School is starting back and a lot of kids are switching schools..... Moving over to middle school, moving up to highschool, or just moving entirely away to college. I went almost as far away from Memphis as I could get in the lower 48. Montana.
And what drew me to Montana? Mountains, cold weather and snow, fresh air, adventure (and Brad Pitt in "A River Runs Through It"). Plus they have a really really good Journalism program so there was the academic thing too. And what was one of the first ways I made friends in a town where I knew NO ONE? I joined a sorority.
Ohhh here we go, another post about why you should Go Greek. But seriously, I was this tiny fish from Tennessee that had zero connections to the West and all the big rivers out there. I packed 2 bags, got on a plane, took a taxi to my dorm, and just showed up one January day. I put myself out there and started looking for a group of friends.
I'm from a family of all girls (sisters, cousins, aunts, pets, etc). Lots of feminine energy where I grew up, so that was comfortable to me. However, I was not considered a "typical sorority girl" in the SEC Nation where all of my highschool friends had rushed. I liked to fish, climb, hunt, wear jeans and baseball hats. I preferred flannel over Lilly, Chacos over heels, and a ponytail over curls and makeup (I did keep the pearls though, I couldn't let everything go). So why did I join a sorority if all of those typical things were not really my style? Because those are stereotypical things, and sometimes we Greek Women can really surprise you.
Surprise you with bonding activites like going on a backpacking trip instead of the bars. Surprise you with "having too much fun" meant the cops showed up because there were too many of us sitting on the front porch laughing on a school night. Surprise you with a weekend trip with my Little was going to a climbing competition called Boulder Bash. And surprise you because the sorority wasn't just girls that I partied with, they were my Montana family. And I STILL refer to them that way.
I have a lot to thank the Greek community for:
- My Montana family
- 2 bridesmaids and best friends to call on (or bullshit with)
- Making my parents meet in college, fall in love, and have me
- All of my "uncles" and important family friends that watched me grow up
- Teaching me conflict resolution (especially when you're living with that person)
- How to balance work and fun- a serious life skill if you plan to do anything productive in this world
- Managing finances and how to talk about money- yes I was a Vice President
- That you have to pay (with grades) to stay (a member). We each had to work hard to keep our membership priveleges. And because of that, the girls are now business women, teachers, nurses, lawyers, and managers. We know how to get shit done, and I'm willing to bet there is a sorority woman in a powerful position at your company too.
So that is what sorority life did for me. Now I'm on the other side and have moved from member to advisor. It's true that things are different at this Chapter compared to my own but I really think it's geographical. I'm an advisor in the SEC and that automatically signs the Chapter up for expected traditions and decorum. Of course we will have game day breakfast at the house, wear sundresses, and serve sweet tea! What kind of hostesses would we be otherwise?! But the rest isn't really different from my own Chapter. The friendships, the growing up and figuring it out together, always having a person to talk to, always having a person to eat with, and a built in supply of bridesmaids that are also sisters. I may have graduated college 8 years ago, but sororities are still providing the same thing 100+ years later. FAMILY away from home.
Some of the awesome members I get to work with: