What I Learned as the President of a Sorority

 

If I could go back in time and tell first-year me that in three years I would become the president of a sorority, I would have chuckled, or cackled even, in my own face. It would have been a ludicrous idea. For one, my concept of a sorority was based on whatever Hollywood fed me. And two, I had serious doubts about me being in that kind of leadership position. I mean, sure, I was the captain of a literature team in high school, but that was like...of six people. Not big stakes. Not as big as running a college sorority chapter.

Well, first-year me trotted on through her college years. She joined the National Honorary Band Sorority Tau Beta Sigma, Incorporated (which, by the way, is co-ed and dry! People of any gender are welcome to join and there is absolutely zero alcohol involved!) in her second spring semester, and was the recording secretary for the first full school year of service. And here comes the biggest shock. From rec sec, I jumped up to president. Not gonna lie, at first I was very hesitant about it. My friends encouraged me to run, and when I did win, I was still nervous about how to do...it. How do I lead? How do I manage a large group of people? How do I act and behave? Just...How?

It started off with some kinks. Paperwork, mostly, plus some organization and time management issues. Turns out, the biggest chunk of my presidential energy was spent on paperwork. Filling in forms for Nationals, getting reports in on time--that kind of stuff. It was not fun and I will definitely not miss it.

But I will miss the people part.

 Photo Courtesy: Louis Thomas

I did not know this before joining TBS, but apparently I really like leading people. I may not have been the best at it all the time, but nevertheless, I enjoyed just about every minute of it. Don’t get me wrong. There were times when managing a group of people with all sorts of personalities got a little hairy or stressful. That comes with any leadership position in any environment. Yet even when I had to manage the sticky parts, I still found something I could find a hidden joy in. I took a small amount of pride in how I could manage a situation in a positive, productive, and healthy manner, and in how the members, too, learned to do so. I was glad when people turned to me if they needed to, and I felt such joy when I helped them.

Now, I was not a bubbling blob of stardust, sunshine, and glitter all the time whenever a situation arose. I don’t spout joy 24/7. What I mean is: After I dealt with a problem, or after I sent in paperwork, or after I had to talk with our chapter sponsor or band personnel--later on that day or so, I would review how I acted and how I led and I could see the growth in me and in my sisters (that’s including mister sisters!). That is when I would feel joy and pride.

Peek me in the blue blazer, and our captivating Co-Editor in Chief Summer Harvey hamming it up on the floor. Photo Courtesy: Louis Thomas.

Being president of a sorority chapter involved some business aspects, yes, but it all boils down to working with people, how to read them. I am an introverted person, who during 4-H presentations in elementary school would have almost-panic attacks each time they happened, and who in high school, speaking in public and working with groups gave me anxiety. However, being president helped me grow from that. I am now a more confident speaker (still not the best, but so much better) and I can enjoy working with groups, whether it be leading or following.

In all, thank you TBS and my sisters, for cultivating me into a better me, and teaching me that being a leader is doable and one of my newfound passions.