By: Zoé Hlady- Kappa Alpha Theta
People ask me all of the time about how I balanced Varsity athletics with Greek life and academics this year, often they ask for advice, and I never really know what to tell them because there is no concrete system or layout to how I manage my time that I can describe to them. I think what it comes down to is what you care about and what you love to do.
Personally, I’m someone who wants to do everything all at once, and I have trouble giving things up, so between a full course load, five varsity practices a week, and spending time with my sisters, I am stretched very thin, I won’t lie about that. But each of the things that I have chosen to take on are so important to me, so the time commitments don’t matter. There is always a way to make things work. It comes with drawbacks, I will get stressed out over games or over exams, and the lack of time for myself during exam periods, but the beauty of being part of a family of girls is that we love each other and we are there for each other, and that makes it so much easier. It is stressful, and it is time consuming, but your sisters make it worth it. These girls, they make you want to make time to come out to an event on an evening the night before you have a morning practice the next day.
One of my very first games, I would say about ten of my girls came out to watch and cheer me on, and many of them went straight to an event right after, but they made the time to come and support me beforehand. One of them, whom at that point I hardly knew, came over afterwards, after she had already gone home across campus, brought snacks and tissues, and listened to me vent and comfort me when I was upset about the outcome and circumstances of that same game. She’s since become my Big, I’m living with her, and I love that girl with my whole heart.
I’m grateful for the experience I’ve had having to manage my time between sorority life and athletics. I’ve learned that while there are only 24 hours in the day, and that time is scarce and valuable, it is possible to make time for the things that matter the most. At the beginning of my new member experience, I doubted myself. I didn’t think there I would have enough time to give 100% to all of the different things I was doing at the time, but I spoke with one of our senior sisters and she helped me work out how to manage my time in a way that would benefit all areas of my life. Time management is key, not just now, but in the future after we graduate and go off into our respective fields, time management is very likely going to be a major factor in many of our successes. So in taking on too much, and not wanting to falter in anything, you learn to allot time to things, to multitask, you learn how you can be the most efficient in your studies, how you can incorporate physical excellence into your personal time, and various other tools that will help you to achieve your goals, whether it be academic or athletic, or philanthropic. It all comes down to what works best for you, and figuring out how to fill your schedule to make everything fit. And when you get too stressed out, or you need help with an assignment, or a workout buddy, your sisters are there.
To anyone who is having doubts about participating in Varsity Athletics as well as Greek life, I would say that if those things are important to you, you have the ability to make time. And it is completely worth it, because not only do you get to do everything that you love, and with who you love, but it teaches you how to function on a higher level, and that is a lesson which I consider to be invaluable. So I would say do it. Jump in head first, because you are more than capable, and even if you do fall, your sisters will be there to catch you.
2. Everyone is nervous, push yourself to get out of your comfort zone!
"You have to pick the places you don't walk away from." The first vivid memory I have at Western is walking up UC Hill alone. I was nervous, I had come to Western with a group of friends but sought to branch out into Greek Life. I didn’t know anyone going through recruitment and as I walked up that hill alone I remember thinking I could easily walk back to my dorm and hang out with my friends. I am now in my third year and I meet girls who went through recruitment in second and third year because they were too nervous to do it first and the one consistent comment they make is "I can't believe I didn’t do it sooner." Whether in first, second, third, or fourth year, just remember that all the ladies you have yet to meet were in your footsteps at one point! Step out of your comfort zone and you definitely won't regret it. It's never too early or too late, but making the decision to push yourself is a rewarding one.
3. Smile! Smile! Smile!
Be positive! Don't be too cool to talk to people whether they are girls who are going through recruitment as well or the ladies you will be meeting in each house. Engage in all positive conversations and start them because you never know who you might meet! Don't be 'too cool for it,' set the tone by putting your best self forward.
4. Leave your stereotypes at the door!
Be open minded! Through the recruitment process it will be fascinating to meet all kinds of girls, some that you expected and others that will surprise you for the better! Don't let misconceptions rule your recruitment process! Be kind and make meaningful conversation with everyone. Going into each house with an open mind will help you with this! Ignore house reputations or what your friends are saying and choose the one that is best for you. Listen to your gut and heart!
5. Talk yourself up!
We want to hear about how great you are because we are going to do the exact same in return! If you're shy this is a great time to come out of your shell. Not only do you meet many people while rushing but it also teaches you valuable life skills in terms of being able to sell yourself in 30 seconds and being able to talk to everyone.
6. HAVE FUN
This is a great opportunity to meet new people and develop valuable communication skills. The women I have had the chance to meet are some of the smartest, kindest and well-rounded women I have ever met and I am so lucky to call them my Panhel and sorority sisters! Embrace the experience and enjoy every moment!
Tip Number 1: Keep it Classy
It is human nature to judge someone based off of an appearance! Girls in the houses want to see that you would represent their sorority well. Make sure to be yourself and show off your personality while shying away from wearing low cut tops, short shorts and clubbing dresses because it will distract from what you have to say. Remember: classy over sexy! Examples of clothing include dresses and skirts at respectable lengths along with tasteful tops. Here are a few examples of options! Your Rho Gamma (Recruitment Counsellor) and the rest of the Panhellenic team will also be there to help with any outfit questions you may have.
Tip Number 2: Stand Out
Girls in each house meet so many Potential New Members throughout the day and it can often be difficult to remember who is walking into their sorority. You can never go wrong with a statement piece that helps you be remembered. Examples include a cool/unique jacket, a nice pair of glasses, scarf, shoes, accessories etc. You can stand out while still looking polished.
Tip Number 3: Be Yourself!
Don't feel like there is a mold that has to be fit; this is about showing off your personality and finding the right house for you! Wear a unique/quirky romper or nice shorts that emulate your personality if dresses make you uncomfortable. Tweak things around to fit your personal style! Confidence and comfortability is key to being yourself and is always noticed! If you feel awkward it will show. When in doubt stick to a basic skater or sheath dress and let your personality do the talking.
Tip Number 4: Have Fun!
Formal Recruitment is such a fun weekend! It's natural to be nervous but don't let your nerves take away from such a great experience. Mix and match styles to the best of your ability, and make sure to show your true colours. Outfits along with your own personality will shine a light on the person that you are. A key tip to relieve stress would be to plan out outfits for each day in advance! Nevertheless, enjoy a weekend of meeting many girls that will soon be your potential sisters/ Panhellenic sisters!
Specific Day by Day Outfit Planner:
Day 1: Business Casual
Day 2: Business Casual (a bit more fancy)
Day 3 (Preference Night): The most fancy - think nice dresses, cute skirt-blouse duo, or a rockin' pant suit!
The time of year has come where we must say goodbye to our very special graduating seniors. These influential women have all made their mark on the Greek community and their individual Chapters in their own unique ways. Taking on a leadership position can be a fulfilling part of your Greek life adventure and these past Presidents have a few words of wisdom for Potential New Members!
It’s everyone’s favourite time of the year. Tuesday nights with friends are replaced with all night study sessions in Weldon. Joggers take the place of your jeans and sweatpants replace your pin attire. Spoke bagels become your new religion. It’s easy to get caught up in the madness of #finalsszn so check out the following tips to stay healthy over the next few weeks:
Mental Health Helpline
Extra Study Tip
Recruitment is in full effect and that means it’s officially time to “GO GREEK” and time to start convincing your gal pal, your roommate, your lab partner, and your neighbours third cousin to RUSH! For most people who don’t really know much about being greek the common easy reply is “it’s just not for me”, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
This is a message for anyone who believes that they don’t belong in the Greek community. This is for the girls that don’t like pink or glitter or being best friends with 50 other girls. (C'mon who wouldn’t like that?)
People who believe that the Greek life isn’t for them seem to have this preconceived notion of what it entails. It’s easy to think that sororities are just made up of girls of the exact same “type” (and we all know the cliches). It begins with the stereotype of what a “sorority girl” should be - preppy, stylish, crafty, and girly. As a “sorority girl” myself I can easily say this opinion is so wrong
A sorority girl can be anyone. In fact, the not-so-sorority girl is the perfect candidate to Go Greek. She offers new perspectives, alternative passions and an authentic love for the organization itself. She is able to break that stereotype of what the Greek life seems to be on the outside and open it up to more of her kind.
Going Greek doesn’t require you to be a certain “type” but instead it celebrates all your quirks and ambitions that make you, you. In a sorority there is always a place for everyone: the girl who loves computers and design makes the best media chair and can bring new ideas to the table, the girl who’s only friends with guys makes the best fraternity social chair, the girl who’s only passion is helping others makes the best philanthropy chair. It’s a common push and pull - when you’re saying you won’t fit in, we’re saying that you’re perfect.
Going Greek may be the best decision of your life and the only thing holding you back from obtaining that amazing experience is you. Going Greek is the first step of gaining those opportunities to grow as an individual and attain those connections you’ll have for a lifetime. It’s a chance for you to become who you want to be and continue to grow with girls who are always there to love and support you.
In your mind you can still probably think of a million reasons as to why you shouldn’t Go Greek but compared to the benefits and all the possibilities, do those reasons even matter anymore? There is no doubt in my mind that at the end of the day, you will be calling UWO Sororities your home! AND it all starts with signing up for recruitment and who knows you might even surprise yourself.
Joining a sorority can be a tough decision
-It can sometimes be a "I have no idea what to expect" scenario.
With that said, prepping for recruitment can be super stressful and nerve wracking if you have no idea how it's going to go.
So, UWO Sororities has gathered some tips and tricks to help make your sorority recruitment weekend as successful and fun as possible.
To Potential New Members (PNM'S) of UWO Sororities
1) Be yourself. Don't stray away from showing your true personality and missing the opportunity to find the sorority that fits best with who you are.
2) Go into recruitment with an open mind. Don't go into it being set on one sorority. You need to give every sorority a fair chance to show you what they have to offer.
3) First impressions are EVERYTHING. Smile, enjoy yourself and dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable throughout the weekend.
4) Don’t listen to anything you’ve heard about the other sororities on your campus. People will talk and tell you the reputations each sorority holds but try to block those out and form your own opinions.
5) Don't be afraid to eat or drink during each party! Take advantage of the cute snacks and drinks made by each chapter. Trust me ... no one is going to judge for indulging in a cupcake.
6) Make sure you talk with everyone! Even if you make friends with someone who is interested in another sorority don't box them out ... I mean where do you think #panhellove comes from?
7) Keep in contact with your Rho Gammas. Your Rho Gammas (recruitment counsellors) are there to make your recruitment process easier. Make sure to ask them questions throughout the weekend ... they've been through it before and can give some killer advice.
8) Make friends within your given PNM group. The girls in your group are there to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable with the process. They're always there to talk to and you can relate easily to them because they're going through the same thing.
9) Trust the system. You may go in thinking you’ve found your home on day 1, but you might not get called back. Don’t let that shatter your hope. Just stay hopeful, stay strong and everything will make sense when you’re accepted to your forever home on Bid Day!
10) You can never be too overdressed. The recruitment process is a perfect way to show off your own personal style by adding accessories or bold pieces.
11) Don’t be nervous to ask real questions. This is the only way that you can really learn which house is the right fit for you. All the girls will be more than happy to answer anything you have on your mind.
12) Keep on top of your studies. Make sure you don't fall behind. The recruitment process is a full weekend of sorority parties ... which will 100% drain you by the end of the day. Just make sure you don't add any extra stress that could of been prevented.
13) Stay rested. Recruitment days are long and can be quite exhausting when you have to engage and talk to girls 24/7.
14) Follow your gut and trust your instincts. At the end of recruitment take your time when deciding which sorority you honestly see yourself being in. It should feel natural and right when you pick the sorority of your choice.
15) Take good notes and remember key conversations! Recruitment parties can go by very quickly, and at the end of the day conversations can blur into one another. By taking notes after each party, you will be able to remember all of your amazing experiences at each house.
16) Don't be disappointed if things don't work out. Recruitment is all about trying to find your best match, even if you don't see it at first.
17) Have fun. Just enjoy the experience and see where Western Sororities takes you. Remember that recruitment is meant to be fun, not stressful. Keep in mind that the girls you are talking to may soon be your best friends and family forever.