I’m proud to be in Greek life

‘We are not all barbies who have pillow fights in our pajamas.’

Whenever there is a headline in the news involving a Greek life organization, it seems to be about a leaked tape or a new scandal involving hazing. These headlines are scaring away possible new members and worrying families across the nation. I am here to say there is another side of Greek life that is not making the headlines.

Sororities are subject to endless stereotypes about what constitutes a sorority girl, what we believe and how we act. However, the stereotypes are just as inaccurate and misleading when talking about sororities as they are in any other circumstance. We do not only value how we look and what boys we talk to. We are not all barbies who have pillow fights in our pajamas. Instead, we are some of the highest achieving students on campus who hold an unprecedented amount of leadership positions in all organizations ranging from Dance Marathon to Florida Cicerones. We are groups of girls who value friendship, philanthropy and community. We are the girls who take the initiative to be involved and make a difference.

Being in a sorority, no one has ever told me I need to look prettier or dress better. They tell me I need to be getting involved and be focusing on moving forward and becoming an outstanding citizen. When I joined a sorority I entered a world of people who are pushing themselves to become better, more well-rounded individuals and who help others do the same. Every meeting consists of upcoming deadlines for applications to be apart of or possible summer internships and fellowships. To stay an active member you do not need to maintain your highlights but you need to be logging study points and attending philanthropy events. That is what we value. We value education and community service. We brag about our members who are taking on daunting Wall Street internships and who work late nights at Shands hospital. A sorority is not an expensive hair salon, rather it's an elaborate organization with elections, leadership positions, and more importantly, a support system.

When you go away to college you are leaving your family and friends behind. You are expected to call a new, strange town your home. To have a home you need a family and that is what my sorority gave me. It gave me a group of girls who sit with me at meals, listen to my problems and help me grow. Not because they have to but because they want to. They are a family that wants you and chooses you.

Yes, we do love our bigs and not because we are so in love with our sororities, but because our bigs are just our best friends becoming our older sisters. Yes, we do take a lot of pictures, not because we are self-obsessed, but because we want to remember these moments and these four years because everyday is something worth remembering. Yes, we do order an excessive amount of shirts that show off our letters, but not because we love clothes. We do it because we are proud of where we ended up and proud of the genuine people that make up our sorority. We are proud to be a part of something that focuses on inclusion and community. We are proud to be Greek.

University of Florida: UF