Thursday, August 27, 2009
It's Fall, the start of the year for college. I know that there a lot of college students contemplating joining Sororities and/or Fraternities. They are probably thinking, "I'm not the Sorority Type, this isn't for me, why the heck should I do this?" Well believe me, I still get people asking me at work, "What you were in a Sorority? Really? Yes, this police chick was a bow wearing, pearl wearing, matching outfit, date party attending, full-fledged Sorority girl!
My freshman year of college, I joined a sorority. I was an (A-O-Pi) Alpha Omicron Pi. I was active in the sorority for a little less than two years. I know, I know. But grades, life, etc. raised some issues and I went to a Jr. College for a little while.
In 2001, I was somehow convinced to become an Advisor for my local Chapter of my sorority, ok well, it was my Chapter. This is how I became friends with my BFF, Stacey. She was also an Advisor. For some reason, I became the Financial Advisor. What? Me, money, finances? But seriously, so many lessons that I learned. I learned how to work with a committee, about multi-signer bank accounts, taxes for non-profits, how not to do your finances, etc.
Bt the skills that I learned have helped me in my latest endeavor, The Junior League. I already had the tools and knowledge in my head on how not to work on a committee, run things, etc. I was very excited when our JL meetings only lasted one hour, how we actually had a working budget, the tier of committees and chairs.
But really being in a sorority has helped me with public speaking (even though I hate it), being able to talk to anyone and everyone (helpful in job, especially), how to work pearls into any outfit (giggle), how to function in a huge convention (BlogHer), how to not be catty in public, only in private (can I get some snaps for this), and how to make new and interesting friendships with people that you might have not much in common with.
Oh, and blogging, it's amazing how my bloggers are Sorority girls. I thought that this would be fun to include some of my Sorority Blogging friends and how experiences in a Sorority helped them and became a part of their "adult" non college life.
Newlywed Next Door a (Gamma Phi) Gamma Phi Beta:
I can attribute so much of who I am today to my experiences in my Sorority and on the Panhellenic Council (governing body of the campus Sororities). Being in sorority helped to build my confidence and made me the true extrovert that I am today. It gave also gave endless opportunities to build interviewing and speaking skills through sorority recruitment and conversational skills through other events. Some people think sororities are "too political" or all about popularity, but the little political battles in a house of 160 girls definitely helped to prepare me for the big political battles of the corporate workplace that I'm in now. In fact, I know the main reason that the current company I work for hired me is that they were impressed with all of the leadership and team management skills I gained from my sorority and Panhellenic Council leadership positions. I could not have had that level of responsibility and the opportunity to manage groups of people in just a college internship. Job skills aside, I know that the friendships and networks that I built in my sorority will last a lifetime. And that is truly priceless.
Mrs. Newlywed a Sigma Kappa:
Hi, It’s me, Mrs. Newlywed. Some of you know me, but most of you are probably lucky enough to have never heard of me. I write [if you can call it that] Misadventures of a Newlywed.
Julie asked me to share some sorority love with you. I am a Sigma Kappa. Graduated undergrad in 2006, and I am still pretty involved with my sorority. Well, a different chapter. While I didn’t find my job through Sigma Kappa my experiences there set me up for a career. My sophomore through senior years I was the Vice President of Finance for our chapter which is not the best place for a British Literature major, but I made it work. I loved helping out and managing our chapter’s finances. When it came time to start looking for a post-graduation job, I really drew on that experience. My Lit degree was going to get me nowhere fast except law school, and I needed at least part-time work. That VPF position propelled me into a Financial Analyst job with a Fortune 200 financial firm. Seriously. They were so impressed that I was capable of doing math despite my Lit degree that they hired me.
When I was laid off in February 2009 I drew on the sorority experience again this time accepting a strategic marketing position with a large beauty company. I still am using what I learned during those 4 years. I am drawing on what makes women work and feel beautiful. Hello, it’s cosmetics now! Perfect for a sorority girl. Being in a sorority was an amazing experience and not one I will ever forget. I think I will be forever grateful to Sigma Kappa for the foundation it laid for my future.
The BLAHBLAHBLAHger an (A-Chi-O) Alpha Chi Omega:
I went to college in TX, away from all my friends and family - because I thought it would be cool to have an accent (no joke) - and because TCU has an excellent dance program (again, no joke). When I arrived in sweltering hot AND HUMID TX that August, I had no idea what I was in for. I did my orientation and began to learn the names of the girls in my dorm. Most of the gals I talked to asked if I was going through Rush. I literally got asked the question so many times that I just started answering with "I guess." You may not be surprised to hear that about 80% of my school was Greek, but I had never known anyone to be in a sorority or fraternity, so it felt odd to me. However, that fateful day in August changed my life forever.
Pledging Alpha Chi Omega was one of the single greatest things I've ever chosen to do. I made friends for a lifetime, had opportunities for leadership development (I was VP by my sophomore year), lived in the House with a bunch of crazy girls (there's a whole post there for sure!) where I learned to do the "catwalk" to Wannabe by the Spice Girls, went to dozens of hilarious theme parties, learned to appreciate ritual and tradition, and developed memories like taking a blow up doll as my date to a Formal. I've attended a number of A Chi O weddings were we've circled the bride and sung one of our special songs...and dreamed of the day when I will be the girl in the circle. It's been 11 years since I graduated from college, but I still have a special fondness for sisters, new and old. I served as an advisor at 2 schools on the East Coast and back here in OC when I moved back 8 years ago. I wish I had more time to be involved nowadays, but know that when I'm ready to do it once again, my sisters will welcome me with open arms. And ultimately, I CANNOT wait until I have a daughter someday who I can share this experience with...although, I doubt I'll share with her some of my wilder memories, then again maybe I WILL teach her the catwalk... "SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT."