’t like you. In fact most of the time it’s just because they don’t know enough about you. When it comes to recruitment there are a lot of people and only so many spots for each house. There is usually enough room for everyone to join Greek life somewhere, just maybe not where you thought you’d belong.

Take sites like Greek Rank with a grain of salt

If you learn nothing else from this, do not take sites like GreekRank or Yik Yak seriously. Seriously you will always lose when you depend on sites like that for news about Greek life. Just like the general population of your university or a middle school sometimes people like to stir up trouble or write untrue (or maybe true but none of your business) type things on the internet about other people, sororities, fraternities, et cetera. Just because they do, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If you just have to take a look at those sites, do not trust them!

Another reason I don’t like GreekRank–it’s usually other Greek people giving their opinions on fraternities or sororities they are not in. In sorority recruitment you can only speak for the sorority  you are a part of, so why should it be any different on the internet?

Be yourself

It would be hard to keep up with a fake personality for the rest of your life. If your personality changes over time, fine, but don’t fake it til you make it during recruitment. Yes, you want to present a great version of yourself, but never present a fake version. Be who you are and find sisters who love you for you.

If you don’t like Lilly Pulitzer that is a-okay. You don’t have to quote Mean Girls religiously, or even have to like House Bunny. We don’t need clones in sorority life. If done correctly sororities can introduce you to a wide array of people and really teach you what it’s like to work with a diverse group of ladies. Take advantage of that and don’t feel like you need to find glitter to be the best part of crafting or have a letter shirt obsession. Be you, everyone else is taken.

I hope you loved these tips from me and all of these wonderful sorority women. Be sure to check in to the blog later today at 5 PM CST for a ton of cute sorority iPhone wallpapers a little lesson on Greek Unity. Also check out the blog tomorrow at 9 AM CST for another installment of this series.