I was wrong. What I learned about Greek life

Ashley Major

College is a significant time in our lives as it is a learning experience, an identity-establishing crash-course and the first time we are estranged from the familiar – all at once.

By the time graduation rolls around, most students have settled in quite nicely: They’ve formed friendships, cultivated their academic career and have some idea of their next steps in life. All of this is important but, it is also the minimum of what our college experience is capable of teaching us.

Our campus is saturated with unique opportunities of involvement and interaction with people outside of the classroom. VCU’s Greek life community has perhaps taught me this invaluable lesson the best.

While I was never the typical sorority girl, often rolling my eyes at their seemingly permanent pep, I learned the hard way what this community of people means to my college experience and me.

After three semesters of continually doubting if being in a sorority was the right route for me, I made the decision to take a break and figure it out. During this hiatus, having lived life both in and out of the organization, I can wholeheartedly conclude that the experience Greek life has given me is irreplaceable and incomparable.

Belonging to a community of 3,000 students eager to bond with one another and navigate life’s adventures gives one a sense of indescribable support and motivation. While many might look back upon their collegiate experience and wonder what else they could have done, involved students often reflect with a fond sense of accomplishment and nostalgia.

While students often find their niche in things like athletics, outdoor adventure groups, religious organizations or writing for the school paper, VCU’s Greek life community brings this sense of belonging to another level.

Greek life is consumed with working toward the common goal of experience, leadership and fun within the community. One becomes enthralled with the zest for experience as you feed off of each other’s ambitious nature, suddenly realizing that you are capable of doing just about anything with the help of 3,000 supporters.

Involvement in a community of positive and motivated thinkers breaks the mundane routine of school, work and homework as your Wednesday nights are suddenly filled with laughs over T-shirt designs with 40 close friends.

Getting involved in VCU’s community outside of academia is a chance to build upon oneself as a person rather than just a student.

One will learn things about oneself as a leader, a member and an individual, often realizing your full potential in the reflection of each other.

VCU’s large population in particular seems less overwhelming as Greek life narrows it down to a sizable community, often giving students the comfort they seek in the big city.

Looking back on my college experience, I will remember the changes we made in each other’s lives as well as in the community. Months of networking and late nights pay off when you are standing in front of a charity handing them a check for $5,000 after a fundraiser your organization held.

Being swarmed by a group of screaming and proud sisters at the finish line of the Monument 10K or having 20 sympathetic sisters driving hours to console you and your family after a tragic loss are all moments unique to being part of the Greek life community.

While it may all sound quintessential and expected of this overly enthusiastic bunch, these genuine moments will be remembered above anything else.

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