Meet Our Members: Elena

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.04.46 AMComing to Drake, I knew that I wanted to join a sorority and be a part of Greek Life. I wanted a community that would push me to be the person I wanted to be and pick me up when I pushed myself too hard. Joining a sorority, I got just that and so much more.

As a first-year, I was able to get a leadership position in my sorority right away. Not only that, but my sisters encouraged me to join other clubs and get other leadership positions. I joined the Student Activists for Gender Equality, Business Ambassadors, and even scored an internship. My first year at Drake was amazing, mostly because of the women that had my back while I was managing all my new responsibilities and discovering my passions.

Sophomore year was a turning point for my Greek Life experience, though, because last summer I was asked to donate bone marrow and the date that was set was just five days before recruitment would begin. I wanted to participate in recruitment; it had been a turning point for my college career and I wanted to be able to help other women get a similar experience. My sisters were so supportive and made sure that I was able to participate, while still being attentive to the recovery process. Imagine having about 80 mothers making sure you are okay; it was overwhelming in the best kind of way. Second semester, I left Drake to study in Paris, France. The support of my sisters while I have been away has been monumental in my process of personal growth. I thought that if I kept in touch too often or leaned on them too much for support, I would not get the experience I came looking for. It turns out, though, that the opposite happened. Through their encouragement, I have had an even more amazing time abroad than I ever could have imagined. Sisterhood really can be felt from across oceans.

Besides the usual networking connections, tight-knit community, and leadership opportunities, Greek Life gave me something that is talked about a little less, but felt by all members of the Greek community and that is unconditional love and support. Over the past two years, my sorority sisters became my family. When I signed up for recruitment in 2013, I never could have predicted what a great decision that would be.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Claire

When I firsScreen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.02.53 AMt came to college, I knew I wanted to join a sorority. I was really excited to sign up for recruitment, and even got a few friends to join me. I really had no expectations when recruitment started, expect that I would probably be jumping, screaming, and snapping a lot. When I was going through formal recruitment, I was so thrilled with the process. I eventually picked the chapter for me, and was ecstatic when I got my bid on Bid Day, which is where excessive jumping and screaming ensued.

I couldn’t wait to start learning about my new sorority and meeting all my new sisters. During my new member period, I mostly thought I would just spend a lot of time with some great girls and I would always have an excuse to dress up. But the further along I went with the new member period and the more I learned about my sorority, the more I fell in love. I realized that I was specifically chosen to join my chapter because of the things I valued. The formal recruitment process is designed to put you exactly where you are meant to be.

I always thought it was cheesy when a woman says “I love my sisters,” but then I realized that I really do love the women of my chapter. They value the same things I do, and bring out the best in me. These women have been my strongest support group and biggest fans since coming to college. I always have a friend in class or at a lecture, and there is always someone to call when I just really need a shoulder to cry on. Not only has my chapter been a huge support through my first semester, Greek life is one of the best things I have joined. Knowing I am in the Greek community gives me connections to men and women all throughout campus. Being in Greek life has been one of the best decisions I have made, and I could not imagine my college experience without it.

Meet Our Members: Parker

10659259_10204694108090444_7886304886425714834_nI knew that I wanted to be apart of Greek life before I even went to college. I remember being a senior in high school and seeing all of the cute pictures and fun memories that were being made at something called “bid day” that my friends had posted after the fall of their first year in college. After I joined Greek life here at Drake University, I realized it was so much more than this. The opportunities that have been presented to me are endless. I’ve grown to be so passionate about philanthropic and charitable work and I can honestly say that I would not be that passionate about service work if it were not for Greek life. Despite the stereotypes that surround Greek life as a whole, I truly believe that it has made me a better person. I have made memories that I will cherish for a lifetime and friends that I will never forget.
Joining an organization full of women was easily the best decision of my life for several reasons. They have been a great support system, they have given me a home away from home, and they have helped me grow into a young woman. These women are always right there next to me cheering me on in everything I do just like my family back home used to do. Leaving home to go to college can be a scary thing, but joining a sorority gave me the feeling that I was actually at home. But that’s the way Greek life is here at Drake—we all support one another and it’s like we are one giant family.

Upperclassman Recruitment Stories: Kate

Kate KemperWhen I first came to college, Greek life was not on my radar. I had a preconceived notion of the “typical sorority girl,” and since I did not fit that mold I assumed I wouldn’t fit into Drake’s Greek system and wrote recruitment off completely. As my first year at Drake went on, however, I began to see all of these women, who did not fit the “sorority girl” mold either, who were proudly wearing their letters. These were women I looked up to, respected, and wanted to get to know better. This made me totally rethink Greek life at Drake, and I decided to go through recruitment at the beginning of my sophomore year.

I was nervous that my first year’s experience at Drake and the Greek stereotypes that I had heard would influence my choices during recruitment. As an upperclassman with some knowledge of each chapter and many women already members of each one, it was difficult to remind myself that those things weren’t what my decisions should be based on- it was about me finding my place. Before recruitment began, there were two chapters that I already placed at the top of my internal “wish list,” but I tried as hard as I could to get rid of that and keep an open mind throughout the whole process.

As I was interacting with each chapter on the first night of recruitment, I was surprised when I discovered that none of the stereotypes I had heard were true. This helped me to keep an open mind, which paid off in the end because I chose a chapter I didn’t expect to. When I left my future chapter on preference night, I knew that these were the women I wanted to spend the rest of my college career with- each woman was unique, fun, and so incredibly loving of one another. I immediately wanted to be a part of that. It was not the chapter that I expected to fall in love with, but it was mine.

So, I became a “sorority girl”, much to the surprise of my family, friends, and myself. Since I accepted my bid, I have made so many friends, been challenged academically, and have been given so many opportunities to be a leader through joining Greek life. I feel that being involved in Greek life has given me the ability and confidence to pursue things I probably wouldn’t have attempted otherwise. Looking back, I cannot imagine what my life would be like now if I had not gone through recruitment and joined a chapter less than a year ago.

Meet Our Members: Casey

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.27.24 PMWhen I decided on Drake as the university for me, I was originally on the path of athletics. I had that support system of my team already built in, so I was feeling pretty confident on making a group of great friends during my first year of college. However, an injury took athletics off the table for me and I was left pretty much clueless as to what I wanted to do next.

During orientation weekend, I took the Greek Street tour with my roommate and we both decided that, come the beginning of the semester, we would go through recruitment together. Greek life was something that I never envisioned myself being a part of, but I figured that I might as well give it a try. Little did I know that I was just beginning one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

A huge concern of mine during recruitment was whether I was going to be able have time to give back to my community/university, balance all of my classes, and have a social life. During recruitment, I expressed these concerns and I was immediately comforted that it was completely possible to handle this juggling act and that many women do so. Being a member of Greek life does not hinder the possibilities of becoming more involved on campus, but rather encourages that involvement. I ultimately chose my chapter because I felt the most comfortable there and felt a genuine connection with every woman that I talked to.

Being a part of Greek life has been one of the most beneficial opportunities that I have had during my time at Drake. Having a group of women that are all incredibility motivated and that form an amazing support system has kept me going in reaching my goals. I honestly believe that Greek life has played a huge role in having me grow as a student and as a person and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meet Our Members: Allie

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Service, academics, involvement, and family. These are the four aspects of my life that I’ve prioritized for as long as I can remember. Before starting college, I presumed that moving away from home would dramatically change the roles that each one of these factors plays in my life. I would be moving away from my unending opportunities to serve my community, go on mission trips, and be a part of something bigger than myself. I would be moving away from my high school, a learning environment where I was comfortable and familiar with my surroundings. I would be moving away from my sources of extracurricular activities, which provided me with a way to meet people and get involved. Most significantly, though, I would be moving away from my family, my support system, and one of my greatest sources of happiness.

Contrary to what I had predicted, each one of these four elements in my life were enhanced when I came to Drake. For this, I have Greek life to thank. The opportunity to participate in not only my own sorority’s philanthropy, but also in the philanthropies of all Greek chapters has deepened my commitment to serve others. Additionally, forming connections with sisters means that there’s always someone available to help you study for an upcoming exam, or be your study date in the library. And while joining a chapter is involvement in itself, I had the opportunity to hold a leadership position within my chapter as a first year student, exclusively furthering my contribution to Drake as a whole.

However, what perhaps stands out as the greatest enhancement is the element of family in my life. Sure, I still have my parents back home that continue to support and motivate me, but I now have over one hundred women at Drake that, together, form my home away from home. They are the women that offer a shoulder to cry on, advice in challenging times, and a smile on a gloomy day. It’s difficult to put into words just how much of a positive impact Greek life has had both on my college experience and on my life overall. The one thing I can express is that this positive impact is one that I believe all collegiate women should experience.

First-Year Recruitment Story: Claudia

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 9.44.52 PMWhen I started thinking about college, I knew I was going to go through recruitment before I knew what I was gong to major in. I knew I wanted to be a sorority girl no matter what – my grandma was one, as were my mom and sister. It was something every awesome female in my family did, and I wanted to continue the legacy. After moving into my freshman dorm, my roommate and I signed up for Fall Recruitment 2013, put on the matching t-shirts and walked over to 34th street and it all began.

Every chapter house that you walk into during recruitment is fun, vibrant and unique. No one that you meet or talk to will be alike, and that is what makes Drake Greek life so incredible. Everyone has their own story and no woman fits one mold. This is what I like most about Greek life. For years, I would watch movies with girls who all looked the same and acted the same. They were intimidating and had no original characteristics about them. So when I came to Drake and went through recruitment, there was a little bit of that stereotype still implanted in my mind. But, that all turned out to be the exact opposite of Drake Greek life, and I am oh so grateful for the variety of girls I get to call my sisters.

When your Rho Gamma says to your recruitment group, “Go with your gut” or “it will feel right the minute you walk into you future house” she is 100% correct. I walked into my chapter house and instantly felt at home. It was like every worry I had ever had faded away. I spoke to women from every corner of the world, with every interest imaginable. They were all so welcoming, and curious about me. It made me feel special to know someone really wanted to get to know who I truly was. I think that first night of recruitment was one of the best nights of my college career thus far.

The stereotype of the sorority girls in movies was washed away, and I walked from chapter house to chapter house with the biggest smile on my face. Sure, I was still a bit nervous every time I stood in front of a chapter house, waiting to be welcomed inside. But then that first women picked me up at the door, asked my name and instantly connected with me. I would text my mom, sister, and grandmother every night to tell them about how the whole thing went and they were so supportive. I am so thankful for those three women who inspired me to make a decision that has ultimately changed my life. I found my best friends through recruitment; all from a variety of chapters as well as my own.

My advice to every women going through recruitment would be one thing; go into recruitment with an open mind and to follow your heart. You will wind up where you are supposed to, and the minute you do so, you will never look back.

Meet Our Member: Alycia

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When I came to Drake, I did not have any intentions of joining Greek Life. I had this misconstrued idea of what being in a sorority was like, and I could not picture myself in my idea of a sorority. I didn’t have a lot of friends that were girls in high school, and I never thought I would enjoy being a part of a big group of girls. One of my close friends kept asking me to go through recruitment, and eventually I gave in. Thankfully I did, because what I have found in Greek Life at Drake is something I could not have experienced anywhere else.

I had originally joined my chapter because of the professional benefits. I wanted to build my resume, network, and gain leadership experience. In the past year, I have definitely accomplished all of these things, but I gained a lot more along the way. I found a group of women that have pushed me to become the best version of myself. They encouraged to get more involved on campus, take on important leadership roles, and to keep my grades up. I ended up with a big family of women that love and support me through everything. As cliché as it is, my chapter became my home away from home at Drake.

I also feel like I have gained so much outside of my chapter within the rest of the Greek community at Drake. Being a member of Greek life has given me so many opportunities for service through volunteering events and other chapter’s philanthropies. It has also strengthened my personal values and empowered me as a woman. Despite being in different chapters, all of the members of the Greek community have something that connects us together. Beyond having the sisters in your chapter, you gain an extended family of other members of Greek Life.

Though I never saw myself as a sorority girl before college, I couldn’t imagine my life any differently now. My sisters are such a big part of my life, and I know I would not be the same woman today without them in my life.

Upperclassman Recruitment Stories: Erin

ErinI came into my freshman year at Drake 100% sure I was going to join a sorority, I signed up within a week of registration being available online! While the idea of recruitment made me very nervous, I saw it as a way to become immediately involved on campus and to meet tons of new friends. But when I got to Drake it was a completely different story. I made quick friends with the people in my FYS, none of which were going through recruitment, and it made me believe that it wasn’t an important thing do to. So, I let that and my nerves get the best of me, and I dropped out of recruitment before it even started.

I spent my first year trying to convince myself that I did the right thing, while trying to pretend I wasn’t envious of the women involved in Greek life. I realized that if going through recruitment was going to make me happy, then that was the only reason I needed. I signed up for recruitment again right before my sophomore year and made myself go through with it completely. And that’s where college completely changed for me. I found the chapter that no doubt in my mind was my home, and I could never have imagined the things it would do for me.

If you would have asked my friends from high school, I don’t think any one of them would have picked me as the girl who would join a sorority; I’ve always been a little bit shy (or maybe a lot). But that’s one of the greatest things Greek life has done for me, it has made me realize the type of person I wanted to be. The girl who is encouraging and kind and just a little bit obsessed with pearls. Not only that, but it has given me exactly the support I have needed through the tough and exciting years of college. Through all the tests, the tears, and my mom’s diagnosis of cancer in the spring of my sophomore year. I don’t know how I would’ve done without the incredible encouragement of the over 100 women in my chapter. They were there even when they didn’t realize they needed to be, and I can’t explain how much that means to me.

My advice for someone considering going through recruitment would be to go with your gut and don’t let other’s opinions get in your way. I would also encourage anyone to go through recruitment, because even though I got a little bit of a late start, it has been and will continue to be one of the best decisions I have made in college.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Kara

KaraWhen I envisioned myself at college, I never pictured myself joining a sorority. I didn’t know much about Greek life and didn’t think that I would fit in with a chapter.

During high school, a friend of mine who attended Drake gave me a tour of campus and encouraged me to go through recruitment. Prior to the tour, I didn’t really think it was for me and my parents weren’t sold on the idea either. But by the end of the tour, I actually started to consider going Greek. When I came to Drake in the fall, my roommate and I decided to sign up for formal recruitment together, unsure if we would end up joining a chapter or not.

We convinced some of our other new friends to sign up and before we knew it, we were having a meeting with our recruitment counselor. She helped us with everything from what to wear each day to reassuring us that everything would work out. She was more than willing to talk us through the whole process.

My roommate and I ended up joining different chapters but it didn’t change our friendship. We were excited for each other knowing that we had made the right decisions for ourselves. Go through recruitment with an open mind and don’t be influenced by stereotypes or friends while going through recruitment, make the decision that is best for you!