First-Year Recruitment Stories: Sara

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 4.21.00 PMI came to Drake initially as an athlete to run cross country and track & field, however I had a strong interest in giving recruitment a try as many of the women in my family were involved in Greek Life. They had shared countless stories of how incredible their experience had been, the friendships they had made, and the memories they would never forget. I thought to myself, each time I heard them recount their experiences, that this was something I knew I would regret if I didn’t give it a shot. I went into the recruitment process with an open-mind and an optimistic attitude, as I wanted to form my own opinion of each chapter and find a place I would hopefully call home. After getting acclimated to the flow of conversation at the first chapter house during night one of recruitment, I found myself having many wonderful talks and enjoying the opportunity to meet many great women. I was having a really positive experience so far and when I received my schedule for the next round, I was happy to discover that I had been invited back to all of the chapters I had hoped.

The second night was filled with more laughs and great conversations. At that point I thought I knew the chapter that I was going to join, but despite my luck the first time around I ended up not being asked back to the one I thought was for me. This left me both surprised and a little disappointed, but I did my best to shake off this unexpected turn in events. I went into Preference day with as much positivity possible, telling myself it would all work out in the end, and came out of it touched by how much dedication as well as love each woman had for their particular chapter through the ceremonies held. Afterward I was left very conflicted on the impending decision that I had to make, as I found myself liking both of the remaining chapters. I went to my incredible Rho Gamma and talked with her for almost an hour, even stopping to make a pro/con list to aid in my decision.

Although it seemed trivial to do so, this really showed me that although I had many positives to say about both chapters, one of them stood out above the rest. I came away ready to make my decision and though in all honesty I had a moment of doubt later that night after I had made my choice, when bid day came I was beyond thrilled. I opened up my envelope to reveal those Greek letters I had hoped to see at the top of the card and instantly knew my decision had been the right one after all. I cannot fully articulate everything I felt in the moment, but I will say that I am so glad I listened to my gut feeling in the end.

What became really challenging was when I had joined this amazing chapter, but my coach sat me down and told me that I could not be a part of both and needed to make a choice. I think I shocked him when I ended up deciding that I wanted to be involved in Greek life instead. Although many may initially look at my decision and say why would you give up college athletics for this? Let me tell you it was 100% the right decision for me. It may not be for everyone and that takes self-assessment as to what you really want out of your college experience. For me, I realized that I could have the best of both worlds with being able to still run on my own time and become involved in so much more than I would have been able to if still a part of athletics, that including the incredible chapter I joined. Greek Life has allowed me to grow so much as individual than I ever thought possible, in just the span of a year, and provided me with many incredible friendships along the way. I found a place that motivates me to be the best sister, friend, leader, student, version of myself, and so much more. And the experience I have gained through it is something that I would never trade for the world.

So here is my advice for y’all:

-Expect the unexpected, because life doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes those unforeseen events turn out to be the best surprises!

-You hear it a lot; but do your best to keep an open-mind and not let others influence your opinion, as you will get so much more out of the experience!

-Just be yourself and have fun. Enjoy the process, as it goes quickly and you will look back to think how awesome of an opportunity it was to meet so many different women along the way!

Every day I am so grateful I decided to go through recruitment and chose Greek Life, as it has changed my life in more ways than I can even say. I took a risk on giving up the college athletics experience, but it was more than worth it for me and I do not regret my decision for a minute. Since the day I walked in the doors of my chapter, I have never looked back on the choice I made. So take the plunge, see if it’s right for you, and know that whatever you decide at least you can say you took the opportunity to give something new a chance!

Meet Our Members: Kelsey

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.53.49 AM“Greek Life isn’t my thing.”

That’s exactly what I said when stepping onto Drake’s campus as a first-year. When I was in high school, I just “knew” I would never join a sorority and that it wasn’t for me. All I really knew about Greek Life in general was what I learned from watching ABC Family’s Greek and other stereotypical representations in the media – not what I was really about. When recruitment was approaching the Fall of my first-year, all of the women on my floor were signing up like crazy and the floor was buzzing with recruitment talk. So, after some minor pressure from my floormates and maybe a slight fear of having major FOMO, I decided to go for it.

A week later, I joined a chapter that has had the greatest impact on my Drake experience and has transformed me into the person I am today. Joining a chapter has encouraged me to get involved on campus and in the community. Being in Greek Life has assisted me to become an active member on Drake’s campus. I have had the opportunity to hold positions on Student Senate, the Student Activities Board, student publications, and even in my own chapter. I’ve developed a sense of purpose to serve the community and be a positive representation of an organization of women that is bigger than myself. The chapter I joined is more than just a sorority, my sisters are my support system, my champion during the hard times, my roommates, and ultimately my home away from home.

While there is a special place in my heart for my own chapter, Drake’s Greek Life community as a whole is such a rewarding community to be a part of. What’s amazing about Drake’s Greek system is that the chapter you join doesn’t define who you are or can be friends with. The Greek community is one full of diverse personalities. When you join a chapter at Drake, you join a community and a support system.

One lasting note/piece of advice for all you potential new members out there – keep an open mind and embrace the opportunity of just meeting new people! :)

First Year Recruitment Stories: Maddie

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.43.34 AMAs the weeks before college waned, all my friends going to state schools would go on and on about their excitement to join a sorority. I, on the other hand, was a proud independent women who didn’t need to pay for her friends. I would never go through recruitment! Or so I thought… Flash forward a couple of weeks to the start of school, and there was a very different story.

Girls everywhere were buzzing with excitement over the idea of formal recruitment. After much persuasion from friends from home, and new friends at Drake, I decided it was worth a whirl. Not to mention that there was free food! I went to values night and fell in love with Greek life. I couldn’t wait to call home and tell my parents about this new adventure I would soon be a part of.

I called home and much to my dismay, my parents hated the idea of Greek life. They didn’t like the idea of conforming to a group, which is also why they refused to let me join dance as a child. They said if I was going to be a part of Greek life, I was going to pay my own dues. The thought of paying for something large on my own was, well, terrifying. But I was determined to be in Greek life, so I agreed to their terms.

Now that I am a part of my chapter, I can honestly say that Greek life is one of the greatest investments of my life. Joining a sorority isn’t about conforming to a group of girls, it’s rejoicing in our differences, which make us a stronger, well-rounded group. We all have different styles, for example: mine is hobo chic, but many of my sisters opt for the more glamorous stylings, giving Coco Chanel a run for her money. More often than not, the only thing we have truly the same are our core values and, of course, our letters.

Being a part of a sorority is having my own passions, aspirations, and goals with a hundred girls to support them full-heartedly. And the financials? They’re not so bad. Having a sisterhood that makes me feel at home is easily worth the extra hours working in the summer.

First Year Recruitment Stories: Kari

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.09.16 PMBefore my freshman year started, I was so excited for everything college. I was caught up in all of the shopping for dorm decorations and crafting different things that I could hang on the boring dorm walls. I was so excited to get involved with all of the different things that college had to offer—except one. I wanted to stay as far away from Greek life as humanly possible.

Despite all of my personal feelings, I decided to go through formal recruitment. All the girls on my floor and I got together and we helped each other pick out what we would wear each night. I was already making new friends before I could even name the sororities at Drake University.

When recruitment started, I had a huge change of heart. By the end of the first night, I was sure that I could find a home in Drake’s Greek Life. I had only talked to a few women, but I could tell that they were all genuine, beautiful, and supportive.

I only have a few words of advice for people who are looking to go through recruitment especially if they are unsure.

  1. Go into recruitment with an open mind. I am confident that each and every woman can find their place in one of the many chapters on campus. (if you don’t, that’s okay too)
  2. Try your hardest to make this decision for yourself. Talking to friends, especially the new friends you will make at Drake can really make the process of deciding which chapter would be the best fit for you more difficult.
  3. Ignore any stereotypes and gossip that you hear around campus. No matter what chapter you decide to be a part of, you will meet an amazing group of loving, supportive, and beautiful women.
  4. Be yourself. There is no reason to be nervous at all; you are unique and one of a kind. Show that off!!

Greek Life at Drake is so much different than any other university. I learned from talking to some of my high school friends that joined a sorority at other campuses that the experience I was having was truly unique. I encourage everyone to at least go through recruitment and try it out. I couldn’t be happier that I had a change of heart and decided to join the chapter that I am a part of—it truly has enriched my college experience!

First Year Recruitment Story: Linley

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 10.56.25 PMIn high school, I’d always had my twin sister by my side. We did everything together, and I couldn’t imagine not having that support system in college. My twin went through sorority recruitment at her new school, and encouraged me to do the same. Drake’s chapters promised sisterhood—but I was skeptical, to say the least. How could anything compare to the lifelong friendships I had at home?

During recruitment, I met some incredible women at every chapter, but very quickly fell in love with one. The girls made me laugh, we had incredible conversations, and I felt like I’d known them for years. My skepticism went away, and on bid day I was excited to call these girls my sisters. Nothing can replace my twin, family, or friends—but Greek life gave me a family away from home.

The women in my chapter support me, encourage me, and help me achieve everything I’ve dreamed of. They made Drake more than a school—they made it my home!

Meet Our Members: Victoria

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 10.37.09 PMBeing in a sorority is more than having connections, building relationships, and attending philanthropies and events. All of which are important, don’t get me wrong. I love my job; I love my sisters, and I love our philanthropy and events. However, in my opinion, what is even more phenomenal in the Greek community may seem contradictory: faith-life. Through the Greek system, I have had amazing opportunities to get more involved with my faith as well as bonding with my beautiful sisters on a spiritual level.

At Drake, there is Greek FOCUS- Greek Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Greek FOCUS brings in speakers, has it’s own bible studies, puts on events. They create a safe environment for people with common beliefs and values to meet.

Much like Greek FOCUS, there is Greek Intervarsity. Greek Intervarsity reaches out to a variety of Christian denominations at Drake giving students a more open and inclusive group of people to discuss Jesus and the bible and the meaning of life with.

Through spirituality and Greek life, I was able to meet strong women and feel more at home than I thought was possible at college. As a freshman, I was also given a leadership position- to be a representative for my chapter in Greek FOCUS which enticed and empowered me to become more involved with my faith and helping other women with theirs. I have also seen a growing interest for a faith-based support system in my own Chapter at Drake, which is something I’m delving into.

Though these are just the religious organizations I’m involved in through Greek life, it is important to note that there are a variety of Greek affiliated organization that touch on a variety of topics including sports, religion, politics, and so much more. Whether you are looking for your niche or your niche is looking for you, undoubtedly you will be able to ignite the passion within you and find others who share the same interests and passions. By becoming a part of my chapter, I have been exposed to these opportunities and have been able to gain perspective while taking on leadership positions. The possibilities are truly endless in the Greek community!

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Dariya

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.21.44 PM“Do you think you’ll join a sorority?” My friend Paige asked me in our favorite coffee place.

My response, “I don’t know if it’d really be me.” In truth, I was lying. I had thought a lot about it. College was only a month away, and, naturally, this was the summer I had become obsessed with ABC Family’s Greek.

Throughout my entire high school career of participating in counterculture a sorority seemed the exact opposite of everything I had done up till now. And yet, there were so many pictures online – girls joined together by the bonds of sisterhood, and there was something so appealing about it all.

I kept thinking about it, as I waged at war between it not being “my thing” and the near obsessive research I was doing into each of the chapters on campus. I continued this silent debate through my first weeks in college. I had friends in other organizations tell me all about how it was the best decision they ever made, but my ultimate push was President Maxwell.

In those first weeks of college, President Maxwell gave several speeches about making the most of our time here at Drake, and to take advantage of the unique opportunities presented to us. So, on the last day to sign up for recruitment, I put my name down and called my parents to let them know what I was up to. They agreed that I should take advantage of the new opportunity that was once in a lifetime.

The first night of Recruitment, I remember my Rho Gamma (Recruitment Counselor) telling us that there would be singing, and chants and not to be nervous. Some girls thought it was weird, but for me it was so incredibly exciting; this was energy I could get behind! By the end of the night, I knew exactly which chapter I thought would be the perfect fit. That is until I was not asked back to that chapter on sisterhood night. The initial emotions were tumultuous. Where had I gone wrong? How could I not be asked back? Everything had gone so well! I continued to talk to my Rho Gamma, and she encouraged me to keep going.

So I went back to the two chapters I was invited to and had excellent conversations with both groups of women. Additionally, I was starting to really connect with some girls in my recruitment group. By the end of the night I was torn, incredibly unsure of where I belonged. My Rho Gamma tried to ask questions to relax my mind and look toward my future, but I all I could think about was how torn I was between the two chapters.

The process led me as I was invited back to one chapter for preference night. As I stood on the sidewalk outside the chapter house all that ran through my mind was, “this is it.” I went in, had some good conversation, and sat through the wonderful preference ceremony thinking “Maybe…this could be for me.” Then there was my friend, the one who had told me about Greek Life. She expressed just how much she wanted me as a sister, and then something amazing happened, I cried. Not being an incredibly emotional person, I knew these tears were a sign of joy – this is where I truly was meant to be.

The next day when I received my bid card, I was overjoyed to join a sisterhood where I knew I could make a difference, where I would have incredible support and I would know great love. I knew then, that I was exactly where I belonged.

It can be difficult in those early days, when you believe that you’re perfect for one place, but find yourself in a different one. I encourage you to take advantage of those times, and watch for once in a lifetime opportunities. You will be able to learn and grow so much from them. You never know where you could end up!

Meet Our Members: Megan

Megan Rush Blog PhotoBoth of my parents were involved in Greek life in college so I definitely wanted to go through sorority recruitment. My mother has always spoken fondly of the relationships she formed while in her sorority and I wanted that too. During the summer before my first year at Drake, the minute I could register for recruitment, I did. I was looking forward to coming to Drake and I thought being in a sorority would just be the icing on the cake.

The first few weeks of school went well and when recruitment rolled around I was so excited! After each round I grew more and more eager as to which chapter I would call home. Finally it was bid day and I was welcomed into my sorority with open arms. I knew I was in the right place and could not wait to see the opportunities in store for me.

I became as involved as I could in Greek life during my first year. Whether it be attending another sorority or fraternities philanthropy or helping with my sorority any way I could, I was busy, but loving it! I gained a leadership position in my sorority during my first year and it was a great way to be involved with decisions as a freshman.

Being actively involved meant meeting so many remarkable men and women involved in Greek life and becoming friends with them, especially my sisters. Anywhere I go on campus I’m sure to know at least one person. I’ve made some amazing friends through Greek life and can’t wait to see how many more people I meet in my coming years.

Joining a sorority and being involved in Greek life at Drake has been one of the best decisions of college. Opportunities present themselves often for me to represent my sorority and I not only enjoy it, but am proud to do it.

If you are wondering about whether or not joining a sorority is for you…go through recruitment and see for yourself.

Meet Our Members: Annie

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 3.18.37 PMGreek life at Drake was everything I wanted and nothing I expected. I expected the typical sorority experience, aka the kind you saw in the TV show Greek from ABC family. But instead what I found was a chapter of amazing women. I was suddenly surrounded by ladies who inspire me, push my comfort zone, hold me to a higher standard and call me to be the woman I am meant to be. I was filled with an experience unlike that of my friends who joined Greek life at bigger schools. In my chapter we have sisterhood events doing everything from ice skating to concerts to comedy shows and more. We have a weekly meeting in order to come together and share our experiences from that week, and we also have some pretty fun social events. As a whole, Drake Greek Life is extremely Panhellenic and encourages friendships both inside and outside of my chapter. It encourages involvement in organizations beyond Greek Life, for example, I hold three leadership positions in a variety of organizations on campus including one within my chapter. The Drake Greek system is one that calls for academic excellence and integrity which is why our all sorority GPA is higher than the all-women’s GPA at Drake. But more than all of this, we watch out for each other. I expected to gain friends when I joined social Greek life, but instead I was welcomed into a family.

So here is to you, the ladies reading this blog; the ones about to start on this epic journey of recruitment and hopefully sorority membership. Be prepared for nights that will turn into mornings and the friends that will turn into family.

Meet Our Members: Sarah

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.08.03 PMWhen I came to Drake I knew that I had three goals. The first was to get an education, the second to make friends, and the third was to serve my community. What I didn’t realize was that all of these goals were met when I went through formal recruitment and joined a chapter.

Of course any experience is a learning experience, but not every experience helps you sort out your personal values and goals. During recruitment I realized that I place high value on those around me and that my friend group is important to how I live my life. These realizations led me to recognize that being a sorority would surround me with people of the same values.

My second goal, to make friends, had already been met by the time that recruitment rolled around. Despite this I still met some of the girls who are closest to me during recruitment and several aren’t in chapters or are in other chapters besides my own. It makes getting involved with philanthropies more fun because it becomes a personal competition between friends.

Finally service, beyond just philanthropies and mandatory service hours, I found my service was doing more for me as a leader than as a participant. My involvement in an Alternative Spring Break this year, biking at 3 am for a philanthropy, and even doing synchronized swimming have been some of the best ways to give back and raise awareness. My involvement in all of this led to me doing 195 volunteer hours this semester, that’s over 8 days of volunteering! It also led to me declaring a concentration in Leadership Education And Development.

In the end, for me, Greek life isn’t just a support system and social group, it’s an experience that is contently teaching you more about who you are and what you stand for. For me, I stand for ethics and service and believe these are the skills I’m currently developing as a collegiate woman in Greek Life.