It’s hard to believe how fast time flies.
When I was in high school, I was a part of the cheerleading team. At first I really enjoyed it. Then later, I asked myself why I ever wanted to put myself through that. I have nothing against cheerleaders, or their argument that they’re a sport. But for me, being around a group of whiny stuck up girls wasn’t for me. So, I quit. A few months later, I came to visit Baker for my first time, and while on my tour, my guide asked me if I thought I’d be interested in Greek Life. I laughed and quickly answered no. But, Shanlee was persistent in letting me know that Baker was different.
I soon chose Baker as my school, and when I got my housing assignment and saw I was going to be living in Gessner (usually the freshmen boy’s dorm) I decided maybe going through Recruitment just to simply meet other freshman girls would be an ok decision. After all, I knew what sororities were like, (ha….) was confident I’d never be in one, and was pretty certain Shanlee was just lying to me because Admissions wanted to help promote the Greek system. So, I filled out the paper work, turned in my registration fee, and came to the first day. And guess who was there as a Pan-Hellenic rep… Shanlee.
Long story short, Shanlee was right. And though I did not join the house she was a part of, I did find one that spoke to me. Over the last four years, Alpha Chi Omega and the Greek system as a whole has been an important part of who’ve I’ve become, and a real ‘home away from home’. The last two weeks have been busy for us, but have also allowed for a few realizations and moments of reminiscing.
Four years ago, the Student Activities Council started an award for the overall “Homecoming Champs” instead of just winners at each event. For homecoming, each fraternity is paired with a sorority for competition against all the other houses and the independent community. That year, Alpha Chi became the original Champions with Sigma Phi Epsilon. The next year, we kept the title with the help of Kappa Alpha Psi, Zeta Chi last year, and this year with Kappa Sigma. It’s a small tradition now, but still meaningful for us.
This last week, was our “Lyre Week”. (The Lyre is one of our symbols, and the emblem of our badge.) This week is set aside for our new members as we get ready to fully initiate them into Alpha Chi Omega. We plan a few small ceremonies, and bonding activities like ‘pillow talk’ where we all hang out in comfy clothes, eat popcorn, and share stories of living in Alpha Chi, adventures you had with sisters, and usually seniors provide advice to freshman. This was my last pillow talk, and the whole week was rather bitter sweet. I remembered my Lyre Week, and every thing I felt when first joining, every thing I’ve learned over the last 4 years, and now, everything that I am soon going to be leaving.
Don’t get my wrong, I am so happy to be one of the lucky ones who graduates college in four years, but, as cliché as it is, these woman really have become a substitute family for me, a home away from home, a house mom who found out when I became engaged even before some of my immediate family, and has provided three of my friends who will be bridesmaids next November.
Being Greek isn’t for everyone. But, if you choose to come to Baker because you want to be a name and not a number… then I strongly encourage you to go through recruitment or rush for a sorority or fraternity. Baker Greek Life is different. You don’t know you won’t like it until you try it, or even just take a closer look. And if you’re thinking about going Greek (anywhere) because you’d like the option of having a family away from home, you will find that here.
Plus, is doesn’t hurt that over the course of four years it’s almost $6000 cheaper to live in a Greek house than campus housing. 🙂