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Original photo by Caitlyn Gellatly

Why Joining A Sorority Will Save Your Online University Experience

Back in the fall of 2017 when I had a bleach blonde bob and like 2 friends at university, I was pretty bummed. I had orchestrated this idea of what university life was going to be like and just a few weeks into my undergraduate career, I already knew that vision was not going to come to life. But that didn’t mean that the next four years of my life had to be a waste. It just meant that if I was going to even try to find that balance between social and academic life, then I was going to have to try really hard and do it myself. 

As a newly appointed senior, I thank the stars that I came across sorority recruitment in my first year because I felt like it was a sign that going to the University of Waterloo, and really just university in general, was the right choice. I had so many wants outside of academics that I felt like there was no singular club I could have joined that would have made me feel accomplished or worthy of being an undergraduate woman. I was that girl who tried to do it all in high school, and while I surely caused some premature wrinkles, I also loved it. I loved being busy, feeling just on the brink of a meltdown, and after walking across that graduation stage nervous I was going to trip in my heels - feeling worthy. So I knew that not being involved in university would really feel like I was taking a step down in my own life. 

So as a nervous and awkward freshman, I went to sorority recruitment and after a week of mixing and mingling with the women of Greek Life, I found my home in Alpha Omicron Pi. I was instantly welcomed into a sisterhood with a rich history (we were founded in 1897) that had the same academic and personal values as me. Now, a few years and many sorority squat photos later, I am serving as the Chapter President of Alpha Omicron Pi’s Lambda Epsilon chapter at UW. This is a lowkey flex but also a shoutout to the women I’ve met in AOII who have helped me become the leader and woman I am today. 

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Me wearing my badge and Chapter President ring with pride - ‘Alpha Love’ always! 

I guess it’s time to cut the dramatics on how joining a sorority set me on the path to greatness (though I do believe this) and lay it all out. University is online. Your collegiate experience is online. For many of you, the peak years of your life are online. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your life online forever. Now is the time to think about the future, and to do so optimistically. Think about what life will be like in a post-pandemic world and what kind of person you want to be when we get there. While cliche to say, a lot of your learning and growth happens as an undergraduate student, so it’s important to surround yourself with the people who will help you become your best future self. Just because we are living through a pandemic and the idea of socialization has been completely revamped, it doesn’t mean that your opportunity to meet other women at UW is taken away. Be courageous and do something for yourself by taking the initiative and coming to online sorority recruitment.

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Me with my Big - Chloe! Celebrating the Founders of Alpha Omicron Pi. 

Let’s make the best of the situation! Joining a sorority will give you the opportunity to meet undergraduate women in a variety of programs despite not being able to visit campus this Fall. You will be encouraged to study hard but also to relax and have fun with your sisters because that’s what university life is all about. While the term may look a little different, I can guarantee that the love and support offered by my sisters will not. I am so thankful to have this network of women during these absolutely ridiculous times. 

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Some more memories from my time in AOII. 

So...this Fall I urge all undergraduate women to attend virtual sorority recruitment. If you're nervous about meeting us by video, don’t sweat it - this is new for everyone. All I know is that I can’t imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn’t gone, very nervously, to that first recruitment session. I met my (now) best friends and joined the most supportive and encouraging community. Joining a sorority saved my undergraduate experience and can make yours a heck of a lot more fun!

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Some more memories from my time in AOII. 

Visit @uwaoii or @waterloosororities on Instagram or click this link for more information about how to sign up for virtual recruitment this Fall

Can’t wait to see you there!

Hey - I'm Vanessa Geitz, a fourth-year Public Health student at the University of Waterloo. I am currently the President and Campus Correspondent for HC Waterloo and love writing articles! Also a big fan of the Bachelor, BBT, and books. 
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