Today is Monday.   It’s the beginning of a week.  I know that the calendar starts a week off on Sunday but I like to start on Monday.  Monday is the day when my husband’s work week starts.  It is the first day of mail arriving to our mail box.  It begins a school week and a week in the life of my sorority daughter :).

Mondays can be “great” or “pull the covers over your head and go back to bed awful”.  So when I got up this morning I wasn’t sure what kind of Monday was going to greet me.  My daughter and her boyfriend had been in New Orleans all weekend at his fraternity formal.  They had an absolutely fabulous time and she was so kind as to send me pictures all throughout the weekend.  I loved getting them and they both looked so cute together.  They make a very precious couple.  Unfortunately, that means that today is a harried and hectic day for my sorority girl.  She had Exec last night right after she got home and she has several tests this week.  She’s very hard on herself about grades.  She expects perfection in all that she does and that includes her classes and all that she gives to her sorority. On top of school she is involved in several organizations on campus, representing the Greek system; is organizing Relay for Life on campus, playing intramural basketball, traveling with her sorority to out of town recruitment teas and also representing the Greek student body at a variety of new student dinners and luncheons.

I know you are scratching you head right now thinking “so this isn’t an actual factual” blogging today about recruitment or rec letters or resumes or bids.  Yep….you’re right it’s not.  I have to get something off my chest and so I’ve decided that today is the day I will do it.  I feel safe saying what I have to say here..partially because those of you who read this I know and well….if you’re reading this for the first time, if you just happened to stumble upon my blog or maybe one of my “readers” told you to check it out….I’m not a lunatic..honestly but something has been bothering me for quite a while and I just can’t sit on my hands any longer (besides it makes it REALLY difficult to type!!).

The University that my daughter attends has a discussion board for incoming parents to ask questions of parents who have children who attend said school.  I love to read it and post on it quite a bit.  I am kind of the resident guru of sorority life and so I always have to chime in my two cents when questions about Greek Life comes up.   Many of the parents who post do not have children who have chosen to go Greek, they see Greeks as a mystical, party loving group of non-academic sloughs….us Greek folks are in the minority.  I feel confident in saying that many of the parents who post have VERY INTELLIGENT students who are members of the Honor College (lots of sorority girls are too), are NMF and participate in a variety of groups inside the Honors College where to be included you need to be a member of the Honors College (sometimes I think the Honors college is its own little Greek system equivalent).  Lately, with all of the acceptance letters going out there has been a lot of chatter about why choose this University over another.  Statistics are thrown around about campus housing, ACT scores, crime in the area, the prestige of the honors colleges and so on and so on.  In addition there is the quest for the “perfect” roommate going on.

I am not sure if this is going to come out correctly so I am just going to blurt it out there….”Did anyone ever consider a university for its Greek Life”?  We did!!!  Seriously, when my daughter decided to look at colleges we knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine but we also knew that joining a sorority and the presence of Greek Life on campus was equally important.  I just want to stand up, wave my arms and yell…PEOPLE!!!!!  Life is not all about numbers and books and 8 hour study sessions in the library.  It is also about social interactions amongst your peers.  Instilling a sense of taking care of your fellow man.  Life is about how you get along with others in a less that perfect controlled environment where you just don’t go inside your super suite and shut the door and be a bump!

If I’ve offended anyone I am so sorry.  It just really gets me when parents say things like, “Well..I want my child in an honors suite with girls who are going to be serious students and are not sorority girls”, or ” I don’t want my daughter rooming with sorority girls because they party all the time and my precious princess needs her quite study time”.   On this particular forum Greek Students have really taken a bum rap needlessly!  Yes there are a few bad apples out there that tend to stereotype us all but if these parents would just get their noses out of the sky and take a minute to learn a little about the “oh so dreaded terrible Greeks”,  they just might find out that these social, caring individuals have a lot to offer.

So some stats…..

There are over 4,292,824 initiated sorority members on 655 college campuses across the United States and Canada.

Those young women have logged 908,905 community service hours. and have raised over $3,3217, 108 dollars this last year.

According to the National Panhellenic Conference,  which is the governing board for all 26 NPC sororities,s it’s core values are to create committed relationships built on trust through transparency, accountability and Mutual respect. Their core values are those of friendship, leadership, service, knowledge, integrity and community guidance.  By providing young women with these critical life skills we continue to build their foundation for academic and career success.

To quote Dr. Frances Lucas, VP of University of Southern Mississippi, “What Millennials will face in the labor market is an unbelievable, unprecedented amount of change and information. So they need the core and that’s just what a sorority provides.  Core life skills.  Every single sorority is about core, values, integrity. It’s an experience to hang onto for the rest of their lives”.

So when we went looking for a college in addition to factors like affordability, location, class size and a fantastic football program we also took into account the viability of the Greek Life on campus.  We were looking for the core experience that would help to mold our daughter in to a confident young woman.

I know you are asking…”did you find what you were looking for”?  You bet we did!  Greek life has molded my daughter into a confident young woman.  It’s core values instilled in her a sense of community and purpose,  so much so that after an F-5 tornado hit the city where her campus is situated, my daughter came home and organized a 5k run that raised over $11,000 for those associated with her university who were impacted by this catastrophic event.   It is no wonder that the University approached her to become a student spokesperson at dinners and luncheons hosted by the University for incoming students.  They weren’t afraid to put a Greek up there to be an example of their student body.

So if you are reading this and you are wondering about YOUR daughter and why she wants to become a member of a sorority, why you are scrambling to find women to write your daughter letters of introduction and fill out rec forms, why you are traveling 12 hours to spend a weekend on a college campus because your daughter wants to attend Preview Weekend, why you are again at Nordstroms to buy yet another sundress, why every time you open the mail box your heart skips a beat hoping that there is an invitation to a pre-recruitment tea or event, or why in the faces of those who are non believers in sorority affiliation you stand up sling your purse over your shoulder and defend your daughter’s choice to go through recruitment….now you know.

It’s Monday… and I KNOW what kind of Monday it’s going to be…. it’s going to be the beginning of a great week to be a sorority woman!

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