7 Ways Being In A Sorority Prepares You For Life After College

Thought Catalog

It’s almost back to school time which means many young men and women across the country will find themselves making a decision about joining Greek life. While it’s not for everyone, being in a sorority changed me for the better. It has been over a year since I graduated and joined the “real world,” and I can honestly say, Greek life taught me valuable skills and lessons that I have carried from college to post-grad life.

1. Time Management

When there is a philanthropy event on Thursday, a chapter meeting on Sunday, and homecoming activities throughout the week, you sometimes wonder when you’ll have time to sleep or study. With the help of my trusty planner, I became a master of managing my days. Now, I hardly ever feel overwhelmed because I have experience being busy, prioritizing, and getting things done on time.

2. Communication Skills

I can talk to…

View original post 687 more words

Advertisements

Kappa Delta: Top Ten Reasons Why I Still Love Kappa Delta

of love & roses

(As with previous Kappa Delta posts, the following article was written from a fraternity man’s point of view. And as always, it’s a heartfelt shoutout to Kappa Delta’s undergraduate & alumnae members.)

Here are ten reasons why yours truly still loves Kappa Delta as much as he does:

1. Kappa Delta’s undergraduate & alumnae members keep on inspiring & achieving GREATness.

2. Kappa Delta’s undergraduate & alumnae members keep making a GREAT impact as exemplary leaders, contributors, mentors, role models & difference-makers for their chapters, their colleges/universities, their colleges’/universities’ Greek communities, their local communities & the world.

3. Kappa Delta’s undergraduate & alumnae members keep on setting their standards & expectations high when it comes to academics, recruitment, philanthropy, service, leadership development, membership development, active involvement on campus/in the local community & living their Sorority’s values to the fullest.

4. Kappa Delta’s undergraduate & alumnae members are many miles from…

View original post 232 more words

The First Year

And Like a Flash of Lightning, It Was Gone…

My first year of college that is. It seemed as if it just began. I clearly remember my parents dropping me off at school and starting my trek to my new home worried about what the next year would bring. What I was given this year was much more than I had expected. I was given freedom, opportunity, and new experiences. I gained so many lifelong friends. I broadened my horizons in ways I had never anticipated I would. I had struggles that I overcame with the help of my supportive family and friends. I made my first large transition in my life and realized that everything truly would  be okay. I made crazy memories and had long talks. I joined new clubs and learned new facts. I started the journey to my future career. Here’s what I learned my first year of college. Everyone has different stories and experiences, so here are mine:

It’s okay to tell people no.

This is something I am in the process of learning. Many people are going to tell you what you should be doing, ask you for favors, and argue that you should be doing things differently. I am very much of a “yes man” rather woman, but you know what I mean. I do not like to disappoint people or have them put out, even if that mean I am. Yes I know, I need to stop this and I’m trying to! At one point this past semester I realized I was not happy. Here I was attending about seven meetings a week. I only thoroughly enjoyed about five of them, still a lot, but I did not like one of the meetings I was in. It was for a club that I did not fit into and I was not doing anything for and it was doing anything for me either. So I left. I realized nothing was interesting about it. It was not helping my future and was wasting my precious time. It took me a while to leave because I felt that I had to stay and help for our fundraiser,  but after that, I was gone.

I have had other experiences where I have told people yes, even when I had other plans because I want something they have, experience. At this point in my life, I need to start networking and gaining skills I may not have previously had. Included in those seven meeting, three were for committees I found myself on. While I had applied for all three, I did not think I would actually be on all three. I grew up learning to apply for everything then I could tell people no if I wanted to. Unfortunately, that is not how my brain works. I like to commit myself to what I have said I will do. Thankfully the three committee’s were fun and gave me some much needed experience for  my future.

My point being, you can say yes to everything, but if you do not want to do it, or do not absolutely love it, leave it! Nothing and no one is saying you have to continue with something you dislike. Many people, including myself have a tough time understanding this as we all love to be “people pleasers”. However, how can you be successful in pleasing others, if you are not pleased yourself? Food for thought.

Finding Yourself

Yes, this sounds like it will be cheesy, but that’s okay! I can honestly say I became more independent and confident this year. For the first time in my life I was able to call the shots on what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it 24/7. Let me tell you, that was the best feeling ever! I was able to sleep in (or not), stay out late (or watch movies with my friends), study when I wanted to, and go walking around when the mood hit. What I am saying is, when you’re used to having a set schedule like you do in high school, there is not much room for doing what you want in between family obligations and extracurricular activities. With the freedom of college, you can do what you want, when you want essentially. There were so many times I would go get coffee and sit in the library, doing homework/ people watching. Having the option to do this or not is so nice. At least having the option to do what you want is way nicer than not having an option at all! A big part of college is finding yourself of sorts, I believe that I did start some sort of “journey to finding myself” this year and cannot wait to see what else I find out!

Surround yourself well

This can be taken many different ways. I’m talking about two different one’s: people and living area. I surrounded myself with people who I had the same interests as. We had similar backgrounds so getting along was easy. Finding people who you get along with so well makes you more excited about what you’re doing. Going from high school where you know everyone pretty well to college where you don’t know many people at all is scary (I was lucky to have one of my best friends go with me)! I know that had I surrounded myself by people who were toxic friends, my year may not have been as successful, I may have dropped out, or done poorly in classes. There is no telling where I would be without the amazing support system I had through my friends at school. They made this year absolutely perfect!

311920b8022d11e3bee422000a9f14ea_7

My picture wall last semester!

Something else I found immensely helpful was surrounding myself in an environment that I felt like I could study in (or I tried…I had good intentions!) They were better last semester honestly. If you do not like the area you live in, change it! Just like I said earlier, if you do not like something or the way it is going, you need to change it to something you do like! It can be slightly distracting if you have a mess and you are trying to study. So that is what I tried to prevent as well as I could!

Anyway, the past year has been a blast. I had so many great memories that I was blessed with and good friend’s who I could count on. i’m not sure what I would have done without any of it.

I’ll be back soon,

Beth:)

 

College: Why I Should Have Listened

You have probably heard this before, but just to reiterate, college is a much larger change than you would have anticipated. It does not matter what your class ranking was in high school, where you graduated from, or even if you have great studying skills. Yes, I’m speaking to you, high school senior Beth.

I came to college knowing I was going to have a tough time. I’m at a university driven towards educating engineers and having a lot of my classes calculus based. Let me just throw out there, I am not an engineer. I never was when I came here. My university also happens to be one of the top business (what I’m studying!) schools in my state, but that title is hardly noticed when such a vast majority of the students come here for the engineer programs.

Before I even came to school to start my education, we had a preview and orientation that we took a math placement exam at. While I was taking my exam, the chancellor spoke to the parents in the room and stated, “You will see some of the lowest grades from kids during their first year of college. Your kids are some of the brightest from the country, otherwise they would not be here. However, many of your kids probably never had to study in high school or did very little. The courses here are very tough no matter what your major and you need to prepare your kids for this”. Upon hearing this, I guess the idea of ‘college’ had yet to sink in.

My first semester went okay. I did not have much trouble in my classes, yet, I did not receive the grades I thought I had deserved in some of my classes. I begun to think the statement the school had made was maybe right. Maybe, I actually had to study a lot more. Maybe I needed to find some new studying skills. As the semester ended and winter break came, I pushed that thought out of my mind and started the second semester thinking I would be okay in all my classes. I would soon find out that I would encounter one of the worst semesters of my life so far.

Here’s some insight to my current semester:

Microeconomics: I should have realized when my teacher said that this class was “Calculus based” I was going to have a bit of a problem. Microeconomics is probably one of the toughest classes I have ever taken. Our book is written by professors from our school and makes just about as much sense as a book written in French. My teacher is so sweet, yet not good at clarifying what she is talking about when I have gone to her office hours.

College Algebra: I thought I was going crazy for thinking that this class was difficult. Upon speaking to other classmates and friends about it I got more insight about the class. Remember what I said about this school being engineering dominant? Welcome to the engineering weed-out class. Evidently they did not think about us non-engineers when they designed the course. You know there is a problem when Calculus 3 students have to help you with your homework and they cannot even do it. Thank goodness for my A on all of my homework otherwise I would not be getting out of that class alive.

These are the two main problem areas. The rest of my classes are going well and keeping me from losing my mind and thinking that I am incompetent in my studies. The take home message from this is that even the easiest of classes are weed-out classes and make you go crazy.

I would say a hard part for me going away for college was adjusting to the environment. First semester I had to learn to live with a roommate and two suite-mates and an entire floor of people I did not know. Just when I got used to that I changed to another environment, one even crazier than the previous: a sorority house. No this is not like you see in the movies, it is not that bad. No where near, but it was still a big enough of a change to throw me off for a little bit. My prediction for next year is that all will be better, environment wise because I will finally be used to it. If anyone tells you changing environments will not mess with you, even slightly, they are wrong.

The stress of college can make you yearn for high school when you truly had no care in the world. With extracurricular activities, class, and other event thrown in, it can be difficult to manage everything, especially if you have not ever had to. I kept the petty clubs off my list and only joined ones I knew would benefit my future. I joined Kappa Delta which will help with networking, leadership skills, learning how to work (and live) well with others, and helps you figure out your values more. I am a member of our Panhellenic Council which is the governing body for the sororities at my school. Through that I have already taken on leadership positions. Which, as a freshman, is a big deal. This is helping me to better my public speaking skills and acting a stepping stone to one day (hopefully) be president of my sorority. The last activity I joined was one I had to interview for was a leadership academy through my school. This is an incredible opportunity that I was given. We have had many guest speakers come in a tell us how to get where we want to go in life. One of out speakers was a CEO of a software company. I emailed him after his presentation asking him for advice because I would like to be a CEO one day myself. He gave me great advice and even mailed me a book he enjoyed. Without the opportunity to join the leadership academy I would not have been able to network myself in this amazing way. Speaking of networking, we had a woman from our career opportunities office speak to us about networking and how we should do it and how to get the most benefit out of your connections after the fact. She also stated that employees are no longer just looking for “student” they want “involved students”. So if that does not just put more onto your already full plate as a college student, I really have no idea what does!

Thankfully I have been able to survive this year. I have one more month left of my year of college. While I have been so stressed out and not known what to do at certain points this semester, I also know that it will not be the end of my college career. This year has certainly been an eye opener. Coming from high school where I never had to study and graduated with honors, college has been a reality check for sure. I know that this year has just barely prepared me for the future in my career. I know that the next three years will do even more for me than I can even imagine. I know that I am definitely not alone in my struggle in classes (as all my super-smart freshman friends have had their own breakdowns of sorts). I know that this will only make me a stronger student in the end of it all.

Wish me luck for this last stretch of school.

Beth:)

 

What I Learned During My First Semester of College

College-Students-mailing-lists

There are many new experiences that come with beginning college. Some that are life changing, others, not so much.

This first semester taught me a lot about myself, what I wanted out of my life, and many other lessons.

Stand Up

Going to college means you have to be an adult *insert fetal position and scream here*. Becoming an adult is probably the scariest thing. You feel as if your childhood is out the window and that you are all by yourself. At first I felt like that, but then I realized I was the furthest thing from it. I came to college with a really good friend who I would consider one of my best friends now. My suite-mates also became large influences in my life. They have the same morals and values that I do and it made it easier to make the transition from high school to college nicer. I have never liked the idea of underage drinking. My suite-mates agreed with those values and it made this semester so much more enjoyable.

By standing up for what I believed in, I found a lot more people who were on my side than those who were not. I found friends who had the same similar interests that I did and this was just by standing up for my views! You do not need to conform to the college stereotypes at all. Be yourself and if that self does not like to do something, do not feel pressured. Who seriously cares? Be happy with yourself, others will too!

High School Did NOT Prepare Me

I know that statement sounds somewhat aggressive, but it truly is not. I was able to get through high school pretty well. I was a good student and studied, but studying in high school is completely different from studying in college. For example, reviewing your notes once or twice is sufficient studying in high school. In college you need to make flash cards of some sort, have study groups, read and highlight your textbooks, go to all of your classes, talk to you professors during their office hours, maybe cry a little because of the stress, then review again! ***side note… not all studying is THAT stressful, find what works for you!***

The first few weeks of college were the most stressful of my life so far. There I was with a professor who talked a mile a minute trying to scramble my notes down in my college ruled notebook because you know, college… I was scared out of my mind. All I could think about was, “How on Earth am I going to do this for the next four years?”. I learned that no amount of honors/AP/college credit classes could have prepared me for this jumble of words, notes, and PowerPoint slides that were being thrown my way all at once. Adjusting to this style of note taking was not as bad as I had expected it would be. It was a gradual change I never noticed, but looking back I tell.

On a slightly funny note, one way high school did not prepare me IN THE SLIGHTEST was the fact that college campuses are not enclosed little havens. No, you have to walk outside every few hours. No amount of Rain/wind/sleet/snow will stop your voyage to your class. High school students have it sooo easy! You walk inside and do not have to leave for six hours. Good luck with that in college!

The Library WILL Be Your Bestie

Sorry childhood BFFL you have been replaced with the library. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to figure out that I should go to the library. I thought studying in my room was perfectly fine until I realized the mass amount of distractions that were in there were not benefiting my studies. One day I decided to try something new and went to study in the library. I found a study room and put headphones in and turned my ‘Classical for Studying’ station on (Pandora). I was so productive! I wrote a speech, made a study guide that was 8 pages singe spaced and typed, did all my math homework for the entire week, and worked on a project. Without having so many things to distract me from what I was at school for, I was able to get everything I needed completed in a timely manner.

The library is also nice when you want to escape from loud people. Dorms can be very noisy and obnoxious at points and libraries give you a nice little place to go and relax without having to worry about excessive noise. I highly recommend it.

Time Management and Organization is Key

I will be the first to admit that time management is one of my huge flaws, but I have become immensely better at it since I went away to school. You really need to know how to manage your time well when you go to school. Between classes, extra curricular activities, and you personal life, time management skills come in handy. It is something that I believe cannot be taught to you, it is something that needs to be experienced. You do not understand how time management works until you have a place to use it.

Now, organization, I wrote a piece about this before school started about how I was keeping myself organized. You can read it HERE. In this I discussed many ways to keep your self organized in your new college life. I bought a dry erase board calendar and it was probably one of the best purchases I made for my room! It made it easy for me to see what was going on for the upcoming week in a single glance. I color coded it so all my tests, sorority activities, homework, and meetings were all different colors and it really helped keep me on top of all my commitments!

You Don’t Need Everything

Before school started I also wrote a piece about college shopping and everything you needed. Now, I am going back on a few items that did not work out for me. Maybe they will for you! Don’t let that discourage you! You can read that HERE.

The items I’m going back on include:

  1. Handheld mirror
  2. Pizza cutter
  3. Can opener
  4. E-Reader
  5. TV

These did not come in handy for me. I am not sure why I bought a handheld mirror. A pizza cutter and can opener were useless for me because I had a meal plan. I did not have time to read because of my studies. I watch all the shows I enjoy on the internet.

These are all useful, they just were not for me!

There are Things You WILL Need

Here are the random things you would have never thought you needed at school

  1. Highlighters
  2. Tool Kit
  3. Sports Equipment

The kind of highlighters I found that I like are Bible highlighters. They don’t bleed through your textbook pages and work so well! A tool kit comes so in handy! I cannot explain how many times I put mine to use this semesters. Sports equipment is great to have with you. I play tennis and took my racquet. BEST IDEA EVER. There was a girl who lived one room down from me who played also so we got together a few times and took study breaks to go play. My other friend from high school also plays and so we would go play for a while as well!

Fitness is Hard, but Worth It

Trying to fit in a workout is rough while in college. It worked out for me until mid-terms hit and all of a sudden I had no more time for even an hour workout. I wished I had been able to find more time and next semester I am going to make it my goal to do so. When a college gives you free access to a full gym, it is kind of silly to not use it to your full benefit. However, if you are totally, 100% busy, then it is a little more acceptable. I recommend using those great time management skills you will get in school to figure out the appropriate amount of time to spend there!

I think what made it more difficult for me was that I got burned out on working out. I went every day for about an hour for nearly a month and a half and then I decided to skip one day and never went back. It is really tough to try to convince yourself that what you are doing is so worth it and will benefit you in so many ways.

I had a nice discussion with my cousin about all of this and she came up with a nice solution, what I should have done is try to get the gym three to four times a week. My method of forcing myself to go everyday and feeling guilty if I did not go was a bad way to go about it. Her method is what I will be aiming for next semester.

In addition to fitness is the food choices. College’s just love to fatten you up! We all know about the Freshman 15. Well no wonder it happens! With the amount of awful food options there is and the stress college students face, it is no wonder we gain so much weight! College students today have more stress than at any other point in history. Pleasing family, impressing our future bosses with out impeccable GPA’s, and being naturally high achieving, it is no wonder that maintaining a stable weight during college is difficult for some. The pressure to be perfect in our ultra-perfectionist society is a contributing factor in what destroys one’s weight.  I know I have been more stressed this semester than I have been in a while. I know I did not always make the best food choices, but is that necessarily entirely my fault?

What out school’s need is better options for meals. Wilted lettuce, high sodium foods, and oil sodden foods are not going to be able to help prevent the Freshman 15. At least with better food options, what we eat can be put on the back burner for our weight gain.

Now stress, what I learned about stress this semester was ways to control it. Professor’s want their class to be your only focus (or that is how it feels sometimes).

Ways I found to aid in my stress relief were:

  1. Naps-a classic way to just get away from it all.
  2. A few deep breaths-Really. The extra oxygen to your brain relieves you bit!
  3. Exercise Get those endorphins pumping throughout your body!
  4. Stretches relieve tension
  5. Laugh- When I stressed I get on Pinterest and go to the humor section for a little bit and then I feel so much better!

I had so many great experiences this first semester! There is a huge benefit in going away from school! You learn how to care more for yourself, learn what you like and dislike, and find out your parents are right on way more than you will ever admit!

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go away for school and am able to go the college I am at.

Hopefully you found benefit to this post!

What did you learn during your first semester of college?

Let me know!

Beth:)

Why I Decided to Rush

I’ve wanted to be in a sorority as long as I can remember. Elle in Legally Blonde was my idol growing up. Not necessarily because she was in a sorority, but because she became independent through the movie. She was inspiring. I recall from a young age wanting those experiences in my future. This is why I rushed for a sorority.

Many people tried to talk me out of it saying, “Why would you want to buy friends?”. It was never about “buying friends” for me, it was about creating lifelong memories with people who I could call my sisters. All I ever wanted was a group of girls who I would know would stand by me 100% of the time. I’ve found so many sisters who have been there for me and I am so thankful.

A sorority is a bond that one should strive to keep going throughout their entire life.

May you all find the same joy in your sororities that I have found in mine.

Beth 🙂

Sorority Crafting

I love crafting and sorority girls know how to do craft very well!

Here are my favorite crafts via Pinterest of course!

0e2a852a2357d044a02fafc133726514 2f46ceb6200f850e115acf15dea2d39d 3f06675eba9aa143183438bcaaeaa485 4a390ba952b3c22fcb588ea4edb5bfb3 7f59044db597c420fe0d00976e4fc4d5 8a82e10102da6ca3b145a5548e17c366 8f21c3bb244b4390339a321c54c6f7ba 62efb9aaaa88edf15fc9246536fde9df 555d250ce756d6c2df743c3582a0df67 7328cbc97ade5b34ef9d845cb4a99bbd 7943c9167e05d41e27a2f798d90f3f28 a2a838efe2b2bc26d02b1d1df09a57ec ceb71a76523bdca1d07da8a1f8b39514 df266af64ffb6ec399f495d61be84e6c e2b433bd2585418f1a7c2eb1180f96bc

These are great for Big/Little projects!

I’m planning on doing some of my own crafting in the next few months so I will definitely put my own ideas up soon!

love,

Beth:)