By Veronica Townsend
Distinguished Young Woman of Delaware for 2011
Entering college allows one the chance to experience joining something much bigger than themselves. In fact, this group does not just exist within one school, but many across the country. This concept, known as the sorority, has recently entered my life and has made more of an impact than I could ever imagine. “Going Greek,” although I am still new to Greek life at my school, is already one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I encourage everyone, whether you plan on joining/have already joined/have absolutely no desire to rush, to hear me out and see what Greek life is all about.
As a student at the University of Delaware, I have a very full plate. I’m a member of the All-Girl cheerleading squad, the Honors Program, am captain on my floor, am a contributor for UDress magazine (a fashion publication) and more. Greek life definitely exists at my school, but it still is a small percentage of student life here at UD. Formal rush does not occur until the spring, so I had time to settle in during the fall and truly enjoy my time at college, besides working my butt off in my classes to ensure I excelled. Once the spring semester started, formal rush began, and we had the chance to register. In high school, if you told me I was going to be in a sorority, I probably would have laughed at you. I was always so about being an individual and I believed all the stereotypes of sororities that were out there. However, I definitely have a fear of missing out, and as college started to pass by, I grew more and more curious about the chance of rushing and finding a group of girls I could call my sisters. At our first official meeting for formal recruitment, the Panhellenic Council members played this video, and my mind was changed for good:
After going through the extensive process of recruitment, and after four weeks of my new member period, I am now an official sister of the sorority Alpha Xi Delta. Although I have only had AZD in my life for a few weeks, I feel as though it has already changed me for the better. I have certainly gained real sisters through the girls in my pledge class, and with the older girls already in the sorority. I cannot wait for next year, where I am living in the AZD house, and to one day hold a leadership position within the sorority and help make a positive contribution to the fabulous sisterhood we possess.
So, why should you go Greek? Take a look at this list and see all the absolutely wonderful components that make joining a sorority absolutely magical.
1) Sisterhood – Joining a sorority allows you to gain a whole new family. Despite the belief that a sorority is about “paying to have friends”, a sorority is truly about gaining sisters that share common values and beliefs that you do and who will always have your back no matter what. Many people may think that a sorority consists of girls that are all the same, but this is absolutely NOT true! Girls throughout my sorority come from a variety of different backgrounds, majors, interests, likes, dislikes, and much, much more! The diverse group of girls that is brought together to represent one cause and love is truly what makes everyone so close and is what a family is all about. Not only do you get the sisters in your pledge class and beyond, but you gain a BIG sister! We recently had big-little week where my big sister came and spoiled me for an entire week, whether she decorated my room and had boys deliver cupcakes to me, she certainly displayed her love and I am SO blessed to be a part of her family. No matter what happens and no matter how much time passes by, she will always be my big sister.
2) Philanthropy – While sisterhood may bring us all closer, philanthropy is what makes us better people. Each Greek organization has a philanthropy that they hold near and dear to their heart, and they constantly work to make a positive contribution to the world by fundraising and participating in events. Not only does each Greek organization have their own philanthropy for which they advocate, but each sorority and fraternity attend events put on by other Greek groups on campus in order to support them and be sure their philanthropy succeeds! Alpha Xi Delta’s philanthropy is Autism Speaks, and throughout the semester we will be working closely with them in order to raise money and awareness. Philanthropies such as these truly open our eyes and allow us to use our God-given talents to touch the lives of others. Last week, a group of learning-disabled children came to UD to put on a play for Greek organizations on campus. If I hadn’t gone Greek, I wouldn’t have been able to witness this truly magical and enthusiastic group of kids that memorized their own lines and even came up with the idea and story lines for these plays. I’m looking forward to being able to make a great impact in my local and national community with Greek philanthropy events!
3) Social Benefits
– Now that I am sister of Alpha Xi Delta, I will get to experience loads of fun events, dances, competitions, and more throughout my time at the University of Delaware. All this is well and good, but I’m all about meeting new people! Not only does going Greek give you the opportunity to learn and get close to a whole new group of women, but every Greek organization on campus. Since I am an Alpha Xi Delta, I am sisters with other AZD girls all across the United States. Imagine the networking opportunities available! If you attend a big school like I do, joining a Greek organization truly makes the campus smaller and allows you to meet some lifelong friends.So, whether you are feeling compelled to go Greek or not, I hope you are aware of the multitude of benefits that can arise from joining a sorority. I’m so incredibly glad I was able to rush and find a group of girls I can call my sisters, and I’m more than looking forward to my college years as a member of Alpha Xi Delta. Going Greek has opened my eyes and has shown me that sororities aren’t just about wearing letters and going to parties, but rather about bettering the community, your sisters around you, and ultimately, yourself.
Veronica Townsend is a college freshman at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware majoring in Fashion Merchandising. Originally from Dagsboro, Delaware, Veronica was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Delaware for 2011. Learn more about Veronica here!