Sorority 101: Choosing the Right One For You

In a few days, we'll drink champagne, watch the ball drop, and swear off carbs at midnight. The next day, there will be more debt management commercials, and Weight Watchers will offer some sort of no joining fee promotion. Gym memberships will flourish, and people will buy more cleaning supplies and less ice cream. It will be the start of a new year, an opportunity for a fresh slate, and for bulk amounts of change.

I'm not such a fan of change. I used to cry every time I got my haircut, because no matter how good it looked, I didn't look the same after it was cut. I have the same friends and I like the same traditions carried out the same way, year after year. Sometimes, I get restless for a change of scenery, but I always make sure it can be reversed, just in case.

The truth about change is that it happens on days other than January 1st. It comes in the form of haircuts, break-ups, weather, and weddings. It normally hits you when you least expect it and people like me don't really like it because change is often out of our control. The change itself isn't necessarily the enemy, it's your reaction to it. You can't change change, but you can change your attitude toward circumstances.

Sit down and make a list of changes you'd like to see in 2008. Then, separate the list by changes you can control (exercising, getting organized..etc) and changes that are out of your control (global warming, your parents' divorce, Jamie Lynn Spears..). Write down how you plan to change those things that are in your control and how you can improve your attitude towards things that you cannot change.

January 1st isn't a cure-all bad habit reverser, but it is a nice time to start over. If you're life is going fabulously, it won't be reversed in 2008. Me? I'm looking for some good changes, come 2008. As far as the rest of 2007 is concerned, I'll stick to changing my clothes, changing my mind and pocket change.

So you’ve made the decision to go Greek. Good for you! You’re in for an amazing experience. But there’s just one problem. Where do you go from here? How do you choose which sorority is best for you?

Do your research

You can find almost anything online, and sororities are no exception. Start your search at your school’s Greek council website to gain an idea of which sororities have chapters on campus. Read up on their history and values to gain an idea of which groups you may want to join. Another good place to find information about various groups is the National PanHellenic Conference website.

Talk to current sisters of the sororities you’re interested in or connect with members of the local alumni chapter. This can provide you with an honest insider perspective about the sorority from someone who’s been there. Also, look to any women in your family who were sorority girls to see if you’re considered a legacy for a particular group.

Consider Your Values

Every sorority has a selection of different core values that they take pride in. When deciding which sorority to join, consider what you want to get out of Greek life. Are you looking for girls who are more studious or a group with a more social focus? Maybe you’re looking for a combination of both. The sorority you choose should reflect your own values and you should be able to see yourself getting along with the sisters.

An emphasis on academics is common in many sororities. This is ideal for girls who are academically focused and want to be around other women with the same drive towards their schoolwork. Some groups reinforce this belief through a minimum GPA requirement. Before joining a sorority with scholarly standards, you should consider whether or not the GPA is something you can attain or want to put effort into achieving.

Philanthropy is an important part of sorority life. Sororities look for every opportunity to give back to their communities, be it volunteering or raising money for a cause they hold dear. Many national and international sororities have a chosen cause that they dedicate their time too, such as cancer research or domestic violence awareness. Some have even created their own charitable foundations. Look for a group that focuses on a cause that speaks to you.

Keep your options open

It can be easy to pigeonhole yourself and have your heart set on a certain sorority that you’ve heard good things about. But there may be another group at your school that would be a better fit for you. Make sure you’re giving everyone a chance. At many schools, it’s mandatory to attend the open house style events for every sorority on campus to be considered for membership at all.

There is no better way to see if a particular sorority would be a good fit for you than to try it on for size. Go to rush events for as many sororities as possible in order to get to know sisters, learn as much as you can about each group and experience what life would be like as a member.


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