Hi! I’m Heather Taylor and have been a Sigma Kappa alum since May 2011. I just finished my last class of my geology degree! It took a bit, but I finally got it done! I have a pretty unique story about my experiences in college and beyond. First off, I didn’t go straight into college from high school. I worked for three years and started college in fall 2007. So, if you do the math, I entered college right before I turned 22. I also got married, took a year and a half off from school, had a baby and lived in three different states between now and when I started college.
When I was a freshman, I knew I wanted to get involved even though I was working two jobs at the time, full time course load and lived out in Harrison County. I hated the idea of going to class and going home. I had considered trying out for the dance team, but thought I was a bit too out of practice for that. Then, one day I was at my mom’s house and saw her Sigma Kappa Triangle magazine on the table. I began to read it and instantly felt a want to be in an organization like that one. I really wasn’t the “sorority girl type” (sorry for the stereotype) and my mom even laughed at me when I said I wanted to join her sorority. Well, I went through recruitment, fell in love, and knew I had found something that I had been missing.
When I was going through the new member classes, I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a lot of responsibility, since I was working and lived kind of far away. Well, situations changed (for the better I might add) and before I knew it, I was racking up leadership positions, including President! I gave Sigma Kappa 150% and it gave me double back! From networking, to leadership, public speaking and event planning skills, to three of my five bridesmaids, to shoulders to cry on after two miscarriages, Sigma Kappa had given me so much and I knew that I wanted to return the favor when I became an alumna.
Being in Sigma Kappa has allowed me to have several opportunities after I became an alumna. When I lived in Arizona, I was an advisor for the chapter at the University of Arizona and interim president of the restarting Tucson Alumnae Chapter. When I came back to IU Southeast to finish my degree, I was asked to create the Greek Life office. And, as of yesterday, everything I learned from being in a sorority helped me get a job at the local community foundation where I live now in Pennsylvania. (Yes, I move a lot) I have had the support of my sisters every step of my crazy cross-country travels, and I know that no matter where I go, I will always be able to find a sister! I am so thankful I joined Sigma Kappa and plan to continue being an active alumna for the rest of my life! Being in Greek Life was hands down one of the absolute best decision I have ever made in my life and I hope that you get to experience the amazing gifts that sorority life gives during college and beyond.
"These letters don’t make me better than you, they make ME better than I used to be!"
My name is Taylor McAdams, I am a senior at IU Southeast and the Vice President of Membership Recruitment for the Alpha Phi sorority. I went through sorority recruitment in the fall of my freshman year and it was one of the best decisions of my college career. Going through sorority recruitment and joining Alpha Phi has given me confidence and leadership skills that will help me be better prepared when I graduate.
As a freshman I never thought I would have a leadership position, but as I fell more in love with Alpha Phi I knew I wanted to make an impact. As the Vice President of Membership Recruitment for the second year in a row, I am in charge of all things dealing with recruitment and Alpha Phi memberships. Formal Recruitment is one of my favorite times of the year. Our chapter does not only grow in size during formal recruitment but we also grow closer as sisters. We spend hours and hours preparing for recruitment and we learn so much more about ourselves and each other during this time. Though it is stressful, it is all worth it in the end. I fall even more in love with my sorority each year and I get new sisters that will find their own reasons why they love Alpha Phi.
In the fall of 2012, I decided to join a Panhellenic sorority at IU Southeast. Coming from high school where no one else decided to attend IUS, I thought it would be the best way to meet people and get involved. It was truly a great decision. Through being in a sorority, I not only made many lifelong friends, but I got to be apart of something bigger and better. I got to be apart of an amazing opportunity for service and sisterhood.
Being in a sorority, there are many opportunities for service. I get to put my whole heart into Philanthropy and get to serve others which is a big passion of mine. Not only did I get to serve others, but also I got to serve my sisters through sisterhood. Sisterhood is not all about yourself and having friends or having someone to hang out with, it is about being selfless and being there for your sisters when they need you. Sisterhood is about helping each other out whenever a sister may be in need. It is a connection that lasts a lifetime.
Being involved with Greek life in general on campus, also gives you an opportunity to be involved in this tremendous community. Whether it's helping out with other organizations philanthropies and attending events or all attending homecoming together, it is like one big family.
Overall, joining a sorority was a great decision that I have received so much from. I have excelled in school- including getting into the nursing school at IUS, which is no small feat. But greatest of all, I have met incredible women that have changed my into the person I am today.
After graduating high school I chose to go away for school. While away I became very depressed because I had no friends and I was away from home. Because of that I decided to come home for the rest of my college experience, but U was still scared. I was scared because I was starting over at a new school where I really only knew my best friend. She knew all about my experience when I went away for school and didn't want that for me when I started IUS, so she started talking to me about sorority life. I was against it that whole summer because (just like a lot of people) I thought of it as a group of girls that paid for their friends. Even though I thought that, I still wanted to try it out because my best friend was part of it and I wanted something new in my life. So I decided to go to the info session where each sorority explained their philanthropies and they told us their experiences. I became hooked and signed up as quickly as possible for formal recruitment.
I started what would become an amazing journey. I went to each sorority the first night of formal recruitment and it was kind of scary. On the second night I went to two parties and I was very happy. I had a blast meeting new people that I didn't meet the night before and hearing their stories. Then came the third night where I got invited back again by the two sororities and again had a blast, but the night ended when I had to choose between the two. Even though my best friend was in one of those sororities, I still had a difficult time choosing because they both had so many wonderful qualities!
Even though I had a hard time choosing I chose the one that was best for me, Phi Sigma Sigma. I started out saying that I began an amazing journey but after I made my decision I started what would be the best chapters of my life. We started right away with new member classes, meetings, and the actives getting to know us new girls. My favorite memory about the beginning of this experience was when we had this game that was like speed dating but more speed getting-to-know-our-chapter. We did this so that we could figure out who we wanted to be our Big, who is like your mentor or role model. After choosing that person, us new girls had to play the waiting game to find out who our Big would be. They gave us hints, which would usually be song lyrics, and tricked us when we asked who it would be up until the day we found out. That night they made us new girls wait in a classroom while our secret Big hid in a car in the parking lot with our hint, the song, blaring out of the car. We ran out of the classroom and into the paring lot to try to find the car that was playing our song which was a blast! That was when I found out that my Big was my best friend! That is just one of the many amazing moments I've had since joining.
Joining Phi Sigma Sigma has made me who I am today, I now have 30 best friends and sisters that I would never trade for anything. They have been through so many ups and downs in my life that I would never have gotten through without them. Just a short while ago we said goodbye, we know we still have them as our sisters forever and that will never change. I've also become closer to two girls who, even though they aren't my Big, still became big role models in my life. They showed me how to push through anything and make my own decisions. I would not trade this experience for anything because I am now role model, a best friend, sister, Big, Little and a leader. I love my sisters and can't wait to get some awesome additions in the fall!
Panhellenic Officers, Recruitment Counselors and other Sorority Women in our Community will be guest blogging throughout the summer months.