In college, I was involved in a ridiculous amount of organizations. Dashing in between classes with papers trailing behind me and my cup of coffee spilling everywhere, I was constantly doing something besides merely attending school. My dorm room existed just for sleeping purposes and to possibly grab snacks before rushing around again as I was tabling for organizations outside the cafeteria, sprinting to a sporting event in my dance/cheer costume or attending a board meeting.
Needless to say, sleep was pretty much nonexistent during my college career. If you didn’t believe me, the copious amount of bags under my eyes gave it away.
My slew of extracurricular actives included the cheer and stunt team, the dance team, writing for the school paper, Habitat for Humanity Historian, Circle K International Vice President, American Marketing Association Vice President of Communications, the Communication Study Society and being on the executive board for Relay for Life and Greenfeather.
On top of all this, I worked part time and, of course, attended school. I’m living proof that overachiever, oldest child syndrome does indeed exist.
Because of my involvement, members of Greek life assumed I was in a sorority, only to be stunned when I told them I was a Gamma Delta Iota, otherwise known as a GDI.
This, ladies and gentlemen, stands for a God Damn Independent.
Now, I’m not putting down Greek life, discrediting or undermining it by any means. On the contrary, I’m a huge advocate for it and the positive charity that derives form it. Not to mention, fraternity formals are f*cking fun (I attended 10 in my collegiate career, thank you very much).
I’m just pointing out that there are various ways to get involved in Greek life without actually joining.
Sure, I felt a slight pang of envy witnessing crowds of beaming females rushing to their sorority letters while donning all white. Hell, I even rushed 1 1/2 times but never committed.
Why, you ask? It’s because in some weird ways, I involved in Greek life. In addition, the price of attending a private liberal college is expensive enough without sorority fees tacked onto it.
I’m very proud to say that I have never experienced any negativity or ostracization from fraternities or sororities. I’ve been welcomed to spearhead mainly Greek events, I’ve been friends’ dates to fraternity formals (Did I mention I’ve been to ten?), and participated in silly dance-a-thons.
I’ve laughed over late night/early morning breakfasts with fraternities (Thank you Phi Sig, the Damn Proud), accompanied fun trips with Greek members, bought fraternity boys at charity auctions and attended numerous amounts of hilariously themed parties (because, college). One of my dresser drawers cannot completely shut due to the overflowing abundance of Greek life themed shirts. And I refuse to give any one of them away or throw them out.
There’s no secret to getting involved in Greek life without paying membership dues but I will say this- get involved in your campus. Make friends. Laugh, study your ass off, take the walk of shame, and skimp on some sleep because as fast as college started, it will all be over.
It’s true that I never truly experienced everything Greek life has to offer because I was not a legitimate member, but it’s also true that those four years were still phenomenal. Don’t believe what you hear – not all of Greek life is full of hazing, social shunning and backstabbing. I’ve made and retained numerous comrades both in and out of sororities and fraternities.
College is what you make it, and Greek life is no exception. So make the best of it.