High school left a nasty taste in my mouth, so I was a little skeptical coming into college. My sophomore year, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and the symptoms got so bad toward the middle of the school year that I had to leave my school and finish the year online. I went back for my junior year to try again but my brother passed away over winter break. So again, I was back to doing school online. I eventually graduated early and decided I was going to apply for college. I was scared out of my mind. I hadn’t been in a school building in so long, hadn’t had school work or had to study, and hadn’t had to deal with the pressures from being in a classroom setting. My anxiety was the worst it had been since my brother passed. On top of normal anxieties about starting college, I was worried about him missing this new chapter in my life. At orientation, I went out on a limb and decided to go to a sorority table. Maybe finding friends would help me with my transition into college? I never thought I would be a sorority woman, but as soon as I started talking to the girls at that table, I felt some of my anxiety fade away.
Looking back now, almost a year after initiating into Sigma Kappa, I can definitively say that joining a sorority has improved my mental health. Sure, I gained a group of great women to help me navigate college life but it’s so much more than that. My sisters hold me accountable and want to see me do my best. The amount of support I feel from them is astonishing. Sometimes I’m still anxious, but I know that they’ll always have my back. They see my anxiety and depression and instead of telling me to get over it, they take my hand and walk me through it. When I feel like I can’t go on any longer because I’m so overwhelmed, they’re there to ask me to get food and make me laugh. The best part is that I don’t have to tell them when I’m having a hard time. The things they do to help me are just a part of our sisterhood. I don’t think I could ever express how thankful I am for Sigma Kappa. The girl that used to have panic attacks because she had to go to school has turned into a woman who holds an Executive Council position and has an insatiable drive to make her sisters proud. And that’s what I hope I do.
When you hear about the stereotypes about Greek Life, the last thing that comes to many's mind is that we only care about ourselves. When that's farther from the case. Community service is one of the main reasons I went Greek.
I'm originally from two hours from here in a small Kentucky town called Winchester. There wasn't a whole lot to do, but during Christmas and summer I found myself volunteering with my dad. I knew that moving to Louisville, I wanted to do something to help give back to my current community.
In my sorority, I have heard about so many different opportunities to volunteer for. I have volunteered my time at many different places all because I heard them through Greek Life: GRRAND Shelter, Autumn Woods, Operation Christmas Child, Circle of Sisterhood, the local animal shelter, and other local charities.
I'm currently volunteering my time for the Y-Now program in Louisville to help mentor youth who have incarcerated parents. I love getting to work with the youth and watching them grow into great people! I owe finding the Y-Now program due to the volunteer opportunities Greek Life has shown me!
I have many favorite things about greek life and sorority life, but my favorite has to be the endless support. There are so many people within greek life that will put aside what they have going on to help you. I always know that if I am struggling in a class there will almost always be someone around that has taken the class before and can help me.
I also love that we support each other's philanthropy. When one chapter has a huge event for their philanthropy the other chapters will jump in and give all the support they can give to help make the event successful.
When I started at IUS, I never thought I would be the type to join a sorority. But I started talking to some of the Gamma Chis during Induction Day, and during Week of Welcome I signed up to receive more information about Greek Life and receive text messages. I started texting with a Gamma Chi named Alexa and she answered my questions and broke the stereotypes of Greek Life I had in my head. That day I signed up for recruitment and forgot all about it, until after I got my bid and was starting to talk to my new sisters and realized Alexa was the one who convinced me Greek Life was for me! We started talking and hanging out, and when it came around to deciding who I wanted as my big I had no doubt in my mind that Alexa was the perfect big for me. She helped me when I was struggling in classes, or even in my personal life, and she would always drag me out of the house to have some fun or to get some ice cream. I never thought I could find someone who I clicked with so well, but Greek Life brought us together, and we always have loads of fun and we're always joking around!
Having one of my best friends from high school be in a different sorority was most definitely hard to get used to and a struggle at times, but it has not changed the fact that she is my best friend. I am an Alpha Phi and Abie Stark is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, and she is my best friend. I honestly don't think I would have survived my freshman year of college without her. Even though we are in different sororities, our friendship grew. I know that no matter what Abie and I will always be there for each other.
It is always great to be able to talk to her about everything under the sun, and for her to be there to listen too. We make time to do things just her and I, and are able to love our separate sororities as much as we love each other. It is definitely hard at times since we're not in the same sorority, being in different groups with different rules and secrets, we're not able to tell each other everything. But this has never hindered our relationship.
I think that being in different sororities honestly made our bond stronger. We are able to give each other advice and do things outside of Greek Life with each other, which is what makes our friendship that much stronger.
So my advice to you is to never do everything your friends do, and never back down from a challenge because your friend won't be able to be there with you. This is life and it almost never works out as planned, so just go with it and have fun!
Whenever you talk to a Greek woman, you will often hear a long list of how you should approach sorority life and recruitment. Many get overwhelmed with the simple idea of all the advice being thrown at them. I, like many other Greek woman, could write a novel about the things I wish I'd known before going through recruitment. Instead of reciting that, I would like to give you three main points and goals to keep in mind when making your decision.
Number one: Keep an open mind. You will hear this over and over again from your Gamma Chi--listen to them. Some will come in with a particular sorority in mind, but I ask you to give all your options a deep look. I, myself, came in expecting to go one way but completely changed once I met all the amazing women that Greek Life offers. You will hear stories of triumphs and teachable moments throughout this experience from the many women you will meet. Make sure to view everything being said to you with a clear and open mind.
Number two: Enjoy the little things. I know it seems cliche, but recruitment passes so quickly you will forget the little moments that will lead you to your forever home. Take in what these Greek women are sharing with you; you never know, they could become your new family in a matter of days.
Number three: Listen to your heart and gut. I see too many women joining a chapter just because that's where their friends went or they know people within the sorority. The people who go with the crowd often regret their decisions. Remember that you are making a decision for life, not just four years. Whomever you choose to join will become your family and support system, they will love you in the good times and bad. They are the ones who will be there through tough situations. This is not a choice to make lightly. I hope you make your decision based on your own mind.
Choosing your Greek home is not a decision to take lightly. You will be joining the ranks of some fantastic Greek women including Harper Lee, Katie Couric, Margaret Chase Smith, and even Betty White. I have great hope for each and every one of you and am so excited to see you find your place amongst the powerful Greek women of Indiana University Southeast.
Hi! My name is Sydney Seger, and I am the Chapter President of Alpha Phi. I also served as the VP of Campus Affairs for Alpha Phi as well. This is where I found my true calling to volunteer in the community. I was also involved in helping our chapter, Zeta Epsilon, win the Excellence in Community Service award from Alpha Phi International. On another note, I am a member of the IUS softball team along with the IUS Honors Program. Participating in more than one organization has allowed me to make connections and improve my scholastics.
Hey guys! My name is Brooklyn Shaffer. I am a junior majoring in Elementary Education. I am Vice President of Risk Management for Alpha Phi. When I joined Alpha Phi in 2015, I quickly fell in love with the chapter. I learned more about our values and what they stand for and learned more about risk management and watch care. I have wanted this position since I was a freshman and could not be more thankful to be VPRM for Alpha Phi. make the best decision of your college career and go greek!
I’m Kaitlin Porter and a proud member of the Sigma Kappa Zeta Alpha chapter at Indiana University Southeast. I am starting my senior year where I am double majoring in Public Relations and Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Communications.
Going into college, I can honestly say I was the stereotypical person who thought Greek Life was where girls paid to have friends. After learning more, I realized that Greek Life was where strong, independent, smart and talented women came together to become something bigger than themselves. I encourage women of all majors, backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages to go Greek.
I rushed my sophomore year and found a home in Sigma Kappa. My sisters have motivated me to earn two degrees, gain over 200 services hours by myself last academic school year, work two jobs, pay my dues all while still be able to have time to breathe.
I take pride in the philanthropic work done by all Greek women. In my short two years as a Sigma Kappa member, I have participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which benefits our main philanthropy of Alzheimer’s Research. During the past years I have helped raise over one million dollars for Women’s Alzheimer’s Research alone. Being apart of something so major has given me great pride in the work that college aged women can achieve.
Going Greek is something I will never regret. I am beyond proud to leave my legacy and hope that each and every one of you find a place to call home.
Panhellenic Council members, recruitment counselors, and other sorority women in our Greek community will be blogging throughout the summer months to help potential members prepare for recruitment.