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utulsa.edu

Fall In Love With Greek Life

IMG_1147Today’s blog is from Brittany James, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Greek Life is love, encouragement, confidence, silliness, a community, an opportunity, a lifetime of truth and loyalty, and a support system. Greek Life is my life. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, most people from my high school were surprised I not only went through recruitment, but that I stuck with it. And I haven’t just “stuck with it”; I’ve fallen in love with it. Just what is it that makes Greek life so special? What makes me want to put my letters on everything I own and throw what I know in every photo with pride? Why should you give sorority recruitment a shot?

Check out the flow chart for some of the more basic arguments, but if you really want to get to the heart of it, for me it really comes down to three things.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 1.05.40 PM
IMG_0610The first is the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself. My sorority history, ritual, and values transcend both time and distance. Through it, I have had the opportunity to meet sisters from across the United States and prove to myself that my sorority is more than a dot on the map in the middle of Oklahoma. One of my favorite sisters I’ve ever met is a 96-year old woman named Fio. Fio has been a Greek woman for 75 years. She is a major donor to my organization, and she still joins in the dance party when Katy Perry is singing.

Women like Fio remind me that being a Greek woman isn’t about me, myself and I. Instead, it’s about the girl scouts I mentor, the sisters I make smile on a bad day, the people I help in our community, and the national and local leaders that inspire me. I have no doubt that my sorority has given me the confidence, tools, and support needed to be a part of the small acts of change in the world for the better. The grand scale Greek life composes is extraordinary and has the power to do amazing things with such amazing women involved. To be counted among those women is both a blessing and a continuous inspiration.
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And although my little dot does extend beyond Tulsa’s boundaries, my sisters here are my support system, my encouragement base, and my best friends. They encourage me to do the things I never would have imagined myself capable of, and they don’t let me stop there.

From supporting me on our executive council as a freshman to pushing me to be President, they’ve helped me discover a lot about myself and changed the direction I want my life to go. They’ve also completely embraced all of my little quirks and obsessions. They fill my Facebook wall with cute corgi videos, banter about my baseball teams with me, and let me eat all the Mexican food I want.

The only thing they’ve put their foot down on is wearing socks with flip flops, but I suppose I can’t really blame them for that. And while those are the things I’m passionate about, my sisters have different likes and obsessions. There are those who can sing like Adele (I can’t even clap on a beat) and others are vegan (hello, have they heard of ice cream?). And while I don’t have those things in common with them, there’s more to us than our likes and our interests. Instead, it’s our values that unite us and bring us together. Be it as simple as sharing corgi videos or supporting me as President, there’s nothing quite like a sisterhood.
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Lastly, I sincerely believe that my involvement in Greek life makes me a better person everyday. I don’t think it’s changed me; I’m not a different person because of Greek life. But I am a better person because of it. I always said, “Oh no, Greek life isn’t for me.” But that’s what society was telling me, and, like usual, society had no idea what it was talking about. If I didn’t care about academic success, becoming a strong leader, and making friendships based on my values, then yes, Greek life wouldn’t have been for me. But I do care about those things. I care about them a lot, and Greek life helps them become a reality for me.
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I am a lot of things. I’m a girl. I’m an engineer. I’m a daughter, and a sister, and a granddaughter. I’m a community volunteer. I’m a Presidential Scholar. I’m a role model. I’m president of the engineering honor’s society on my campus. I’m a national leadership award recipient. I’m a corgi lover and a baseball fanatic. But above all, I am first and foremost a Greek woman in everything I do. So yes, I love wearing my letters and throwing what I know for artsy Instagram photos. But more than that, I love my sorority for the value it has added to my life. I would encourage anyone to take the chance and give sorority life a shot. Some may decide it really isn’t for them, and that’s completely okay. You will still have the opportunity to meet great girls and make friends through the process. But I would be willing to bet that the majority of people will surprise themselves and fall in love with it- just like I have.