Meet Our Members: Sam

SamWhen I came to Drake, I never considered going through recruitment until my roommate asked me to go through with her. In all honesty, I went through because it was a good way to meet people, and there was free food. What I discovered was that there were tremendous opportunities waiting for me in the Greek community.

Initially I joined my chapter because I felt the most comfortable there and I felt like it would be a great network of women to know. It evolved into much more than that very quickly. The women in my chapter became my biggest support system here at Drake. Even in those first few weeks where I knew very few others, they always were greeting me as I passed them on campus and asking me how I was.

These are the women who supported me when I decided to get more involved on campus. I am a member of the Peer Advisory Board, Big Brother Big Sister of Central Iowa, and Student Activities Board. Being Greek has not withheld me from getting more involved on campus, but has only assisted in my involvement. My sisters are the ones who are there for me when I get busy, and the ones who show up to events that are important to me.

Beyond the support of my sisters, being Greek has instilled values in my life that I uphold daily. I do that partly by getting involved on campus and things I am passionate about. Joining the Greek community has impacted me in ways I never thought possible, but will be forever grateful for.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Sarah

Sarah2Greek Life was the first thing I was wondered about when it came to colleges. Many of the women in my family had been involved in Greek life, and had discussed it with me. I was excited for the leadership, service, and sisterhood opportunities, and especially a chance to join the same sorority as my mom.

As I went through formal recruitment I was so sure of my thought process. I knew I wanted to join an amazing group of women that wanted me, and that I fit in with. I quickly saw that I wouldn’t fit in with my mother’s sorority, and was devastated.

I called my dad in tears, wondering how I could have not shown and expressed the same values as the amazing Greek women in my life. Now normally dads would not be the ones to go to with such problems, but it resulted in some great advice that made formal recruitment easier for me.

“You know who you are and what your values are.  When you find the right group, you and those women will notice the connection.”

I took the plunge of accepting a bid with a chapter that I really connected with, and honestly, I wasn’t afraid that I had made a mistake. I got right to work getting to know all of my sisters, getting involved in philanthropies, and spending far too much money on new lettered shirts.

The more involved I became, the more I saw how the Greek community responded as a whole. I not only became more comfortable with my chapter, but also found friends and close companions in nearly every Greek organization on campus (social or otherwise!)

My personal values and dedication to Drake and the organizations I’m involved in were, and are, something I cherish. Going through formal recruitment helped me find an entire community of colleagues that are motivated toward similar goals and experiences. I would suggest to everyone to consider finding a group of people with similar values that accept and love you, and going Greek is one amazing way to find that compassion and care.

Meet Our Members: Rebecca

RebeccaComing to Drake, I never thought joining a sorority would be something I was interested in. I heard stories about the reputations of sororities in general and wasn’t really into the “typically sorority life.” It was actually my freshman roommate who convinced me to sign up and just go through the recruitment for the experience. Since then, I have not once regretted my decision.

Greek Life has definitely shaped me into the person I am today. I am more involved on campus and within the Des Moines community than I have ever thought I would be. Holding positions within my own chapter has given me a lot of leadership experience as well as other opportunities for service and networking. I also don’t think I could have gotten this far without the support and friendship of the women in my chapter. I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs throughout these past three years and don’t think I could have overcome these troubles without them.

Throughout my time in Greek Life, I have gained a passion for philanthropy. Greek Life not only gives me a chance to give back to my own chapter’s philanthropy, but also experience a variety of other organizations supported by other chapters. Not only does philanthropy offer a chance to give back, but each chapter has their own way of making it fun!

Within the Des Moines Community, I am part of the advisory board of an organization called Community!Youth Concepts. The goal of CYC is to prompt opportunities to youths in the community in order to better their education, work aspirations and, in general, a better future for themselves. Being Greek has assisted me with that position because it has given me that spirit and enthusiasm to give back. I know my drive for service will follow me and assist me with my future endeavors.

I am also an Adams Academy Graduate. Being in Adams Academy, I have gained more knowledge of leadership and what it takes to be a good leader. However, I don’t think I would have joined Adams Academy if it weren’t for the women of the chapter. Many of them are also Adams Academy graduates and have encouraged many of us to get involved. They talked about how it was such a great experience and really prompted the idea of it.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Emily

Emily3

Growing up in a college town, I always knew I wanted to be in a sorority. I was prepared for the challenges of recruitment, and ready to prove myself to the women I would meet throughout the process. What I didn’t know was that I really didn’t have to prove anything: there was a place for me; I just had to find it.

I had heard horror stories from friends that went through recruitment at larger schools: I was prepared for long, grueling days that would leave me in tears. When the first day of recruitment rolled around, I stood quietly outside the first house with butterflies in my stomach. As soon as I sat down for my first conversation with a woman in the chapter, I immediately relaxed. She was so easy to talk to and nothing about the experience felt forced. The first day of recruitment continued to surprise me with fun, exciting experiences, as did the entire recruitment process.

Before the week of recruitment I made mental lists of things to talk about and things to absolutely avoid. But when I sat down to ‘impress’ my potential sisters, it was nothing like I was expecting. The women of each chapter were genuinely interested in finding out everything about me, and embraced my quirks and crazy personality. I didn’t have to impress anyone; I just had to be me. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

The biggest advice I can give is to ignore any gossip or stereotypes you hear. Everyone involved with recruitment kept telling us, ‘keep an open mind, and you’ll find a place you belong’. I probably rolled my eyes every time I heard this, but looking back, I realized that this was the best advice anyone could give us. Even though I’d heard a few of the stereotypes, I had positive experiences visiting each chapter, and in the end, I arrived on bid day knowing exactly where I belonged.

If you’re debating whether sorority life is for you, just go for it. Even if you go through recruitment and decide it’s not for you, the people you meet and the friends you make will be worth it.

I can honestly say that going Greek has changed my outlook on life. Leaving my hometown, my friends and family to come to Drake was difficult, but my new sisters wasted no time filling those roles. I came to Drake with one family, but I will leave with two, and for that I could not be more grateful.

 

 

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Jackie

JackiePrior to arriving at Drake, I planned what my first few months here would look like. I was going to become best friends with my FYS, join lots of clubs, and of course participate in formal recruitment. I pictured myself to be the perfect sorority girl and could not wait until I was proudly wearing letters around campus! When it came time for recruitment, I had furthered my plan for the first few months at Drake and thought I knew exactly which chapter I wanted to join. The first night, sporting a cute bow and colored pants, I walked myself into what I thought was my dream sorority. I had wonderful conversations with the women, laughed a lot, and by the time the event was over, I was certain that was the chapter I was going to join. However, that certainty quickly disappeared when I received my schedule for the next round of events and found that I had not been invited back to what I thought was my dream chapter.

Maybe it’s needless to say, but I was not a happy Potential New Member. However, after a bit of encouragement from my fantastic Rho Gamma, I was ready for the second night of recruitment events. After round two, I found a new favorite chapter.  I came back the following morning to find that I was not invited back. After this happened a second time, I was very discouraged.  I took it personally and felt that the rejection was the chapters saying that they plainly did not like me. I debated dropping out of recruitment, however once again, my amazing Rho Gamma gave me a pep talk and not before long, I found myself taking part in two very special preference day ceremonies.

Preference day was, by far, my favorite day of recruitment. That day, all of the PNMs had the privilege to take part in a ceremony that is very special to each chapter. Both ceremonies were beautiful and I could really feel the passion, dedication and love that the woman had for their particular chapter. However, in the chapter I am now a member, I remember there was a moment during the preference day ceremony where it all clicked. Prior to the ceremony, I spent time talking and laughing with two amazing girls. At one point, I dropped part of my snack on the ground and was very embarrassed. However, they instantly made me feel better and even had me laughing about the situation. Then, during the ceremony, one of our amazing seniors was standing behind me to guide me through. I could sense how much she, as well as the other women, wanted me to join their sisterhood. I felt comfortable there. I felt like I belonged. Walking out of the house, I tried to contain my excitement because of my previous recruitment disappointments but instead I ended up running up to my Rho Gamma yelling “I KNOW WHERE I BELONG!”

Bid day was pretty scary. I sat there in anticipation with my recruitment group as all of the bid day cards were passed out. After what felt like a year we were all able to open our envelopes. Inside of the envelope, I found the beautiful Greek letters I was hoping for written across the top. I was home.

The rest of bid day was actually the best day of my life but I will not even try to explain that because it is a day you need to experience for yourself. Now, what advice do I have for you, a potential new member? First off, go through recruitment. The worst thing that will happen is that you will meet some fantastic older women you can look up to. The best thing that will happen is that you will find a sisterhood that you truly belong in. You will find dozens of new role models, gain leadership skills, form amazing friendships, and be part of something so much greater than yourself. I can 110% say that my sisters motivate me to become a better friend, student and leader each and everyday.

Second, keep in mind that on Drake’s campus, the definition of a “sorority girl” is much different than my original depiction of a “sorority girl”. Here, the definition of “sorority girl” is a woman that is dedicated and hard working, passionate and loving, and wants to be involved in a million and one activities on and off campus. You do not have to love boys, make up, formals, or be an expert crafter. On our campus, Greek life is honestly for everyone.

Lastly, when going through recruitment, try your hardest to avoid going in with a plan. Be open-minded and let it take you where it may. I later realized that I had a feeling of comfort in my chapter the entire recruitment week, however I was too close-minded to actually see it. I also realized that not being asked back to a chapter does not mean that I have a terrible personality. Rather, it means that those chapters feel that my values and personality would fit better with a different group of women. Now that I have been in my chapter for the year, I see how well my values and personality meshes with the rest of my sisters. They bring out the best, the weirdest, the goofiest, and the most passionate parts of me.

Looking back on the first day of recruitment and my original plan, I did not even foresee an alternative future being so amazing. But yet, here I am, a member of the chapter I did not expect to join and I could not be more grateful that my plan changed.