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!
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.