Why Greek Life Makes Me a Better Person

Three years ago, I didn’t look or act anything like the way I act now. I consider that a good thing. Three years ago if you had told me that I would be a part of a sorority, I never would have believed you. And if you told me that I was going to be a part of a sorority and absolutely love it,  I would have committed you to a psychiatric ward. But as it happens, I did rush a sorority, and it has been the single greatest thing that has ever happened to me, without exaggeration. I know that it must seem excessive to say that, but it’s true. The person that my sorority has made me into is someone that I’ve really grown to like. My sisters give me the confidence and the support to be who I am in every aspect of my life.    

In light of recent events, many people have come out publicly shaming Greek life and asking for its removal from college campuses. I will not say anything one way or another towards these people, but am calling for a different perspective to be heard, one that doesn’t fit the stereotype of Greek life as harmful and exclusive. 

I’m not speaking for all sorority girls, I’m not even speaking for all of my own sisters, but I will give you one woman’s insight into what it is that makes my sorority so insanely special to me— and what it is about it that causes me to wear my letters with pride and sing my recruitment songs at the top of my lungs. So here are the reasons why I’m a better person because of Greek life:  

1. As someone who grew up without siblings around until my mom got married when I was 12, Greek life gave me a family. And I don’t mean they gave me a big and little (even though I do have both, and they’re incredible). I mean that the whole sorority is like a family. There are family members that you’re closer to than others, of course, but at the end of the day these are your people. You’re familiar with them. They know your ins and outs. They’ve seen you laugh and cry. It is an envirnoment that makes you accept others’ limitations and imperfections (and vice versa), and love individuals regardless, because at the end of the day, they’re going to be there with arms wide open, just like a traditional family would be.  

2. My sorority gives me an incredible amount of pride. I honestly believe that I am in the most amazing, talented group of women I’ve ever met. The things that my sisters do and accomplish inspire me every day. I have sisters who’ve studied abroad in Australia, ran the Boston Marathon, joined the Equestrian team, and won awards for their GPA. The list goes on and on. And I can’t help smiling whenever they post pictures of themsleves on Facebook finishing a 5K or raising money for charity. I’m constantly proud to say that these girls are my sisters.  

3. Because of my sorority, I feel like I can talk to anyone in a genuine way. Recruitment and retreat groups have trained me well. I can now find a genuine subject to talk about with pretty much anyone I meet. Whether it be Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or politics, I feel like I can connect with people better than I ever could before. There’s not one sister I feel that I couldn’t sit down and hang out with.  

4. They make me work harder and push me to be a better person. Whether it’s study hours or knowing how amazing my sisters’ GPAs are, something has inspired me to care about school in a whole new way. Not that I didn’t care before, but my sisters keep me focused. They help me in my classes and push me to constantly do my best. If I need a tutor, there’s someone there at the ready to help me out. If I need class notes, the first place I turn is to my sisters, who I know work hard and wouldn’t steer me wrong. 

5. I feel that I have endless support behind me and the ability to give that support to others as well. I have an army of girls if I need a shoulder to cry on, someone to hang out with, or even something as simple as a date party dress last minute. There’s something really special here. Even if we don’t always agree on everything and there are occasional problems, there’s no group of people in this world I’d rather have behind me. They pick me up when I’m down and never fail to make me feel special and included. They made me care so much about something I never knew would come to mean so much to me. It’s truly the most special group I’ve ever been a part of.

So here’s a thank you to my sisters: I can’t tell you how much you have changed me. It’s because of you that I’m as confident as I am now. Your sincerity and support has not just gotten me through college, but has given me the ability to make the absolute most out of my time here. Even those of you who I’ve only talked to a handful of times, our conversations always brighten my day. Your positivity gives me strength and I just hope that every girl, Panhellenic or otherwise, has the chance to find a group as amazing as you have been.