This spring, I participated in my very last recruitment cycle as a member of my sorority. Seeing all the potential new members make their way through the parties each night brought me back to my freshman year when I was in those very same painful, yet carefully picked out shoes. Nervous about saying the right thing to the sorority girls that I met but also excited at the unknown prospect of what Greek life would bring. As I look back on the past three and a half years, I cannot be thankful enough for the life lessons and, even better, the lifelong friendships that being a member of my chapter has brought.
Here’s what I’ve learned throughout my time as a sorority girl:
1. It is okay to accept your failures and rely on your sisters and those around you for help
I cannot tell you how many all-nighters and failed midterms I suffered through during my sophomore year when I was pre-med. It was the older girls in my sorority who gave me hope that it gets better, and eventually helped guide me to finding my current academic major, which I love. That same year, a sorority sister referred me for a competitive career prep program. It helped me land my dream summer internship and ultimately set me down the career path I am on today. None of this would have been possible had it not been for my sisters.
2. Be your most authentic self and surround yourself with those who will love you for it
My time in Greek life at Stanford has been very different than the typical “soror” experience you may expect. Yes, there are the secret handshakes, singing and other ceremonial traditions sororities are known for. But there is also mentorship from older chapter members, a support system when college life gets too stressful to handle alone and, of course, the comfort of knowing you can always find someone to stay in and make bagel bites with when the rest of campus is out partying.
I didn’t pick which Greek organization I wanted to join based on campus reputation, who had the best social calendar, or who had the nicest row house. I picked my chapter based on the type of women I could see myself surrounded by over the next three years, who I could live with and cry with and vent to, while at the same time love them more and more each day.
3. True friendships will last even beyond your time in college
My pledge class and I have grown extremely close over the years. And, as I looked at the potential new members during recruitment, I realized what I would give to just turn back the clock and relive my freshman spring all over again when I was a pledge. Everything was so new and so exciting. All of a sudden, I went from having a few best friends from my dorm and sports team to having 100+ new girl friends.
As I’ve moved through my years at Stanford and have become more and more focused on my academics and career search, I realize it can be all too easy to overstress and lose yourself within the details. My sorority has kept me grounded, and has given me a lifelong community and sisterhood that I will keep with me throughout the rest of my time at Stanford and beyond.