Have you read the article shared by the Greek Life Facebook page titled: “Examining the benefits of Greek Life?”
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend doing so. It got me thinking of how four years in Greek Life has benefitted my own education, and since it’s almost time for Augie’s Greek Population to grow, I thought now would be a good time to share them.
Of course, everyone hears the stories of “I found my support group” and “I became a leader” so I’m going to stick to the things we Greeks probably don’t even realize we’ve taken away from our chapters. So here it is,
Four Things I Never Realized I Learned from Greek Life
- Keeping Commitments
My sorority quickly taught me that simply “having a lot of homework” is NOT an excuse to miss an important event. However, this is an excuse I hear all the time from students, and I gasp every time I hear it/read it in a text or email. Now, I’m not talking about last-minute plans like, “I would love to go on an impromptu Whitey’s trip with you, but I really want to finish this paper.” I’m talking about using homework as an excuse to get out of events that you have known about for a good amount of time. For example, “I know we scheduled this group project three days ago, but I just have too much other homework to come”. We are all students, we all have homework, and we’re all busy. We should also be able to manage our time properly to work around a schedule. Imagine using this excuse in the real world, “sorry Mr. Bossman (yep, that will be his name), I can’t come to the staff meeting today because I just had so much filing to do.” Okay, it’s obvious I have no idea what businesses are like (I’m going to be a zookeeper), but you get what I mean. Overall, breaking plans is like breaking a promise.
2. The Horrors of the Bystander Effect
For those not familiar with psychology (or is it sociology? Whatever), the Bystander Effect happens when people pass responsibility off in a large group assuming that somebody else will do it, or has already done it. A large sorority like mine is definitely not safe from this effect. I know I’ve been guilty of sitting awkwardly, avoiding eye contact while a girl in our sorority asks for “one more person for our IM team.” Once I realized what was happening, though, I started stepping up more. Sometimes all it takes is one volunteer to inspire people to step up as well. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have done this. It has given me so many more opportunities to do great things, not only for my sorority, but for the school and community as well. My Advice: never pass responsibility off to someone else if you know you can handle it yourself. You never know what adventure will come from stepping up and taking responsibility.
3. How to deal with disagreement
Imagine a group of 100+ girls being asked to decide on the best Whitey’s ice cream flavor. Obviously they are not going to all say the same thing (even though it’s obviously Mississippi Mud). That is essentially what happens all the time, but maybe not with something as trivial as ice cream flavors. Maybe at first it’s overwhelming to be so confidant of an answer only to be outnumbered; have a majority of people disagree with you. But it’s going to happen, and the first time, you may take it a little personally (maybe not). Either way, it’s OKAY! My sorority stands on the value of individuality, so we disagree about everything, but in the best way possible. From my sorority, I’ve heard so many opinions, ideas, and thoughts that I could have never dreamed of. I’ve learned to never look at disagreement as an attack, but a new viewpoint or idea. You could learn so much from hearing an opposing viewpoint. It could change your mind or make you value your own opinion even more, always cherish that.
4. YOU are important
Like I mentioned before, I come from a BIG chapter. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you don’t stand out in a group of 100+ girls let alone a society of billions of people. My sisters are so talented, smart, and downright beautiful. They offer so much to Augustana and the world and sometimes I feel like the ugly duckling when I compare my little old self to them and their successes. However, from the constant support of my sisters, I can learn to love myself and see that my place in the sorority and the world is an important one. I may not be the smartest or most successful, and I’m definitely not the most athletic, but I am the only one who can offer exactly who I am to the world. There is truly nobody like me, and my sisters provide a constant reminder that there is nothing better than being exactly who you are.
Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Natalie Sherman
Filed under: Natalie Sherman