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Don’t let rumors skew opinions of Greek life

There’s no doubt your newsfeed has been plastered with an endless flood of photos from the recruitment and bid day events this past week. With that, I’m sure you’ve seen all the comments that eventually joined them.

You scroll through your news feeds and think, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a bunch of screaming women that will never see one another ever again after college.”

That was probably a tame thought compared to others’ comments. I’m looking at you, raunchy FGCU gossip Twitter accounts.

Once upon a time, I also thought Greek life was just a waste of time.

When I came to FGCU as a freshman, I knew no one. All of my friends from high school went off to bigger universities and I was essentially alone. I was also an incredibly quiet freshman girl who rarely spoke to anyone and kept primarily to myself. In essence, I guess you could say I was a bit of a studious hermit.

A friend of mine encouraged me to go through sorority recruitment, but I was skeptical of whether or not I was actually going to get called back to any of them, let alone join one. I had already formed my own opinion of the scene from older friends’ horror stories and the things I had seen in the movies.

Needless to say, even before I stepped a foot in any of the rooms I wasn’t impressed.

After going through formal recruitment, my predetermined opinions of Greek life began to change, and to my surprise, I was called back to sororities all three nights. Then I got a bid. Again, my premeditated opinions were shattered.

After quite a bit of internal debating, I decided to accept the bid and on bid day, I ran home to my new, amazing sisters.

To this date, that has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. On bid day, I gained a home, a support system, a reminder that I can also be the best version of “me” and most importantly the reassurance that I could be myself.

My PanHellenic sisters and I are unique individuals with very similar goals: to strive to do the best we can in all our endeavors while still maintaining the essence that is ourselves. Our goal is not to be a carbon copy of one particular mold, but to instill the values of each organization into our everyday lives.

I have to be honest, Greek life isn’t for everyone. Some thrive within it, while others find it as a hindrance and elect to leave or never join in the first place. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to be in a sorority or fraternity. Actually, there are numerous examples of strong leaders that were not, yes not, involved in Greek life.

Don’t believe me? Google it.

I know what you’re waiting for, “but what about the hazing? The wild parties?”

Like everything good, there are always those few isolated incidents that tarnish a reputation. Unfortunately for Greek life, negative events seem to gain more media attention than the many positive events do, like philanthropy and achievements in academia.

The existence of Greek Life is not to go crazy, have wild parties and to believe that ones’ self is better than everyone else. Instead, it’s about helping college students grow into responsible adults and strong leaders.

So I ask you, fellow Eagles, before you jump to conclusions, do a bit of adequate research first. Talk to the organizations, do online research, and form an opinion on all of the facts. Don’t just take what’s been spoon-fed to you by angsty upperclassmen and media as gospel.

These past two years have been the time of my life with the next two promising to be even better.

From my experiences joining a sorority was the best decision I have ever made. I went from being a quite introvert that rarely ever stood her ground, to being a strong independent woman that’s not afraid to do the right thing for herself and others. I have been given the opportunity to be a part of something that is so much bigger than myself, that humbles me, that helps me grow.

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