By: Erica Kingsley- Alpha Gamma Delta
Coming into university, I barely knew what a sorority was. When my roommate decided to go through recruitment, I watched from afar because I thought the process wouldn’t be for me. My first year without a sorority experience was very daunting. Coming from a large network of friends in high school, it was challenging to shift to a very small group of friends in university. My residence was not very social, and it was hard to branch out and meet new people. After hearing about all the stuff my roommate was doing, and meeting some of the girls in sororities I decided to give it a chance and go through formal recruitment in my second year. It genuinely surprised me how much I enjoyed the process. Walking into the info night alone was so daunting, but I am so happy I stayed and went through with it. I thought I would be surrounded by girls in first year, but instead met so many girls like me, second and third years who wanted to branch out and enhance their university experience. I realized it really doesn’t matter what year you are in, it’s never too late to give formal recruitment a shot! I am so thankful to have found a second home within the Greek scene at Western, a group of girls who have helped me become the best version of myself. In my first year of the sorority I held a leadership position in both my new member class, and on executive council. I have learned so much about leadership and responsibility, and am excited to potentially hold more positions in the future. Being in a sorority, I went from having about 10 friends in first year to a group of 90+ girls as well as the Greek community. I am so thankful for my roommate and her friends who convinced me to rush in my second year. I was able to find my home and I know you can too!
By: Mika Rajkumar- Pi Beta Phi
For most of us attending Western was the first time we ever left the security of our friends, family, and home. Whether you’re living away from home or commuting, this school can seem daunting. Western has nearly 25 000 undergraduate students and sometimes it can seem like you are lost in a sea of faces. At least that was the case for me when I first came to Western. I came here knowing no one and made the decision to live off-campus in my first year rather than residence. Even though I made friends during O-Week, I still felt like I didn’t completely belong or have a support system. This definitely pushed me further back into my shell and at the end of my first year, I decided to take a year off from school. I took the year to work and do a couple of courses online but I knew when I came back I would still feel like a small fish in a very large pond.
That first September back I saw the Panhellenic booth on Concrete Beach. I knew Western had a Greek life but didn’t know much about it. However, I took a leap of faith and signed up for recruitment. From that first info session night and throughout the rest of recruitment weekend I seemed to be meeting these amazing young women who all wanted to be a part of something. And eventually, when I found myself in Pi Beta Phi, I began to feel like I belonged. Of course, I found a sisterhood that loved, supported, and nurtured me, but I also created friendships with the incredible men and women in the Greek community. Through socials, philanthropies, formals, etc. I got to experience a smaller community within Western. Since joining Greek life 3 years ago, I have yet to be in a class that doesn’t have a member from the Greek community or able to walk through campus without seeing friendly faces (trust me, I allow extra time to get to class because 9 times out of 10 you will be having conversations with these people). Sometimes even finding a social circle let alone maintaining a social life on a big campus can seem overwhelming, especially for those who may be coming from a small town. Greek life provides a regular and active social life that you can take full advantage of or just participate in based on your comfort level. There are so many events and experiences that are unique to being a part of the Greek community that brings people of different backgrounds, and programs together.
After joining the Greek community I felt like I had a support system not only socially but academically as well. No matter what program you’re in, chances are there’s someone in your sorority or one of the many other Greek organizations that are/have been in it. They are all resources you can go to for notes, as study partners, and counsellors who can guide you through your academic career and later your professional one too. Whether its Engineering, Fine Arts, or anything in between you have people who want to help you succeed. Every sorority has a GPA requirement and provides resources for its members so that they cannot just survive but thrive academically. This network of supportive people can alleviate the stress and pressures that all university students face.
Leadership opportunities are also plentiful within and amongst sororities and fraternities. Each sorority on campus has its own executive council and they are a part of the Panhellenic Council. I know first-hand that on a campus as large as Western, it can be difficult to find ways to obtain leadership roles. In a smaller community, however, one can flourish and make a direct and immediate impact. As I said before, this campus made me originally feel like going back into my shell. But joining a sorority pushed me out of my comfort zone and with the encouragement from my sisters and Greek friends, I held a vice president position on my sorority’s executive council. In fact, one of my jobs was actually running recruitment for Pi Beta Phi. Joining this community for many of you could be the chance to gain valuable leadership experience that you may not be able to get outside of it.
Home is a place where friends and family can gather to create memories and bonds, filled with love, support, and a sense of belonging. I got all that in the UWO Greek Community. It made this daunting campus feel like home and a place that’s going to be very hard to say goodbye to come end of the year.
By: Isabel Tansey- Alpha Phi
Being part of a sorority is an adventure in itself. It is something you have to be part of to truly understand, and one of the most rewarding experiences in a lot of different ways! It’s being part of a community, a sisterhood, gaining invaluable networking and leadership opportunities and so much more. It’s also a really big commitment, and time management is something I’ve had to master in order to fully immerse myself in being part of such a great organization.
Being able to efficiently manage your time is an irreplaceable skill in university, especially for when you get into the real world. Balancing a full course load and doing well, having a social life, sorority commitments, volunteering, working, and taking care of yourself at the same time is a LOT for just about anyone, but I promise it can be done.
I’m still learning every day how to be more efficient and manage my time better, but I do have some tricks that have helped me a lot this year in balancing a super busy life and of course, having fun at the same time.
1. Write it down. Be organized. Classes have officially started, and you’ve gotten all of your class syllabi. Write every date down! This is the one of the first things I always do, every exam, due date, tutorial times etc. need to be in your calendar. Sorority’s are really organized when it comes to scheduling, we always have the whole month laid out in advance, so put those dates in as well! Sometimes things pop up, but if you have been organized up until then, you can always figure out a way to work around it. Procrastination is your worst nightmare when you have a busy schedule, so as soon as you can get something crossed off your list... do it!
2. To do’s vs. Must do’s. I don’t know if anyone likes making lists as much as I do, but I’m a bit of a freak that way. I have lists for everything, including every class, as well as a general “To do” list for other things. If you want to be a master of time management, you have to learn how to prioritize! Put your number one priorities on your “Must do” list, and get it done right away. Set achievable goals for each day, so you can feel accomplished. Sometimes you have to sacrifice going to the sisterhood in order to get that lab assignment done, and that is OKAY. School ultimately comes first, but once you start getting better at prioritizing, you should be able to come out to as much as you can. If you’re like me, you don’t like missing out, so I always made sure my schoolwork was done early so I could make the most of my time with the girls, and going to all the fun Greek events.
3. You come first. Take care of yourself. University is overwhelming. Sometimes you feel like you’re too busy to breathe, but that’s when you take a step back and make a plan. I find exercising is a really good way to get back into routine! Self-care is essentially doing the things you need to get done in order to take any weight off your back. It’s crossing those things off your list, as well as making time for the people that matter the most. The best thing about being in a sorority is the group of amazing girls you have at all times. It is the best support system in the world. Having a bad day? Grab lunch with a sister. Need some motivation? Find a study buddy in the library… there is always someone there with a table! Even if it is finding someone to drag you to the gym, you will always have someone there for you.
When I joined a sorority, everyone told me you get out what you put in, which I completely understand now! My first year I applied for an exec position, which I ended up getting to my surprise and was completely overwhelmed with how much busier my life got. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The girls you meet during recruitment become family, your ultimate support system and your best friends. No matter how busy your life gets, always put yourself out there, work hard and it will be one of the best decisions you ever made!