8 Things You Know to Be True If You’re in Both a Social and Professional Greek Org
Greek life comes in many shapes and sizes. There’s your traditional “social” Greek life, which is what usually first comes to mind when one thinks of fraternities and sororities. On the other hand, there are also a handful of professional Greek organizations (which usually fall under the title of “fraternity,” but can also be sororities as well). Since the latter usually are quite different and not considered to be part of the Greek council at most universities, there are some students (like myself) who find themselves as members of both types of organizations. This leads to a college experience unlike any other so if you fall under this category, you know that:
- You no longer know what it’s like to have a lazy Sunday.
Long gone are the days where Sundays were dedicated to things such as brunch, sleeping off hangovers, and last-minute homework. Instead, you’re running off to god knows how many meetings all day long (if you’re lucky, there are no time conflicts!). Chapter meetings, executive board meetings, new member meetings, emergency meetings, committee meetings; you barely have time to grab Starbucks in between. Depending on the position(s) you hold, the bag that you carry on Sundays is most likely heavier than your backpack. Sleeping in? Forget about it. Hanging out with friends or your significant other? Not happening, unless they’re in one of your orgs. Homework you put off until the very last minute? Almost impossible, but that doesn’t stop you from trying in the last few hours of the day anyway. And if your orgs have meetings on two different days? I’m sincerely jealous.
- You would be so lost without your planner.
Every single one of those aforementioned meetings will inevitably throw several dates at you, usually in rapid succession. Whether it’s the date for your next fundraiser, a philanthropy event, the due date for your shirt order money, or even for more meetings, they’re important. Add an endless list of assignments for classes, your work schedule, and whatever else you have going on and remembering everything off the top of your head becomes impossible. That’s where your planner comes to the rescue! Everything you could ever need to remember, all in one convenient little book — if you’re especially organized, it’s even color-coded for org/class/day of the week/sleep (only kind of kidding on that one). In all honesty, you’re not sure that you would be able to function without it at all.
- You haven’t gone to class in sweats or pajamas in ages.
Look, it’s not that there is anything wrong with wearing sweats to class (I personally have a different opinion when it comes to pajamas, but I digress). They’re comfortable and so tempting to just throw on, especially when you have an early class. It’s not that you’re even all that concerned about your personal appearance, either. But since the guidelines for wearing your Greek letters are generally what I like to call “first-day-of-class casual” and you’re usually repping one set of letters or the other on any given day, there’s no room for sweats or PJs in your daytime wardrobe. Even on the days that you aren’t sporting letters, you figure the extra two seconds it takes to put on a pair of jeans is worth it.* Besides, compared to the business casual dress code of your meetings, jeans are basically like sweats anyway…right?
*Unless it’s finals week, because obviously.
- You’re always explaining the logistics to everyone.
If you had a dollar for every time someone questioned how the logistics of dual membership works out, you would probably have enough to cover a semester’s worth of dues for both orgs. You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve had to explain that there’s no conflict of interest, or that yes, you are in a fraternity even though you’re a girl because for the millionth time we are gender-inclusive (which seems to be one of the more difficult things for people to wrap their heads around). But at the end of the day, you have to admit that you’re a little amused by their confusion because seriously, it’s not that hard to grasp.
- You’re probably unbelievably good at crafting.
Sure, crafting is a very stereotypical part of traditional Greek life, but it’s also a big part of professional fraternity life as well. As a result, you’ve become really good at crafting no matter which org you joined first. You can churn out canvases, paddles, and tie-blankets like nobody’s business. You have at least one Pinterest board dedicated to crafts (but in reality, it’s more like three — one for your sorority, one for your fraternity, and one for general craft projects), the Michaels Rewards program was the best thing to ever happen to you, and you’ve probably thought about starting your own Etsy shop at some point. Although you spend more money than you’d care think about on crafting supplies, it’s totally justified because everything you make is made with love.
- Occasionally, it makes you feel a little bit like Hannah Montana.
For most, mandatory Campus Life events usually mandates a working a time slot at your sorority or fraternity’s table/booth or maybe attending a meeting. For you, it means running back and forth between both orgs’ tables to work your shift or trying to make sure you get credit for being present for both at meetings. Overlapping events tend to have you feeling like Hannah Montana without all of the secrecy, except instead of putting on a wig, you put on a shirt with different set of letters stitched across the chest to get the best of both worlds. This is especially true if your professional org is completely different; you’ve got to be almost an entirely different person sometimes and be able to switch it up in a matter of minutes.
- You’ve got professionalism down pat.
Not too many 18–22 year olds have Robert’s Rules of Order all but memorized, but you have a pretty strong grasp on it and could probably run a business meeting if you had to (if you’re the president, you already do). Your friends tend to come to you for advice on writing professional emails to professors, and you have a (mostly) clean and classy social media presence. Your networking skills? Off the charts. You even have a professional wardrobe and know how to dress for success. Sure, you’re still worried about your post-graduation career life — who isn’t? — but you know you have some serious skills in your arsenal.
- No matter what, you wouldn’t trade your experience for the world.
Being in two Greek orgs is nothing short of an amazing experience. You’re getting invaluable experience in so many ways, and creating bonds that will last a lifetime. That’s not to say that it’s all smooth sailing, because it’s not. In fact, it’s downright overwhelming sometimes. There will be days where you don’t get a break from the time you wake up til the time you fall asleep (ahem, recruitment) or days where you’re so stressed out that just want to scream. But even then, you can’t help but to still be crazy in love with all that you do. You love your bigs and littles, the rest of your sisters and brothers, your positions, your philanthropies, your letters, every last bit of it. You get emotional even thinking about the day that you’ll have to go alum, because it means all of that will be no longer be your day-to-day life. So no matter how many times you vent to your best friend/parent/significant other about how your orgs make you want to rip all of your hair out, you know that you could never give up your crazy, busy, wonderful life — yes, even if it meant being able to sleep in on Sundays again.