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Joining a sorority: how I’ve learned, loved, and grown

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I joined a sorority, and it’s the best decision I’ve made in college.


After a rough freshman year, I headed back to UMass as a sophomore, ready for something new. When I heard about sorority recruitment, I was interested, but nervous. I had heard all of the stereotypes that come with the sorority lifestyle, and I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it. After a long week of recruitment, I ran home to Alpha Chi Omega. Everything has changed, and for only the best reasons.

Alpha Chi gave me my best friends. After my freshman year went very differently than I had hoped it would, I was truly unsure whether or not I’d find my ‘people’ in college. Looking back I can now see that everything did happen for a reason. I now have friends that love me unconditionally and would do anything for me, always there to support me; something I have learned I deserve.


Meeting my best friends through Alpha Chi, and getting to make memories with the most genuine girls, has made college so memorable. I know I am going to look back on these years with so much happiness and a whole lot of nostalgia. I have lived with girls in my sorority ever since my sophomore year, and it has been the best experience. I get to live with my best friends, always making memories, and constantly surrounded by people I know will always support me. 

Joining a sorority has opened up so many doors for me, socially. In Greek Life there is always something going on, no matter the day of the week. That doesn’t just mean nights out: my sorority has multiple meetings each week where we all get together. It is such a good feeling at the end of a long day of classes to get to walk into a room and see 100 friendly faces that you know are there for you. 


Even at a big school like UMass, I hardly ever finish a walk to class without seeing multiple people I know, whether that means a hug from one of my own sisters, or a wave from a member of one of our fraternities, a friend of a friend, etc. Joining a sorority has made my school feel so much smaller, and I am so thankful for that. 

My freshman year I only had a couple classes that I knew people in. Because of my sorority, I now have friends in almost every single one of my classes. I love studying with other Alpha Chi’s, and getting to meet their friends who are also in the class. Being in a sorority definitely pushes me academically. At UMass, Alpha Chi has the highest GPA of all sororities. It’s something we’re proud of, and we work hard each semester to maintain. 


Being in a sorority has pushed me to try out leadership roles and put myself out there. My sisters supported me through completing my yoga teacher training, and have given me the space and time to practice teaching classes to upwards of 80 girls. I’ve become more confident through my years in Alpha Chi, and I believe I’m better equipped for the career and networking paths I pursue.


The philanthropy work that my sorority does is so meaningful and gives me a feeling of purpose. Alpha Chi’s national philanthropy is domestic violence awareness and prevention. Our goal is to raise awareness of the signs and implications of domestic violence. We want to let people know that they are not alone and that there is support out there. 


Each semester countless chapters of Alpha Chi hold events to support domestic violence awareness and prevention. My chapter holds events each semester that raise money for a local domestic violence shelter, as well as donating items the shelter is in need of, and writing notes to survivors. Many of the sisters of Alpha Chi have been personally impacted by this cause, and as a result, the philanthropy work that we do is really important to all of us. 


Being in a sorority and having a big is something special. My big, Alyssa, taught me so much and helped me grow. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be her little. This past semester I took in my own little, Jessie, who has made my life so happy and so much fun. I am so lucky to have Jessie to learn from and to spend time with. 

I have no idea what my college experience would have been like if it weren’t for Alpha Chi. That being said, I have lots of friends outside of my sorority, who are not involved in Greek Life, and are also having the times of their lives at college. Greek life isn’t for everyone! You don’t have to join a sorority to have a great college experience. Explore everything your campus has to offer, and try something that you are passionate about… something that makes you feel alive. That is what college is all about.


Based on my own personal experiences with being in a sorority in college, I couldn’t speak of it more highly. Being in a sorority pushes you in so many ways, and helps you become the person you are meant to be.


I am so thankful for all I have learned and experienced through my college years. I can’t wait for senior year, back at UMass, surrounded by the best sorority there is.


Thank you Alpha Chi Omega for helping me become a real strong woman. 

All images are curtoesy of the author

Sarah Dwyer

U Mass Amherst '21

Sarah is a psychology and English double major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is hoping to become an English teacher. Sarah is a writer, a runner, and a registered yoga teacher. On campus Sarah is a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, a member of the UMass chapter of CHAARG, writes articles for the UMass chapter of Hercampus, and teaches yoga classes at the campus recreation center. Look out for Sarah’s posts on mental health, fitness, study abroad, and all things wellness.
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst