Why I Love Being Greek at a Small School

When most people think of Greek life, they think of massive colleges with huge chapters. My school is small, and only has three panhellenic sororities on campus. As fancy as Greek life at big schools may seem, I wouldn’t trade my tiny little Greek community for anything.

I love knowing every single girl in my chapter well. I don’t just mean knowing their names. I can, for the most part, tell you where they’re from, their major, and something they love to do. Chances are, if you point at a girl in my chapter, I have an amazing memory with her.

I love knowing most of the girls in the other chapters. Some of my dearest friends can be found in the other two chapters on campus, and I love the diversity they bring to our friend group. I love being able to tell PNMs about all three chapters when they ask about Greek life, and not just because I was a Rho Gamma.

I love seeing a friendly face anywhere I go on campus. Because our campus is small but our Greek life is heavily present, it’s almost impossible to walk to class and not run into one of my sisters. They always say hi, ask how my day is going, and it always leaves me with a smile.

I love that I know our Greek advisor personally. I love that she’s able to be involved with each chapter because she isn’t in charge of 20 sororities. She knows us all well and knows how each house functions.

I love that because we have three panhellenic chapters, each chapter has a unique identity. I love that it’s easy for girls to find their home here because we don’t have houses that are so similar that they compete for the same girls.

I wouldn’t trade my tiny slice of Greek heaven for anything in the world.

Read More...

Gamma Gamma Chi: Islamophobia won’t tear them down

We’ve heard so much about the Muslim community lately from those outside of it. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has recently called for a database of Muslims in our country to be set up and he has suggested they wear identification cards reminiscent of Jewish people being identified in a similar way during World War II. Democratic representative Loretta Sanchez of California made some questionable comments as well, suggesting, “up to 20 percent of Muslims want to establish an Islamic caliphate and are willing to use terrorism to get there”. She later made statements stating she supports the Muslim community however her initial speculative comments to many were of poor taste. You may be wondering. Are there any Greek organizations dedicated to bringing Muslims together in a positive way? What do they think of these recent statements? Stay tuned as we get some answers from the sisters of Gamma Gamma Chi, the first Islamic based sorority, and hear what their organization is all about.

Sorority Lyfe: What type of Greek organization is Gamma Gamma Chi? Is it social, service-based, or religious or a combination of these?

Gamma Gamma Chi: A combination of all of the above, actually! Gamma Gamma Chi Sorority, Inc. is a social and community service sorority that is Islamic-based.

bike

Sorority Lyfe: When, why, and where was Gamma Gamma Chi founded? Where are your current active chapters located?

Gamma Gamma Chi: The sorority was founded in Greensboro, NC, on April 3, 2005 by Dr. Althia Ali and her daughter, Imani Canty. Imani considered joining a sorority in college but never went through the intake process because many of them went against her Islamic faith. She appreciated what sororities had to offer and imagined one for herself and other Muslim women which would honor Islamic beliefs. There are a total of seven chapters (not including the National Grand Chapter, which is technically never inactive and reserved for founders), and the current active chapters are Alpha in Atlanta, GA, and Epsilon in Philadelphia, PA.

Sorority Lyfe: What motto and symbols do Gamma Gamma Chi sisters hold close to their hearts?

Gamma Gamma Chi: Our flower is the water lily; our jewel, the amethyst; our mascot, the bee. Our mission is to promote a positive visibility of Muslim women and Islam in general. Our purpose is to unify collegiate and professional Muslimahs by promoting Islam through scholarship, leadership and community service. The sorority is also open to non-Muslim women who support our mission. Our vision is to be a network of women with lifelong ties to each other, our sorority, and our deen (religion), God-willing.

Sorority Lyfe: What are your thoughts on the statements made by Donald Trump and Loretta Sanchez in the media recently? Why do you think there has been such a surge recently in Islamophobia in our nation?

Gamma Gamma Chi: Of course we feel that Donald Trump’s statements are absurd! Islam is not a “foreign” religion and has been present in the fabric of America since its founding, though it was never exactly a dominant religion. Islamophobia has always been present–people are afraid of what they don’t know or fully understand. It has recently become more overt to the point of violence because a well-known individual and a potential leader of this country has taken a platform that puts Muslim and Islam in a negative light. Loretta Sanchez has clearly never met a Muslim. (lol) Okay–maybe she has met a Muslim, but didn’t know that the person practiced the Islamic faith. Our faith does not command that we spread religion “by the sword” like many people who are against Islam and Muslims believe. In fact, our holy book, the Quran tells us that if we take a life unjustly, it as though we have killed all of humanity…but that is never mentioned in the media. Another thing not mentioned in the media is that we are also to obey the laws of the land (courts, police, etc.) in which we reside as long as it does not cause us to disobey God’s law; interestingly enough, there are several verses in the Bible that command Christians do the same thing! Ignorance and fear is amazing! (smh)

couch

Sorority Lyfe: Do you think Gamma Gamma Chi is helping to show those on college campuses and in your local communities how the Muslim community can come together to accomplish positive change? How are you doing so?

Gamma Gamma Chi: Firstly, our chapters are actually citywide chapters and are affiliated with specific colleges & universities. Ladies from institutions in each city join together. This helps us promote the concept of community or one ummah; however, we do host activities on college campuses and invite college students to participate in our community service and social activities. We have also hosted a health educational summit (specifically on HIV/AIDS) with a local masjid and invited non-Muslim members of the community to attend.

Sorority Lyfe: How have other sororities and fraternities on your respective campuses treated your presence on campus? Has it been a positive or negative reception mostly?

Gamma Gamma Chi: Some Alpha Chapter members did say that some of members of the other Greek-lettered organizations on campus were less than supportive, and that motivated them to make sure they did their best to make Gamma look really good. Being the first Islamic-based sorority in general has been interesting. Even when we talk to other members Greek-lettered organizations off campus, some are supportive and want to know about our sorority, and others say, “What’s a Gamma?” We just have to laugh at the latter. (lol)

gamma gamma chi

Sorority Lyfe: Can you list and explain the six gold pillars that your members abide by? What is their significance and how are you working to accomplish them?

Gamma Gamma Chi:

Gamma Gamma Chi’s Six GOLD PILLARS are as follows:

  1. Islamic Awareness and Involvement: Recently we have been conducting quite a few interviews 🙂 .  Helping those who are interested to better understand our faith. These interviews include the Atlanta Journal Constitution in December 2015 and German National Radio, scheduled January 2016.  Based on the current climate, more are expected.  We also do things as simple as attending Jummah (our Friday religious services) together.   
  2. Environmental Awareness and Involvement: Our big effort in the area is working with Trees Atlanta.  This organization works to beautify areas of Atlanta that have been neglected as well as encourage the use of recycled products for landscaping.
  3. Educational Development: We have recently and hope to continue to support the annual Education Bowl held at Agnes Scott College.  This is an academic competition for High School Students. We also volunteer with several organizations including Baitul Salaam to provide Back to School supplies for Metro Atlanta children.
  4. Physical and Mental Health: This is a BIG pillar for the Alpha Chapter. We have held health fairs and hosted a seminar on HIV/Aids Awareness.  We also volunteer and participate in the WD Mohammed Race for Education.  We also have a Soror who competes in triathlons promoting our National Philanthropy, All Cancers Awareness. Another soror is a physician and gives community talks on various health issues.    
  5. Economic  Development and Indigent Support: We have worked the Trinity House Soup kitchen for a number of years.   
  6. Social Awareness and Involvement: This is an area where we have not had a huge presence in the Alpha Chapter but with crucial elections approaching and the current social climate for Muslims and Minorities in the US I’m sure this will change.

sisters

Sorority Lyfe: What future goals does Gamma Gamma Chi have in terms of expansion, your philanthropy, Greek life involvement, fighting Islamophobia, or spreading the word about the sorority?

Gamma Gamma Chi: Gamma Gamma Chi: Gamma Gamma Chi has recently established a new Board of Directors.  The immediate goal of the board is to evaluate the State of the Sorority and develop programs that will solidify our strengths, strengthen our weakness, create a stronger sisterhood as well as continue to promote a positive image of Muslim Women and Islam in general.

gamma gamma chi 4

Shout out to the lovely sisters of Gamma Gamma Chi! 

Read More...

6 Types of Rushers

If your sorority participates in continuous open bidding or informal recruitment in the coming months you’ll be meeting a whole new batch of potential new members. There are many different types of PNMs or rushers and I’m here to help you identify them to better know how to get to know them.

6. The Entitled Legacy 

kappa

This potential new member has a mom, sister, or other family member who was in your sorority and thinks she is therefore entitled to being a member. She has plans to “suicide” or write down only one house after the preference round and could be cheating herself out of finding the perfect fit with another sorority that could better fit her needs. This girl doesn’t trust the recruitment process and may not get into any sororities if she keeps up her bad behavior. Keep your eye out for this one!

5. The Rush Crush

bid day

This is the girl you know is absolutely perfect for your sorority. She has great conversations with all of your fellow members, has attended every pre-rush, information, tabling, and rush event, and her letters of recommendation are absolutely glowing.

4. The Party Girl 

biggie

This is the girl who immediately wants to know the amount of social functions your sorority attends. It’s only her first week on campus and she’s already been to parties at every frat house and live-out there is. She is a social butterfly but could easily pose a risk to the standards board if you give her a bid. She could also be the best social chair ever. So consider this girl but discuss any red flags that come up.

next

Read More...

Thoughts When Paying Dues

So, it’s that time again… chapter dues are posted.

scared

You’ve been dodging your Big’s ‘pay your sh*t’ texts all week and the last day has finally caught up to you.

mom

You look at your ‘payment due’ and lament the fact that you took the high road and offered to pay your own way through your sorority.

desk

You briefly wonder whether your pride is worth it… maybe you should just call Dad?

Dad

No. NO. You’re a strong, independent woman and you can DO THIS.

Beyonce

Carefully, you open the details of your transactions. You read the outlandish charges on your account and begin the inner war with your past self.

hiding

DAMMIT T-SHIRTS! YOU GET ME EVERY TIME!

ross

I mean did I REALLY need all those date shirts? He wasn’t even that much fun.

Plus, he ended up acting like a drunken fool and I had help him walk. It was like aiding a baby giraffe.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 3.13.27 PM

You swear to yourself that you will never purchase another date shirt again… though, even in this moment, you know it’s a lie.

liar

next

Read More...

13 Reasons Your Dog Would Make The Best Sorority Sister

Every time you go home for the holidays you wish your dog could live in your sorority house. I mean they are your best friend and companion no matter what so why shouldn’t they be your sister too? They’re already considered a part of your biological family.

13. They love the holidays just as much as you and your sisters do. 

holiday 2

They will gladly don their gay apparel, eat some figgy pudding, play with their dog toys all day, and nap while you freak out over new shoes, chocolate, and sorority sweatshirts on Christmas, Hanukkah, or even your birthday.

12. They’ll always be happy to see you when you get home. 

excited

When you’ve had a long day of classes, chapter, and work who better to come home to then your best dog friend? They will always be waiting with a smile and a big kiss.

11. They never miss the chance for a good photo-op. 

lemonade

Whether it’s your lemonade stand fundraiser for the local hospital or a powder puff football game to raise money for the Girl Scouts they will be there and ready for their close-up.

10. They’ll always eat pizza with you whether it’s at 1 pm or 2 am. 

pizza dog

They know as well as you do that every time is pizza time whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a case of the late night drunchies. They will eat your crusts or share the whole pizza with you and they won’t even care if you get pizza sauce on the bed. In fact they’re happy to help you clean it up.

9. They understand the importance of getting your beauty sleep. 

sleep 2

They love to be active but also know the importance of slowing down sometimes. If you curl up on the couch and fall asleep they will be right there with you ready to nap the day away. It’s important to take time to relax and they’ve taught you that.

8. They share your obsessions. 

war

Us sorority girls like a wide range of activities so just know whether you like football, Star Wars, or crafting that your dog will be right there with you watching and taking part in your obsessions.

7. They’ll always go to the gym with you or on a run to their favorite dog park.

schnau

You know if it’s in the area. Or even ten miles away. I mean that’s totally doable right? You do want them to socialize and make new friends don’t you?

next

Read More...

Why Getting Your Little Is The Best Christmas Present Around

Getting your little is a very special occasion. There is a lot of build-up involved with all the crafting, drinking, theme choosing, activity planning, and pairing. You may even be wrapping yourself up in Christmas wrapping paper to surprise your little with your presence upon your reveal. There are numerous reasons why getting your little is just like sorority Christmas for all the future bigs out there waiting.

I’m here to name just a few:

10. They’ll be in your life forever. 

four

Because it’s not just four years… it’s for life. You’ll love them forever and like them for always of course. Whether she transfers, loses sight of her purpose, or makes some bad decisions along the way, you’ll be there for her.

9. She will always give you the best advice. 

big lil 4

You might be her mentor, but she can teach you a thing or two as well. You most likely will be very close in age, so you will share similar experiences but have different takes. She may be good at knitting whereas you may be a pro at random football facts and history. Sharing with each other will only help the both of you become better people and sisters. The big-little relationship is all about this growth as sisters, students, community members, and individuals!

8. She will be there for you through thick and thin. 

gif

Whether you break up with your boyfriend, fail your midterm, break your leg, or have a big fight with your girlfriend, your little will be there for you because you would do the same for her. Just like your biological family, you would drop anything to help your sorority family.

7. You’ll get to share them with the rest of your sorority family! 

family 2

Your big, grandbig, and great grandbig will be just as excited as you to meet the new addition to your family! They will always be there to teach you how to be the best big you can be to the perfect little.

6. She will always compliment you when you really need it. swim

Sometimes you just need to hear that you look great in that swimsuit or that your little black dress does not make you look fat. Whether you’re feeling down or have gained a little winter weight from all those holiday cookies, she always thinks you look absolutely fantastic.

next

Read More...

10 New Year’s Resolutions for sorority girls

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition many of us practice at the end of every year. Why not make resolutions relating to your sorority for the new year since it takes up so much of your time, energy, and love?

Resolution #1: Spend more time with your family line.

line

If you’ve recently fallen out of touch with your sorority family line then now is the time to reach out! Whether you decided to study abroad for a term, started a new job, or were taking more credits than you were used to, sometimes it just happens. You realize you haven’t had a coffee date or talked with your big in forever. Just text them and set it up because they will absolutely understand. We’ve all been there.

Resolution #2: Get sent to standards less or not at all. 

standards

If you always forget to pay your dues on time or can’t stop embarrassing yourself at functions consider making this the year you shape up. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should want to be a better representation of the sorority you love and cherish so much.

Resolution #3: Spend less money on Starbucks. 

starbucks

Consider getting a coffee or espresso maker to cut down on how much you spend at your local Starbucks. Now don’t get me wrong; Starbucks is great, but if you’re getting a latte every day of the week that is going to add up. The money you could be spending on dues, spring break trips, or even apparel for your future grand little is being wasted when all you need to do is make a small change in your daily routine. Treat yourself with Starbucks every once and awhile but not every day.

Resolution #4: Finally master the sorority squat. 

squat

If you still haven’t mastered this perfect picture pose then this is the year. Your Instagram will thank you. Your sorority sisters will praise you.

Resolution #5: Go to more chapter study hours. 

studying

If you’ve been slacking off in going to chapter study hours consider attending them more in the new year. You may find the perfect study buddy for your giant lecture class or even a sister that you can work on a group project with. Chapter study hours are a resource that is often forgotten but it a privilege, so make ample use of it!

next

Read More...

An Open Letter To: The Boy I Thought I’d Love Forever

Every girl, at sometime in their life has a “him”, and every girl reading this, knows exactly who I am referring to, the boy who is always in the back of your mind, the one you’ll always love, the one that you’d probably go crawling back to if you had the chance, the one that you thought you had a future with? Yeah, him. We all have words we wish we could say to him, but this is what I would say if I had the chance.

Dear You,

You know exactly who you are, the boy that I thought was going to be my forever, and is now my never. If you saw me typing this now you’d probably think this was a letter begging for you back when in all reality it’s a letter full of I’m sorry’s, I love you’s and some thank you’s, too.

First things first, we met when we were fourteen, on October 9, 2011,  I met you.  We had met under really unfortunate circumstances. I was being forced to go watch my brother play a sport, that I now love and appreciate, football, while I was in the middle of an anxiety and or depression attack.

What you did not know was, I had done a very bad thing. I had sliced my mid to upper forearms with cold, steel slivers of pain. All of a sudden, I felt warm, crimson streams rushing down my arms. Thankfully they stopped before my mom came up to tell me it was time to go. The cuts were barely even noticeable. Looking back on this, I realize that this was really a cry for help, a way to cope for feelings that I truly, at the time, did not have any idea how to explain.

When I walked in I saw a group of my “friends” and some of the unfamiliar faces. I joined the group and said the typical greetings, until I saw you with pure fright in your eyes. I went up to you and asked you what was wrong, you could see the evident sadness. “Why? Why would you do such a harmful thing to yourself?”, you said slightly sliding my sleeve up. I did not have a response. You hugged me tight, as I released all my pain, in the form of tears onto your shoulder.

To this, I want to say, thank you. Thank you for being there, though you didn’t know me, you had a large impact on my night, but little did I know that you would impact my life in so many more ways. Thank you for the most amazing seventeen months, two weeks, three days and six hours, in which we had: two Halloweens, four birthdays, one day apart, two Christmases, two New Year’s kisses, two Valentine’s Day’s, an Easter and countless I love you’s. I am so grateful for you sticking around with me for as long as you did.

The next thing i need to say is, ironically, I love you. You never thought you’d see those words come from me ever again, right? Well that makes two of us. I now appreciate and love you for the lessons you have taught me along the way. You taught me a lot life lessons, even after we broke up. It’s been almost three years since the day you broke my heart. I still love you, I always will, it will never be the same way that the innocent fourteen-year-old girl loved you as a freshman in high school, but it’s a special kind of love, that only you will ever get from me.

The third thing I need to tell you is I’m sorry. I’m sorry for a lot of things. I’m sorry for making you think that you were my only source happiness,when you were just a large part of it.  I’m sorry for all those threats that my brother and his friends gave you in high school. I’m sorry that I was not what you needed at the time of us meeting. I’m just over all sorry.

I’m going to end this letter on a more positive note and write another thank you. Thank you for pushing me to follow my dreams, I wouldn’t be writing this without you, literally. Thank you for everything you did to help my depression and anxiety, because of you I am okay now. Thank you for showing me that love can be shown in so many different ways, Thank you for breaking my heart. Thank you for teaching me how to trust. Thank you for being in love with me when you were. Thank you for being my first kiss. Thank you for kissing me in the rain even though we both got sick afterward. Thank you.

Lastly, there are so many more I’m sorry’s, I love you’s and Thank you’s, but I will save those for another day.

With all my love,

The innocent girl that isn’t so innocent anymore

 

Read More...

10 Ways to Make Chapter Meetings more Fun

I’m sure we’ve all been to chapter meetings that have seemed like they dragged on forever. Your president goes over the to-do list for the term, chair members talk about upcoming events, and it just seems like the same old, same old. It’s not even really anyone’s fault. Sometimes chapters just get into a comfortable structure. Most of the time they work for what needs to get done but you may be looking to switch things up if they aren’t.

Here are some tips for ways to make chapter more fun:

10. Have a sister of the week or month award. 

sister of the month

Giving out awards that mean something help boost morale for sisters. Award sisters for being involved in recruitment, philanthropy, and ritual events. Those who really stand out in your sorority for how much work they put in and how much they care.

9. Have themed chapter meetings. 

chapter meeting

Think about having chapter meetings with a theme like Pajama Party, Ladies who Lunch, Twin Day, Famous Movie Couples, or something relating to your sorority families. Just have fun and that will make any mundane chapter meeting just a little more exciting!

8. Make meetings interactive. 

chapter 2

Try taking polls about recruitment themes, playing quick games, and keeping things lively and positive, no matter what. Discuss issues as they arise but also talk about the good things you’ve accomplished.

7. Have an educational skit night. 

skit night

Need a way to talk about rituals, chapter history, or recruitment in a fun way? Think about having a skit night put on by your executive board. Dress up in costumes, make up some dances, sing a couple songs, and mix in some facts. However you want to do it this is all about making chapter a little more fun especially for new members.

6. Work out together. 

fitness

Have at least 1-3 chapter meetings a term dedicated to health and wellness. You could have a nutrition expert speak, a fitness class put on by one of your sisters, a seminar on healthy eating, or play a video on self-esteem and mental health. I’m sure you have campus resources available to you that can be used. This is a great way to help your sisters create better habits and be healthier individuals.

next

Read More...

Being a black girl in a “white” sorority : The Breakdown

When girls are seniors in high school they usually go on they’re campus visit to the college they have been accepted to or will be accepted to shortly, that’s when they catch a glimpse of the sorority life that is on campus. Once they have visited these girls go onward to orientation. At my orientation all the sororities that  are part of campus had a table set up for us to come and check out. That is when I had a chance to have actual human interaction with the girls and when my first impression was set. I’m sure just like me, the girls went home and started creeping on these chapters. Whether they did their creeping on their national website, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Well in the south most sororities fill the stereotype of long hair, perfect skin to go with their perfect makeup, tanned bodies, an impeccable taste in clothing, and a smile that makes anybody want to hang out. An image that a lot of girls that are looking to obtain as soon as they step onto campus. It was something I was use to growing up with and something I was comfortable with. I guess people would call me an Oreo if you will. I went to school with majority of white students so a white sorority was something familiar. When I brought this up to my parents the first thing they said was to do whatever I wanted because I was 18 and I was able to make decisions on my own now. My two older sisters had a different opinion. they thought that I should join a sorority to where the majority of the members were black so I can be around more people that looked like my skin color.  Their reason was that I could find a guy who was in another black frat. When I heard that I was surprised that my dear sisters would even think of that. Then My parent’s opinion changed the further we got into summer. My mom thought I should honor my godmother by being in a black sorority since nobody in our immediate family went Greek. My father believed I should be in one because it would help with getting a job which is true, sorority life is great for networking.

Since I go to a smaller school, formal recruitment starts around the second week which meant I had time to make my final decision. Those weeks passed by and I chose to give formal recruitment a try. When I went to the first meeting I noticed a few black girls going through which gave me a little hope. I went through recruitment week, received and accepted my bid, and started my legacy. This is when things became a little complicated. On Monday’s all of Greek life, no matter what council you are in, dresses up just a way to start the week off right. For my sorority we called it Hottie Tottie Monday. So I was dressed up with my new member pin, sitting in the student center with one of my friends and his frat brothers when a girl walked up to me. She looked at me, then looked at my pin, then back to me and asked, “what sorority are you in?” I knew since she saw the ivy leaf she assumed I was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, so I corrected her with Alpha Phi. I could never forget her face of astonishment followed by, “Oh, well, why did you choose them?” I was taken back at this because I was under the assumption that everyone accepted Greek life….I was wrong. I replied the only way I knew how, “Because when I entered their house, they treated me like one of their own and it felt like I belonged there.” She just replied with an oh to match the eyes that were rolling to the back of her head and she added, “Hope you don’t regret your decision.” Then she dismissed herself to talk to the other groups of people that were there. I can honestly say that I was taken back and my feelings were hurt. My new sisters didn’t find it weird to have a black girl in their sorority so why would anybody else? Now this wasn’t the last time that I have been asked this question. Luckily I’ve had others to back me up when I couldn’t find the words.

I like being one of the few colored faces in my sorority. It gives me a chance to bring more diversity to my chapter. This past recruitment I’ve had black girls ask some of my sisters if the sorority even accepts black girls and that’s when I’m able to introduce myself and help them along with any questions that they may have. I’m comfortable where I have found my home. I love my sisters and I love being a sister. Because here we have no color wheel that we go by, as cheesy as it sounds, we like personality over all. I’ve tried to explain to my family and non Greeks that a sisterhood isn’t about color it is about bonding with a group of young women that hold the same values and ambitions as you do. Obviously they didn’t like that answer because what I always get back is a whatever. Yet every formal recruitment and informal recruitment I get the “look” that is like close to, “You’re and Alpha Phi, your not white??” It hurt and it sucks that i can’t help other people see and feel what I do. My sisters don’t have a problem with it so neither do I.

union hand in hand

Read More...

The Struggle of Finding the Perfect Christmas Present for Your Roommate(s)

Christmas is right around the corner and with that comes many things. Christmas trees, lights, music, traditions, food, parties, sweaters, and many other things that make us have a tingly feeling of joy inside. But one huge thing that comes with Christmas, is something we all love receiving, but can have some trouble with giving. That’s presents. And being college students, we have quite the list of people to shop for. And with most of us barely being able to afford our tuition, sorority dues, and meals, this can be stressful. And if you live in a dorm with a roommate(s), that just adds one more person to your list and more money (that you really don’t have) you potentially have to spend. You’re thinking “More stress. Great.”

Yes, giving gifts can be a very stressful task when done wrong. But when done right, it can make you go from just a good friend to a great friend. One thing to keep in mind is to try to find something that the person actually needs. When looking for a gift for someone you live with, this shouldn’t be too challenging. I mean you do LIVE with them. You have a bit of an advantage over most. You get to see their struggles and hear them express their complaints. You also get to learn their likes and dislikes fairly quickly. Therefore, you wouldn’t think finding them the perfect present would be such a daunting job. However, for some of us, it is SOOOOOO DIFFICULT.

So, for those of you who may be having trouble finding that perfect gift for you roommate(s), here are some tips I came up with that helped me loads, and I hope may be of some assistance to you.

First off, don’t over think it. Chances are your roommate(s) are freaking out just as much as you. Especially if this is your first Christmas together. Because you don’t have experience with it. You’re not really sure how much you should spend. You’re not sure if you should get something meaningful or practical. Something homemade or bought. Would a gift card to their fav coffee shop be too impersonal? There are so many questions and if this is your first year giving each other gifts, they may be difficult to answer.

DON’T SWEAT IT. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to answer these questions on your own, try talking to your roommate(s). Ask them about setting a budget on the gifts (after all, we all are broke college students). See where their heads at as far as what type of gift and don’t be afraid to set up some rules or guidelines! It will make things so much easier for the both of you. Because, let’s be honest, no one needs added stress at this time of the year (Finals are already doing their fair share of giving us anxiety).

Once you’ve discussed the budget and rules for you gift, start looking! As I said earlier, you do live with this person. You should know them fairly well. And if you don’t, just think of what you would like to get. You’re both college students, probably near the same age, and I’m sure have other things in common. Use that as a guideline when searching and you’re bound to come up with some solid ideas.

If you’re still struggling with what to get, Pinterest is never a bad option. Just search “Gift Ideas for Roommates” or “Christmas Presents for Roommates.” There will be dozens upon dozens of different posts and lists to help you out and get some creative juices flowing. And if that’s too basic, be more specific in your search. That will help you find exactly what you’re looking for for whatever personality type your roommate may be. Pinterest has never led me astray.

By now, if you still literally have NO IDEA whatsoever of what to get, you should probably just go the safe route. Gift cards or even cash is never a bad thing. Especially if you aren’t extremely close with your roommate. You may feel bad or feel like this is too impersonal, but when have you ever been disappointed about receiving money? Exactly.

Well I hope some of these tips might have calmed your nerves and given you some ideas and a base to work from. Christmas is coming fast! So good luck and get shopping (or crafting)!

Read More...

Why Being a Rho Chi Gives You the Ultimate FOMO

There is glitter in the air, the faint sounds of chanting and crafts filling the room, this can only mean one thing, recruitment season is coming soon.  Whether you love recruitment or hate it, this is what every sorority girl lives for.  This is the happiest and most stressful time of year but in the end we all have the joy of receiving brand new girls.  While this time is clearly stressful for everyone, there is one group of people who rarely get thanked for making our lives as easy as possible.  We know them well, some may even be your sisters, but at this time, they are Greek Life’s Recruitment Counselors.
6ae6288d508b30d3814818820c241fca
This past semester, I had the honor of serving as a Rho Chi for my Panhellenic community.  While this was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had within Greek life, it was also the most severe case of FOMO that I have ever had.  For those of you who don’t know, Rho Chi’s are “disaffiliated” from their chapters for between one and three months and during that time, they are not allowed to be seen in public with their sisters or attend sorority functions.  This would be difficult for anyone but Rho Chi’s have a special love for Greek Life which tends to make it especially hard.
As any college student can tell you, they want to be part of everything.  In a perfect world, you would never miss a party, a dinner or any event and you would never have silly things like sleep and homework to hold you back.  But the life of a Rho Chi is all about watching from a distance.  You are at every Greek wide event and spend your time talking about sisterhood but all of it has to take place across the room from all of your sisters who have made your sorority experience so wonderful to talk about.  So you stand there and encourage wonderful new college women to join Greek life and long for the day that you can re-join along with them.
anigif_optimized-31813-1431444944-25
The experience of being a Rho Chi provided me with many things.  It taught me a lot about recruitment and communication, it furthered my love for Greek life and my campus and it gave me the ability to learn a lot about myself.  However, it also showed me how lost I am without my chapter.  I realized that I missed sitting with them for meals, I missed going out with them, and I missed the small encounters with sisters that can sometimes just make my day.  My only saving grace during these times were the other wonderful Rho Chi’s including a few from my own chapter.  They became my home away from my sorority home.
While this was a relatively consistent factor of this experience, it began its peak during the actual week of recruitment.  The most difficult parts are sending girls to your chapter’s room and not smiling and cheering on your sisters, controlling the desire to recruit the girls you meet for your own chapter, and being on the outside of the always emotional preference ceremony.  All of these things together pull hard at your heart strings and cause you to love your chapter more than ever.
anigif_enhanced-buzz-24875-1375904743-24
While all of this FOMO is a short time hardship, it is all worth it in the end.  Helping younger girls to find their home, renewing the love you have for your chapter and running into the arms of all of your sisters at the end of the week makes this an experience that you will never forget.  If you are lucky enough to be a Recruitment Counselor for your campus’ Greek life, remember that although you may experience severe FOMO, you will be able to change lives and improve your community.  So stay positive and make the most of this amazing experience that few people get to have.

Read More...