Yes, I am a Sorority Girl!

(click photo to make it bigger, and it’s easier to read too!)

It’s Fall, the start of the year for college. I know that there a lot of college students contemplating joining Sororities and/or Fraternities. They are probably thinking, “I’m not the Sorority Type, this isn’t for me, why the heck should I do this?” Well believe me, I still get people asking me at work, “What you were in a Sorority? Really? Yes, this police chick was a bow wearing, pearl wearing, matching outfit, date party attending, full-fledged Sorority girl!

My freshman year of college, I joined a sorority. I was an (A-O-Pi) Alpha Omicron Pi. I was active in the sorority for a little less than two years. I know, I know. But grades, life, etc. raised some issues and I went to a Jr. College for a little while.

In 2001, I was somehow convinced to become an Advisor for my local Chapter of my sorority, ok well, it was my Chapter. This is how I became friends with my BFF, Stacey. She was also an Advisor. For some reason, I became the Financial Advisor. What? Me, money, finances? But seriously, so many lessons that I learned. I learned how to work with a committee, about multi-signer bank accounts, taxes for non-profits, how not to do your finances, etc.

Bt the skills that I learned have helped me in my latest endeavor, The Junior League. I already had the tools and knowledge in my head on how not to work on a committee, run things, etc. I was very excited when our JL meetings only lasted one hour, how we actually had a working budget, the tier of committees and chairs.

But really being in a sorority has helped me with public speaking (even though I hate it), being able to talk to anyone and everyone (helpful in job, especially), how to work pearls into any outfit (giggle), how to function in a huge convention (BlogHer), how to not be catty in public, only in private (can I get some snaps for this), and how to make new and interesting friendships with people that you might have not much in common with.

Oh, and blogging, it’s amazing how my bloggers are Sorority girls. I thought that this would be fun to include some of my Sorority Blogging friends and how experiences in a Sorority helped them and became a part of their “adult” non college life.

Newlywed Next Door a (Gamma Phi) Gamma Phi Beta:

I can attribute so much of who I am today to my experiences in my Sorority and on the Panhellenic Council (governing body of the campus Sororities). Being in sorority helped to build my confidence and made me the true extrovert that I am today. It gave also gave endless opportunities to build interviewing and speaking skills through sorority recruitment and conversational skills through other events. Some people think sororities are “too political” or all about popularity, but the little political battles in a house of 160 girls definitely helped to prepare me for the big political battles of the corporate workplace that I’m in now. In fact, I know the main reason that the current company I work for hired me is that they were impressed with all of the leadership and team management skills I gained from my sorority and Panhellenic Council leadership positions. I could not have had that level of responsibility and the opportunity to manage groups of people in just a college internship. Job skills aside, I know that the friendships and networks that I built in my sorority will last a lifetime. And that is truly priceless.

Mrs. Newlywed a Sigma Kappa:

Hi, It’s me, Mrs. Newlywed. Some of you know me, but most of you are probably lucky enough to have never heard of me. I write [if you can call it that] Misadventures of a Newlywed.

Julie asked me to share some sorority love with you. I am a Sigma Kappa. Graduated undergrad in 2006, and I am still pretty involved with my sorority. Well, a different chapter. While I didn’t find my job through Sigma Kappa my experiences there set me up for a career. My sophomore through senior years I was the Vice President of Finance for our chapter which is not the best place for a British Literature major, but I made it work. I loved helping out and managing our chapter’s finances. When it came time to start looking for a post-graduation job, I really drew on that experience. My Lit degree was going to get me nowhere fast except law school, and I needed at least part-time work. That VPF position propelled me into a Financial Analyst job with a Fortune 200 financial firm. Seriously. They were so impressed that I was capable of doing math despite my Lit degree that they hired me.

When I was laid off in February 2009 I drew on the sorority experience again this time accepting a strategic marketing position with a large beauty company. I still am using what I learned during those 4 years. I am drawing on what makes women work and feel beautiful. Hello, it’s cosmetics now! Perfect for a sorority girl. Being in a sorority was an amazing experience and not one I will ever forget. I think I will be forever grateful to Sigma Kappa for the foundation it laid for my future.

The BLAHBLAHBLAHger an (A-Chi-O) Alpha Chi Omega:

I went to college in TX, away from all my friends and family – because I thought it would be cool to have an accent (no joke) – and because TCU has an excellent dance program (again, no joke). When I arrived in sweltering hot AND HUMID TX that August, I had no idea what I was in for. I did my orientation and began to learn the names of the girls in my dorm. Most of the gals I talked to asked if I was going through Rush. I literally got asked the question so many times that I just started answering with “I guess.” You may not be surprised to hear that about 80% of my school was Greek, but I had never known anyone to be in a sorority or fraternity, so it felt odd to me. However, that fateful day in August changed my life forever.

Pledging Alpha Chi Omega was one of the single greatest things I’ve ever chosen to do. I made friends for a lifetime, had opportunities for leadership development (I was VP by my sophomore year), lived in the House with a bunch of crazy girls (there’s a whole post there for sure!) where I learned to do the “catwalk” to Wannabe by the Spice Girls, went to dozens of hilarious theme parties, learned to appreciate ritual and tradition, and developed memories like taking a blow up doll as my date to a Formal. I’ve attended a number of A Chi O weddings were we’ve circled the bride and sung one of our special songs…and dreamed of the day when I will be the girl in the circle. It’s been 11 years since I graduated from college, but I still have a special fondness for sisters, new and old. I served as an advisor at 2 schools on the East Coast and back here in OC when I moved back 8 years ago. I wish I had more time to be involved nowadays, but know that when I’m ready to do it once again, my sisters will welcome me with open arms. And ultimately, I CANNOT wait until I have a daughter someday who I can share this experience with…although, I doubt I’ll share with her some of my wilder memories, then again maybe I WILL teach her the catwalk… “SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT.”

18 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

Love your blog...I was an AOII too! Best thing I ever did for myself was joining AOII! When I started college at a very large school, I lived nearby, went to school, went to work, went home, for a year. Then I joined the sorority and believe it or not, met some of my very best friends that I still have right now, as I'm contemplating early retirement (OK, I'm sure I'm a little older than most of you). At that time, sororities were definitely NOT the "thing" to do, but I'm so glad I did. Like many of you have said, it helped me build confidence, get organized, speak in public, get training that employers pay a lot of money to send their employees to and experience that a young person looking for a job can't get, and ability to run meetings (I'm a Project Manager, so that's a lot of my life). Later I was an advisor, then on the Corp Board for several years. Now I'm pretty involved with my alum group. So as Long Beach Luna said: I'm Alpha Born, I'm Alpha Bred and when I die I'll be ALPHA DEAD!!! So, Rah Rah for Alpha! Rah Rah for Alpha! Rah Rah for Alpha, AOII!!" and all sororities!http://www.alphaomicronpisoc.org

Nomers
Nomers

Another Alpha Phi here. I get the same questions and odd looks at work when I tell people I was (still) in a sorority. A few guys from work were in Fraternities at the same time and we all have blackmail on each other for when we promote.

Eli's Lids
Eli's Lids

I was a Gamma Phi Beta! Good times :)

The Mrs.
The Mrs.

I have a similar story. Becoming A Theta (Kappa Alpha Theta!) was one of the greatest things I've ever done and I still maintain the love and friendships today. I got wonderful support there and was pledge trainer, rush etc. It really made me know how to LEAD!

WPMomOf2 (jen)
WPMomOf2 (jen)

I was a Delta Zeta! (Actually my freshman year I pledged Phi Mu but ended up hating it...but a year later some friends convinced me to pledge DZ and I was initatied)

Long Beach Luna
Long Beach Luna

I'm Alpha Born, I'm Alpha Breed and when I die I'll be ALPHA DEAD!!! So, Rah Rah for Alpha! Rah Rah for Alpha! Rah Rah for Alpha, AOII!!Love you Julie!!

Erika @ Chic Shopper Chick
Erika @ Chic Shopper Chick

Another sorority gal here, and one that attributes a ton of her adult survival qualities to the time that I spent as a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma. My confidence, organization, people skills, public speaking -- lots of qualities that I really honed and really reached their peak during my sorority days. I drove past campus this year and saw all of the student lined up for rush, and was flooded with nostaligia. Good times.

Suz Broughton
Suz Broughton

I can see you as a sorority kinda gal. You are friendly and supportive and you're super social. I don't really know anything about them, but your post made me feel like I missed out on something fun.

Allyson and Dave
Allyson and Dave

I was a Kappa Delta. It was so much fun!! I only did it for a year. Then I transferred schools and the KD's at my new school were not the same. I was considered alumni since I did not actually drop out. So I look forward to having a daughter one day that I can pass on the legacy to.

Lex - @laprimera
Lex - @laprimera

I'm a Delta Zeta. Don't think I could have survived college without the sorority. Still proud of it and still am active through our online alumni chapter. Love this post!

Chic Runner
Chic Runner

My roomie is a gamma phi and I hang out with her friends all the time and they are great. :) And I hang out with newlyweds next door and i <3 her too :)

Stacey
Stacey

Yay AOII for introducing me and Angry Julie. Yes, she was angry back in the day too :) I use sorority skills All-the-time! I love it!

kLl
kLl

I was a Delta Gamma and I loved being in a sorority! When I moved to SF and got my Fancy PR job I was so excited to find out 2 other girls on my 12 person team (yes the entire worldwide PR department was 12 people) were also DGs!

Living With Lindsay
Living With Lindsay

A! A! A with an X!X! X! X with an O!A with an X! X with an O!A-Chi-O!LOL funny post. Makes me (almost) wish I was chanting in that doorway down on campus this year.

Dawn
Dawn

My name is Dawn and I'm an A A ALP P P PHI - A L P P H I AL! PHA! PHI!And I was Director of Formal Rush and Rush Adviser. Bwahahahahahah.AND I'm on the house corp board for the chapter opening at UKy. AND yes, I use random skills from it all the time.