So today, I wanted to share with you the good, bad, and ugly parts of being in a sorority. Keep in mind while reading this that I’m speaking from my own experience at a smaller university. Everyone will have their own experiences. Without further ado, let’s get into this!
I am absolutely thrilled that I joined a sorority for a number of reasons. However, there are unfortunately more bad and ugly things to consider before you choose Greek life on your campus.
The first really good thing about joining a sorority is, if you join the right one, you are surrounded by a number of like-minded individuals who often care about the same things as you do. I loved that about my sorority!
Next, I really appreciated that, at my school, academics and involvement were always highly praised in the Greek system. I was awarded the Greek with the highest GPA award two years in a row. Our Greek system also gave awards for social events and philanthropy.
I learned that leaders have a really stressful job. While in my sorority, I served as both Vice President/Rush Chair and President. These were both extraordinarily difficult positions to hold, but I did the best I could with the life knowledge I had.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
I’m just going to combine these two because they both can apply to all the situations I’m going to name here.
And if issues with other organizations aren’t enough, you will likely have situations where there is some sort of disparity in your own organization that causes fighting and issues among your members. This could be because of attendance, academic status, leadership issues, and more. If you’re in any position of leadership during these things, it all falls on you. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying neutral in your opinion.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone Greek. Some closing thoughts are that hazing was never an issue for me. My college has a no-tolerance hazing policy, and I believe there are state laws that are sort of against it, too. If you’re worried about that, talk to the Greek life coordinator at your college about that.
As a member of a University staff, and as a graduate myself, I think that college is monumentally important. Not only is it important to help you earn a degree that can be used in a career, but it is also important to help you acclimate to living life on your own and to becoming a good citizen within a community.
But, there are undoubtedly things that I wish I had known before I enrolled! Since people are starting to get acceptance letters, I thought this would be a great post to make. If you want to learn more, keep reading:
1: YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE A BREAKDOWN
According to the Association for University and College counseling Center directors, 95 percent of college counseling center directors say that psychological problems are a growing concern on their campus. This is why it is so important to never be too prideful or scared to seek out help. Most colleges either have a center for mental health services, or they have outside resources that can help you!
2: IT'S OK TO SAY NO
So, whenever I got in to college, I got really involved. I was in a number of clubs and organizations, including my sorority, and I was also really involved in my major. It took me until my senior year to realize that it is OK to say no. Remember that you are there to get your education. Not to plan social events, work on outside projects, etc.
3: COLLEGE FRIENDS WILL BE YOUR BFFS
I believe that this has to do with the fact that you are friends with these people during one of the most challenging moments of your life. On top of that, you finally understand when you graduate that you don’t have to talk to someone every single day to be their friend. All of my friends and myself have our own lives. But, we make a point to pick up where we left off when we see each other again!
4: PREPARE FOR DRAMA OF SOME SORT
She brought back guys and her cousin to our room most nights. When she came in, she would wake me up and be really noisy and turn the lights on.
Sometimes, your RA or RC won’t understand how bad the situation is. When this happened, my mom actually had to come down and confront my RC because she wasn’t doing anything about the situation. But, it all got handled and I didn’t have any more problems. After that, I moved in to my sorority house. Is it even a sorority house without drama? No.
5: YOUR PLANS MIGHT CHANGE, AND THAT’S OK
Your advisors and staff members around your college campus can help you decide what might be the best choice for you. You have time, and it isn’t a reason to panic.
6: MAKE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
This will help you make time for appointments, trips to the gym, homework and study time, time to call your family and update them on your day, and time with friends. This gives you a great work-home-friend-body-school balance!
I actually started writing a seventh tip only on work study, but I think that could be an entire post on its own. If you’re going to college, thinking about going back, or in your last years of study, I hope this can help you to improve your time in school!
I'm not going to lie. Between my personal and professional life, I've had a good bit of disappointments, especially in the last year.
However, I've learned that there ways to deal with that disappointment that will help preserve the relationships you have now and help you create new, meaningful relationships while in the midst of disappointment.
I do want to point out that I am not a therapist or a relationship counselor, but I do have the experience of being the giver and receiver of these things, and the following solutions really seem to help me in particular:
KEEP IT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Resist the urge to vent and complain about someone on your social media. Instead, try to reach out to a few trusted individuals in your life who you feel you can vent to. There are also a ton of free programs and chat rooms filled with anonymous strangers you can rant to. For me, I like to talk to my mom, husband, and really close friends about the stress in my life. It keeps me sane.
TAKE SOME TIME TO DECOMPRESS
Go to a movie, head to the park, or try a new hobby. Take yourself away from the disappointment to give yourself time to recover and to think on how you should go about addressing the problem.
MAKE A LIST/TRY TO SOLVE THE ISSUE
If it has to do with your disappointment in your personal life, take a moment to think about what you can do better. The sad truth is that we can't change anyone and we can't make them be something or someone they aren't. What we can change is how we react to disappointment.
I really hope that these tips on dealing with disappointment will help you down the line. I know that, for me, they have helped to save and repair relationships that would otherwise have no chance! Sometimes, you have to change your reaction.
If that person that is disappointing you continues, however, it can be a cycle of abuse that you need to go ahead and break and leave behind you.
DAY 1: MOVING BACKWARD IS NOT AN OPTION, AND STANDING STILL IS NOT ENOUGH
The first day of TED Talks featured Stacey Abrams, the first black woman in the history of the U.S. to be nominated for governor by a major party. Although Abrams lost the race, her TED Talk showed me that her loss didn’t kill her drive or spirit.
Her reasoning for wanting to become governor of Georgia was delivered through an anecdote, which I don’t want to spoil in case you decide to watch! She revealed that she lost the race for governor and was sad for a while, but she decided to keep pushing forward.
When she said “moving backward is not an option and standing still is not enough, I knew that was going to be what I took away from her talk. But how do you move forward after a loss? Abrams explained it was to ask yourself “what do I want, why do I want it, and how do I get it?”
They are simple questions. Going back to the why will fuel you to push for your how.
DAY 2: THE WORLD NEEDS TO EXPAND ITS RADIUS, BUT THAT IS MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Today's speaker was meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd. He talks about the different biases that can effect the way we see the world.
Not unsurprisingly, Shepherd decided to focus most of his talk on the bias many people have on issues such as climate change. He explained that there are three types of biases that you may engage in when you come across dealing with an issue you have an inherent bias toward: confirmation bias (only finding evidence to support your existing belief), Dunning Kruger (believing you know more than you do about a topic), and cognitive dissonance (new info that contradicts our beliefs).
I for one believe that our climate is changing for the worse. However, there are plenty who believe differently. While I agree with Shepherd's premise, I found his speech wanting because he identified a serious problem without presenting a solution. In actuality, overcoming our biases, at least in America, will be next to impossible because we let it get so far before addressing the real problem.
Shepherd did say we should expand our radius, or knowledge, about science and other things. I also found this hard to digest because several things we used to observe as fact (like the age of the universe, medicines, and carbon dating) have since changed. We all need to think critically. That was my main take-away.
DAY 3: PROCRASTINATION EXISTS BEYOND DUE DATES
The speaker for this day is Tim Urban, a writer and illustrator for the website WaitButWhy.com.
Urban spent a lot of his time on the TED stage talking about his personal experience as a master procrastinator, reminiscing anecdotally on completing his 90-page thesis in 72 hours. He explained how the mind of the procrastinator works, saying that both the procrastinator and the non-procrastinator have decision makers, but the procrastinator has an "instant gratification monkey" who is all about fun and joy.
But Urban eventually got to a point where he talked about the dangers of procrastinating on things without deadlines. Things like relationships, pursing education, health, and others. We may seem like we have all the time in the world to meet these deadlines, but we don't, and they can catch up with us and ruin our lives.
I loved how Urban took a rather serious topic and put a funny spin on it!
DAY 4: LYING IS A COOPERATIVE ACT
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, was today's speaker. Her book details a few was to spot a liar and teaches you how to protect yourself from that liar.
What I learned in this TED Talk was that lying is much more common than I thought, but we are much more to blame than I thought, as well. The signs of a liar are so telling that we are complicient in the lie. The fact that we can let someone get away with a lie is crazy!
I really did learn a lot about spotting lies and hope to change my position in the lie from a cooperative of it to a spotter of it. I think I might actually add Meyer's book to my Audible Wish List!
DAY 5: DON'T LET PAST REJECTION DICTATE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
The speaker for today was Jia Jiang. He was a marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company and he started his own business when he was 30. He explains that he was long controlled by rejection he experienced as a child when no one in his class complemented him during a confidence-building exercise. He said that his childhood experience kept him from pursuing his dreams for fear of rejection.
Jiang decided to do a 100 days of rejection challenge where he decided to ask strangers for things that they would likely reject him for. His talk really taught me that the past is in the past and being rejected once doesn't mean I will always be rejected!
As I sat in the ballroom, my eyes heavy with sleep after waking up at 5 a.m. to ride almost two hours to a conference at High Point University in North Carolina, I wasn't expecting to learn much in the first hour or so.
Usually conferences like these start out with some mild life lessons many people have already learned, as well as a few announcements before we break off into small groups. I wasn't expecting to go to this conference to have myself challenged personally, but that's exactly what happened.
I have to say that I learned far more in that hour than I think I learned the entire day, which made it the best way to start my day. I want to share with you a few things that I learned, because they really sparked a change in me.
A FOOL SAYS, "I'LL DO MORE WHEN THEY PAY ME TO DO MORE"
CONFIDENCE COMES FROM COMPETENCE
There is truth to the saying "knowledge is power." When you know more, you can speak more confidently. You will have an air about you that will make people stop and wonder what got in to you. That's how I want people to look at me, and that is actually how many people want others to look at them.
SMALL STEPS MAKE BIG DIFFERENCES
NEVER SAY "I'M NOT CHANGING THE WORLD"
They have names of people and experiences lodged in their brains that helped them form in to who they have become. I bet you could ask anyone you know about their favorite teacher, and they could rattle off some touching and inspiring story on what their teacher said to them that changed their life.
You never know if you're communicating with the future president or some other person who will have great power and influence who can make that direct impact on the world. But it is your tutelage and your experience with them that may be a guiding force in making that decision.
I'm always down to save money when I have the chance. That's why I've started to do some things that help to save without majorly interrupting my life. I wanted to share these with my readers in hopes that they help you!
DON'T THROW OUT THAT COFFEE
However, if you just pour unused coffee down the sink, you're just wasting money! Instead, I've started to pour my excess coffee into a pitcher and refrigerate it. When I get home, I have cold coffee waiting. I can simply add in my cream, sugar, and some ice for iced coffee that will help me get through my writing assignments and blog posts!
SIGN UP FOR SAVINGS PROGRAMS WITH YOUR BANK
PICK UP YOUR GROCERIES
This service was first introduced to me by my mom. It is great for moms with children who may not be easy to handle in the store, for people with busy lives, and for disabled people. All you do is order online, reserve a pickup time, and arrive. The employees will load your cart up for you. Sometimes, they may not have exactly what you asked for, but they always give you fair substitutions.
This service is free and is a great way to stick to your list without making impulse buys!
FOLLOW MY WATER RULE
I also don't drink my morning coffee until I've had at least one 26 fl oz glass of water. This helps me to save money because I'm not drinking a ton of coffee or soda. It also helps keep my hydrated and focused throughout the day!
DONATE TO A THRIFT STORE
HAVE A FREE DATE NIGHT
There are so many other things you can do to save money and to live your best life, but these are ones that I've tried and will probably continue to do unless I become a millionaire! Do you have any money-saving tips? Let me know below!
If you aren't a blogger and you're curious to know what life is like as "one of us," I hope you find this entertaining. If you are a blogger, I'm sure you can relate to at least one of these things! If you like this, I hope you'll give it a share so we can all have a good laugh!
1. TRYING TO FIND A SQUARE-INCH OF CLEAN SPACE ON A COUNTER TOP OR DESK IN YOUR HOUSE TO TAKE A PHOTO FOR YOUR LATEST BLOG POST
2. THAT FEELING WHEN YOU'VE FINISHED WITH BLOGTOBER OR BLOGMAS
3. THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU RUSH TO YOUR COMPUTER WHEN YOU GET IN FROM WORK OR A DAY OUT SO YOU CAN WRITE ON THAT BLOG POST TOPIC THAT INSPIRED YOU
4. WHEN YOU FINALLY GET TAGGED FOR A BLOGGER PEER AWARD
5. WHEN YOU DECIDE TO WRITE ABOUT A NEW SUBJECT THAT YOU'RE TOTALLY UNEDUCATED ON
6. WHEN YOU TRY OUT A RECIPE FROM PINTEREST FOR YOUR BLOG BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE
7. WHEN YOU NEED TO GO TO THE CRAFT STORE FOR THINGS FOR YOUR BLOG, BUT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER SAYS NO
8. WHEN SOMEONE YOU KNOW IRL SAYS: EW, YOU HAVE A BLOG?
9. AND WHEN YOU GO ON TWITTER TO RANT ABOUT SAID RUDE PERSON AND YOUR FOLLOWERS NEED TO KNOW EVERY DETAIL
10. WHEN SOMEONE LEAVES A WELL-THOUGHT-OUT COMMENT ON YOUR BLOG POST
11. LAUGHING AT YOUR OWN BLOG POST TITLES BECAUSE THEY'RE SO PUNNY
12. WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO FOR YOUR NEXT BLOG POST, BUT THAT FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO READS RELIGIOUSLY SENDS YOU IDEAS
13. WHEN YOUR PETS, KIDS, OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER TRYS TO INTERRUPT YOUR BLOGGING TIME
14. YOUR WALLET AFTER PAYING FOR SUPPLIES FOR YOUR BLOG POSTS
15. CONSTANTLY CHECKING YOUR GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNT TO SEE IF YOU'VE EARNED ANY MORE MONEY FROM AD CLICKS
16. GETTING WORRIED THAT YOUR CONTENT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH WHEN YOU SEE YOU HAVEN'T EARNED ANY MONEY
17. GETTING REASSURANCE FROM FELLOW BLOGGERS THAT YOU DON'T SUCK AND YOUR READERSHIP WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IF YOU STAY CONSISTENT
18. AND FINALLY...HOW YOU FEEL KNOWING THAT YOU'VE WRITTEN AND SCHEDULED YOUR BLOGS FOR THE WEEK!
I hope you enjoyed this fun post, and I hope it was relatable enough to my fellow bloggers! Did I miss anything? Tell me what else we struggle with in the comments below!
It’s my birthday today. If you’re reading this, the best present you could give me is being here on my blog and interacting with me, so I hope you’ll take some time after you finish reading today’s post to comment on this list!
So, for my birthday this year, I wanted to share 25 life lessons I’ve learned in my 25 years on Earth!
1. MONEY IS MONEY, NO MATTER WHAT FORM IT IS IN
I remember when I was a child, I was embarrassed when my Nana scrapped together several dollars in quarters for me to use on a movie ticket. So much so that I decided not to go to save myself the embarrassment. But, $7 is quarters is still $7. You should never be ashamed of how much money you have and in what form it is in.
2. PEOPLE LEAVE OR STAY UNINVOLVED FOR THEIR OWN REASONS
I always used to tell myself that I was the cause of people leaving my life or being uninterested when, in fact, it was those people who decided to leave my life or stay uninvolved. Now, I refuse to get upset when someone decides to take off. It doesn’t happen often, so I know it is that person’s heart rather than my personality.
3. DON’T LET SOMEONE USE YOU FOR YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Jonathan and I once rented a house with a “friend.” We knew him personally, but we admittedly didn’t know much about his finances. He ended up signing on to a lease with us after using my credit score to be able to rent. He often had money troubles and ended up leaving the house with a ton of his junk left in it, which resulted in a long night of cleaning and throwing stuff away from Jonathan and I.
4. YOUR AGE DOES NOT LIMIT YOUR WISDOM OR CAPABILITY
You often hear people make comments about how someone is naive because they are young. But, being young doesn’t mean you are naïve or any less capable than any other person. By the time I was 23, I was the features editor at a newspaper. My age didn’t stop me, and I’ll never let it stop me in the future.
5. CHANGE YOUR FREAKING OIL
I’m not too savvy when it comes to cars. I got my car when I was in college, and rarely had much money to take care of it. Instead of getting my oil changed, I would just put more oil into the car. That resulted in my car breaking down on Christmas Eve the first year I was married when I was on my way with Jonathan to his family’s house. Just. Change. Your. Oil. People.
6. YOUR FAMILY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER
When I was in middle school or high school, my mom and brother saw a turtle trying desperately to cross the road. They asked me to get out and move the turtle along, but I decided instead to shoo the turtle in case it was a snapping turtle. 10+ years later, it is still a topic of discussion when turtles come up.
7. SIMILAR SITUATIONS DON’T ALWAYS END THE SAME
Just because similar incidents happened in someone’s life and it didn’t end well, that doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Every life, every person, and every situation are different. Only God knows how it will work out.
8. MARRY YOUR BEST FRIEND
Of all the relationships I’ve been in (three to be exact), I’ve never had more fun or felt more loved than I do in my marriage. That’s because Jonathan and I are best friends and were best friends first. I guess it is true what they say: the third time’s the charm!
9. LIFE IS BETTER WITH GOD IN IT
At the time of writing this, I woke up with a splitting headache. I decided that I would listen to some Christian music and my headache slowly drifted away. God will always be there for you, even in the darkest and hardest of times. I wish I would have stuck by Him more when I was a teen and young adult.
10. BUT NOT ALL OF HIS PEOPLE ARE GOOD
Good is an arbitrary word, really. Christians aren’t always so Christian. This is something I’m still struggling with. In the past two years, people have refused to shake my hand, demanded to know where I’d been, not tried to get to know me, and so forth. But, that won’t shake my faith. That just means we haven't found the right place yet. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some wonderful people who have come into our lives.
11. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LIVE IN A CRAPPY APARTMENT AT LEAST ONCE
I firmly believe that everyone, at least once in their lives, has to live in a crappy apartment to understand life. Have you ever had a panic attack after seeing a giant roach crawl across your wall? Have you ever had a pipe burst and had the crappy management team do absolutely nothing about it? No? Then, do you really appreciate your current and better situation?
12. PROTECT YOUR HEART AT ALL COSTS
At the end of the day, you have to live with yourself. There is no use in making yourself miserable because of some stupid boy or a bad family member. If someone is toxic to you, remove them. Don’t keep putting up with people who make your mascara run.
13. PRACTICE SAYING “NO”
I still struggle with this a lot. If I could tell my younger self something, it would be to practice saying “no.” I love people, my job, my family, and myself. But at times I need to say no to hanging out, doing more than my job description, visiting when I don’t have the money, or buying something for myself that I know I can’t afford.
14. SPEAK EVEN WHEN YOUR VOICE SHAKES
When I think back on my years, I think about the times where someone tried to best me, but I spoke up and talked back. Some of the most influential people in the world, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and others all spoke up when they felt something was wrong, and they changed the course of history. I refuse to be a door mat, no matter who’s dishing it out. No matter if it is a church official, family member, coworker, etc. Know your worth and speak up.
15. JACK BLACK IS THE FUNNIEST MAN ON EARTH. FIGHT ME.
There are only a few people who I love so much that I’ll see anything they are in. Jack Black is one of them. I love him so much. Not like a creepy “I stan this guy who is like 20-30 years older than me.” More like, “I wish he was my dad,” lol. He would be such a cool dad. Is that weird?
16. EVERYONE EDITS THEIR PHOTOS. EVERYONE.
Until recently, I would get really bummed when I saw these gorgeous women on Instagram and wonder how they could be so flawless. The answer: they can’t be. Not naturally anyway. So, I am now a strong believer in photo editing before uploading. Sue me.
17. CATS LOVE CARPET… A LITTLE TOO MUCH
I knew that cats really liked to claw at carpet, but I wasn’t prepared for my cat Rum Tum to rip a hole into the carpet at the house we were renting with the credit score moocher. She ended up being kicked out of the house and had to live with my mom and grandparents for a few months until we moved. I’m happy that our current residence has hardwoods.
18. HEAR PEOPLE OUT
Even if you think that what they’re saying isn’t worth much, or if you think they’re having an emotional response, listen. Their words may help you better understand a situation or realize something you didn’t realize before.
19. WASH YOUR DISHES AS SOON AS YOU FINISH USING THEM
If you’re not fortunate to have a dish washer, washing your dishes after you finish using them will help you keep your kitchen clean. I have gotten into the habit of taking some extra time after breakfast to wash my pan, plate, and fork. It keeps the sink free of dirty dishes and leaves me one less thing to worry about later.
20. SPLENDA IS FROM THE DEVIL
Maybe it is the way I used it, but I tried to substitute Splenda for sugar in a cookie recipe and the cookies tasted SO awful. I would never do that again. I think stevia may be a good option. But, if you have suggestions, let me know.
21. MOST PEOPLE REMEMBER YOU FOR ONE THING
It doesn’t matter if you were young and dumb or if you’ve changed your stance or feelings about it. No matter what, you will always be remembered for one thing in someone’s mind. One moment that will forever define how they perceive you. Lovely.
22. DRINK WATER OR FEEL LIKE CRAP
Gone are my days of surviving on potato chips and Pepsi. I’ve noticed that when I drink hardly any water, I feel like crap. It’s called dehydration people. Be like Bobby Boucher and stay properly hydrated to avoid withering away into high fructose dust.
23. BEST FRIENDS DON’T NEED TO TALK ALL THE TIME
My best friend Jeremy lives in Georgia and we don’t always talk, but I can always hit him up to vent or to visit. My best friends Lauren and Tyler have a jobs and lives and we don’t get to talk super often, but we are always down to hang out together. Your relationships should be about the quality of your time together, not the quantity of it.
24. SKINNY DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN SUCCESSFUL
My weight has always been a point of stress for as long as I can remember. I have told this story before, but I actually had a “friend” tell me she never thought I’d be successful, find a husband, or have children because of my weight. Look at me now, chick!
25. POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS ARE WORTHLESS. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.
Most people who have strong enough opinions on politics to write about them on the internet are very concrete in what they believe. So, arguing with them about their stance is pointless and causes unnecessary stress. It can also ruin friendships and relationships. Just stop.
Well, that’s my list of 25 life lessons I’ve learned in my 25 years. I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something from my life! Maybe I’ll make this a yearly tradition.