Why I’m Not Ashamed To Say I Love My Sorority

This is an article I’ve been dying to write for a while now because it presents a challenge I’m not used to encountering in my writing: it’s not relatable. Greek life has such a stigma surrounding it that it’s slowly dying, and we’ve seen this prove true with the numbers of people signing up for both fraternity and sorority recruitment rapidly declining in the past few years.

Being a part of the Panhellenic community on campus can feel really big when you’re inside of it, but compared to the larger UCLA total enrollment, we represent only a small fraction of students. Greek life has this tendency to be a bubble; it can trap you inside so tightly that you never get to branch out and experience new people—people who aren’t in Greek life. It’s a scary phenomenon because it can sometimes even feel like you are branching out by joining new organizations, but some clubs are actually just Greek life hubs. Because these clubs are made up of mostly Greek students, it can pretty much cancel out your idea of expanding your world. These clubs simply entail surrounding oneself with all the same people, just in a new setting. 

I feel I have done a pretty good job of expanding my world here on campus. I’m a member of three organizations outside of my sorority that are mostly made up of people who I haven’t met through Greek Life (Her Campus being one of them). I love this balance I’ve been able to capture and maintain this past year. I’ve always been this way too; I’ve always had friends from all sorts of groups. This was how I lived and how I formed friendships in high school, and it was important for me to maintain this method in college. So while many of my best friends reside in my sorority, I’ve also met some amazing people from my various involvements outside of the house.

That being said, I think I have had a very balanced exposure to worlds both in and out of Greek life on campus. Of course I am not entirely objective, but my most unbiased self has found a truth that I think most would agree with: Greek life in general, and also the individual chapters, has stereotypes. Within most college cultures, people are generally pretty opposed to the idea of Greek life and all that it stands for, and I’ve found it especially true that non-Greek life students very quickly form assumptions about Greek life students. I’m not saying that these assumptions are always wrong or that none of them are warranted, but the general condescending looks and attitudes that I have experienced from other people as a “sorority girl” at UCLA have been quite telling.

Despite the stereotypes and preconceived notions, I am not here to try and persuade people that Greek Life is amazing, and that it’s for everyone, because every chapter is different. I’m just here to share my experience and let it be known that my sorority has seriously changed my life for the better.

Coming from high school, I battled a lot of mental health problems that all related to insecurity. I cared too much what people thought of me, and I thought everyone was always watching me and caring about every little thing I did. Chi O taught me to be confident in who I am. I know that sounds cliché, but I never ever had that before I got there. Although I still struggle with boatloads of insecurity, it’s nothing compared to the weight that defined me before. These girls I am surrounded by every day, they LOVE each other—we all do. It's something that I've never been a part of before. I have found my BEST friends in this house, and when I say that, I'm talking about almost 100 girls. Even my entire pledge class feels like my family; I just never expected to feel a love like this. I never thought that I would find a community of girls I would do practically anything for (for almost every single one of them), and I never thought that I could feel this secure in my individuality. I love the way I feel when I'm around these girls; they make me feel limitless, and they dissolve the weight of other people's opinions that used to matter so much. I truly am the best version of myself when I am around them—it's a self I didn't know existed before I joined Chi O.

Chi O gave me three roommates that make waking up each day a whole lot happier.

It gave me a big sister who has proved time and time again how she would do absolutely anything for me.

It gave me a grand big that has been my second mom, 3,000 miles away from my real one.

It even gave me a little that I thank the universe every day for bringing into my life, because I love her so fiercely that the lengths I would go to to protect her are boundless.

People like to say that sororities are stupid. That the friendships are fake, and the sisterhood is nonexistent. I cannot speak for every house, but I know one thing is for sure: Chi Omega is filled with most genuine, spunky, weird, confident, ambitious and honest girls I have ever known. This house was my saving grace, and it taught me how lucky I am to come to UCLA. Chi O lifted me up and, with a group of the truest girls I’ve ever known, gave me another thing to be so incredibly thankful for every day. That's the reason I love Chi O with my whole heart.