How Greek Life Changed My Life. (No, Not the Country…)

12 Nov

I’m in Baltimore this weekend for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for Alpha Phi and I’m having difficulty describing the incredible feeling I have for this sisterhood. As a collegian, I had a typical undergrad sorority experience: friends, fun, philanthropy, etc. As a new advisor of a chapter that is so different from mine: this is indescribable.

On one hand, I want so badly to connect with the collegians and have fun with them. I want to be accepted, one of them. On the other, it’s time for me to put on my “big girl pants” and join society as an adult and role model for these women.
I always thought that I would “grow up” by experiencing a hardship. While I’ve had my fair share of hardships, the most recent experiences I’ve had watching these women make mistakes and then triumph has been incredibly touching. It’s like watching my decisions as an undergrad from afar. I love sitting down with them and talking about grad school, life plans, and even what color the recruitment shirts should be next semester. Now that I think about it, I really appreciate the people who took the time to do that for me.

Being an advisor has opened my eyes to the benefits of mentoring and volunteering. Not only do they need my opinions and, sometimes, guidance, but I need them. Watching them has helped me come closer in deciding what kind of woman I want to become. I still haven’t grown up yet. Older, yes, but up? I can hope, right?

I’ve found that I don’t really mind what they think about me as much as when I arrived to the chapter. It’s not about me ; it’s about them and what I can do for them. I’ve found that my benefits will come regardless of whether I’m looking for something in return or not. Fun fact: the best benefits come when you’re not looking.

Moral of the story: if you’re Greek or part of another organization where you are able to volunteer your time to the growth and development of others going through similar experiences to ones you may have had, I can’t express enough how much they need you and, secretly, how much you need them, too.


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