How To Use Your Sorority Experience in Real Life

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I've wanted to write this post for a very long time but the moment never felt right. I started this blog in 2012 when I was going into my junior year of college. At that point, I had been in my sorority for almost a year and had big dreams of what I was going to accomplish in the sisterhood.

Ask anyone who knew me in college and they'll tell you I was very passionate about my sorority. I craved the friendship, the leadership, and the message that came along with being part of Phi Sigma Sigma, of being part of something huge.

When I was a junior, I had already won the position of Vice President of Communication on the Greek Board for the entire school, I was in charge of a committee or two and was on the road to do something bigger.

I knew I wanted to run for the Executive Board, it was just a matter of whether I was going to choose the president or vice president position. I wanted to be in charge, I wanted to make my sorority better. I was the girl on campus who made everyone go to the events, who wore her letters so much my friends had to tell me to wear normal clothes, and who wanted to be part of everything that the sorority did.

Eventually, that junior year, I ran and won for Vice President (unopposed but mostly because everyone knew how badly I wanted the position and how good I would make it) and for once, felt really at home.

I always had a pretty clear vision of who I was in my life, I was a little quirky, a little shy, and someone who was never the leader of the group. I was laid back in a sense that I just followed what others did or wanted to do -- if I really didn't want to do it, I didn't.

Being the Vice President of the sorority, standing in front of over 100 girls at my first meeting was nerve-wracking. I wasn't the girl who felt comfortable speaking in front of people, I didn't know what I was doing; while there was a handbook for the VP position, no one before me took it as seriously as I was going to, as seriously as I wanted too. After I left the position and groomed many young girls to take my place in years to come, they told me that I changed the way the VP operated and the position in the chapter. That was my legacy.

I loved Greek life so much I convinced the Greek advisor to let me on two executive boards at once and held the position of Vice President of Communication for my senior year as well. I loved Greek life so much and felt so at home that I won Sorority Woman of the Year in my senior year. I was fraternity sweetheart and really (not to pat myself on the back) a big lady on campus.

I felt at home in my sorority so much, like I had finally found myself and my place. I had never dreamed that I would have the skills to run an entire sorority, which is basically a little town of young women. I grew up in my sorority and learned so many skills that I've taken with me into my adult life, even five years after I graduated.

If you're in a sorority, or if you're thinking about rushing, these are a few lessons you might learn during your years and be able to take with you forever.



Leadership

I was never a leader before the sorority. As I said before, I went the flow and followed the rules. It was very weird for me to actually 'make' the rules. Being a leader I learned that it's important to listen to people, take constructive criticism, and work together. Just because you are in charge doesn't mean you get to lead alone... you need help. I learned to take charge of situations I knew I could handle but also delegate when it was important. I think to go into an entry-level or even mid-level position you won't necessarily be a leader but having those leadership skills and quality will help greatly in doing a good job and setting yourself up for success.

Work Ethic and Responsibility 

It might sound really silly but being on the Executive Board, or just being a member of a sorority will take a lot of work. There is a lot to do in a sorority; weekly meetings, events, mixers, conferences, recruitment... it takes a lot of responsibility to manage your time, plan events, and just help out with everything that it takes to make a sorority go round. I was never busier than I was in college and it really taught me time management, how to say no (sometimes there is just too much going on) and how to work hard to make something happen.

Small Talk

I am an incredibly shy person. I really do not like talking to people and I would much rather stay at home than be out. I'm not good at making friends and it takes a lot for me to feel comfortable in a social setting. However, in a sorority, from the first day of recruitment to your last day of college, you are kind of forced to be social. When you're getting ready to join a sorority you go through the recruitment process where you have to make a lasting impression on the sisters in order to get a bid. Selling yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone is essential and it can be quite the process for some people. Because of the small talk, I had to make, the public speaking I had to do, I feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. Without the sorority, I would still be the shy person I used to be. *I definitely am still a little shy but it is not as bad as it was. This helped me greatly with interview skills, conferences, and networking events.

Teamwork

No matter where you go in life there is going to be someone you dislike or don't get along with. No matter where you go in life, you will have to work with someone you don't like. A sorority is the perfect place to start honing in on this skill. Now listen, sororities have a reputation of being a catty group of women but that was so far from the truth in my experience. No one fought or were vicious to each other, but not everyone was best friends. However, we did all come together when it mattered and we all worked together to better the sorority and be the best we could be. Even if someone wasn't your BFF, you respected them because they were your sister and you were able to get things done. That is so important in life, to learn to work with people you don't necessarily want to work with and I'm so thankful for that lesson.

Whenever I have dealt with difficult situations, I try to remind myself that once I was a girl who was responsible for a hell of a lot more than I am right now and I got through that and did a great job.

All in all, this quote sums up how a sorority can help you become who you are and help you so much in life.


If you were in a sorority, what were some of the lessons you learned?
xoxo
B

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