The lifelong bonds you form, the communities you serve, and the invaluable lessons you learn are all part of an unforgettable Greek organization experience. Joining a brotherhood or sisterhood is an honor and a privilege, and with it comes social awareness and responsibility. Each week we are going to be featuring an essay written by a fraternity/sorority member to highlight how Greek life has had a positive impact.
Self Love & Care
I did not find Sigma Lambda Gamma right away in my college experience. In fact, after witnessing Formal Recruitment on my campus I was sure that Greek life was not for me. I did not feel outgoing enough or special enough to join a group of women that all seemed so beautiful, happy, and confident. At the end of my first year at the University of Minnesota I met a sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma and quickly became interested in the small, close-knit chapter on my campus. The next year I decided to join. I met a group of seven other women and together we joined Sigma Lambda Gamma in Spring 2016. Becoming a part of my sorority was an eye-opening experience for me. My first year of college I was very unsure of myself. Being surrounded by amazing women made me realize that I too was amazing and deserving of love and respect.
One aspect of my life that has really changed by joining a sorority is my respect for self-love and self-care. I always believed that self-love was a goal that could be reached after I “bettered” myself. After I lost weight, wore makeup correctly, got perfect grades, earned a promotion at work, etc. My sorority sisters have taught me that self-love should be a reality, not a goal, and that everyone should love themselves. That does not make you stuck up or arrogant, but by loving yourself you also open up your heart and grow your ability to love other people without a sense of jealousy or competition. My sorority sisters come from all walks of life and I learned that there is no such thing as a perfect life. No matter how happy someone may seem there are always challenges and I have learned from my sorority that the key is to treat everybody, including yourself, with grace and humility.
I always found pride in being busy. Working at my job, being involved with student groups and studying kept me up late into the night. Every night. I would not and could not slow down because to me being busy all the time was a way to prove to myself and prove to the world that I deserved to be in college. However, sometimes I would get sick. I would have panic attacks. I would get the flu a lot. It was not until my loving sorority sisters told me to slow down and take a break that I realized I had been giving all my energy to everything in my life but myself. I had not even heard of the concept “self-care” until I joined my sorority. Self-care saved my life. Maybe not literally, but I was so unhappy for so long because I never focused on myself and how I was feeling. By joining Sigma Lambda Gamma I learned that my health and happiness should not be compromised.