Greek life: two words that might make people run. That’s because all everyone thinks about are the sorority movies out in the world. At one time, I thought the same thing…that Greek life was just about the pillow fights and the drinking games.
But I decided to take a leap of faith and check out the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The second I walked in the door all my fears and thoughts about sorority life vanished. The girls were just like me: loving and caring, and made academics and sleep just as much as a priority as I do! I knew I was going to fit right in with these girls.
In celebration of my senior year, here are seven things I learned about being a part of Greek life (things you really need to know):
1. How to be a Leader
I never thought one day I would hold office as a supervisor with positions under me… as a college student. Girls look up to me for advice. I have learned to help others and become a leader.
2. How to Manage Time
We all know there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Sure, you try, but some days it just does not happen. Being in the sorority, I have learned that time management is a real thing.
If you don’t get your form filled out for the agenda at the next meeting (because you got stuck binge-watching your favorite Netflix show) you are going to be completely lost the following week. If you didn’t finish that assignment you have known about for two weeks that is due tomorrow, you know you won’t be able to join your sisters who suddenly want to go on a McDonald’s run.
Lesson learned: your planner is your best friend.
3. The Opportunities are Endless
Being in Gamma Phi Beta I have had so many opportunities (and it’s only been three years). I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta and meet over 900 Gamma Phi Betas from around the country.
Two of my favorite things that happened there were getting to meet all these new sisters and finding a Krispy Kreme. (Yes, I brought two dozen donuts home for my sisters here in Moorhead.)
Being a part of Greek life also gives you the opportunity to receive scholarships or even internships from the experience you gain.
4. How to Make a Difference
Most people think Greek Life is all about the pillow fights.. That is not true.
We believe in the volunteering in the community. Being a part of Gamma Phi Beta, I have been able to work closely with Girls on the Run. GOTR is a wonderful organization that works with girls third through fifth grade on improving their self-esteem, confidence and ability to develop friendships. They have practices where they train for a 5K which is at the end of the season. Even at 21 I learn new things by going to these practices. Yes, you can volunteer anytime even if you aren’t in a sorority. But this is getting to volunteer with a group of women you are close with and show the same passion for in the volunteer work you do.
5. How to Diversify Your Friend Group
People always say “joining a sorority is just paying for your friends.” This is not true. Getting involved with Greek life gives you the opportunity to meet new people with different majors and interests you would never have had the opportunity to do without it. I was working in Moorhead over the summer and I realized after a long day of being an adult all I wanted to do is be with my sorority sisters, goofing off and laughing with them.
6. How to Work with Others
Working with others can be a good or bad thing. Greek life has you working with so many other organizations on campus that you learn firsthand how to work with others. You may be thinking, there has to be a rivalry between greek organizations. If I were to tell you there wasn’t, I’d be lying (friendly competition never hurt anybody), but we are also a Greek family.
Being part of the Greek family is probably the best part of being in the organization. You meet so many new people. In fact, you’ll likely never go to a class without a Greek member in it (which means study buddies!).
7. Where to Find a Home Away From Home
College. You may be leaving home for the first time, thinking you are ready to take on the world (and excited for freedom). After about a week, you realize you need a home away from home.
I have found that home away from home. Gamma Phi Beta and Greek life has given me an amazing support system. Whenever you need a shoulder to cry on (and mom is too far away), your sisters are always right there with Oreos and a box of Kleenex.