APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
Freshman year can feel very lonely and isolating, especially moving to a city where I don’t know anyone, the city, or even my roommate. For months I felt like I was missing something, something that a club couldn’t fulfill or a residence hall could provide. Eventually I took the steps to enroll in continuous open bidding, the informal style of sorority recruitment. I wasn’t sure if sorority life was for me, if I would find my forever home that I would be a part of for the rest of my life. In early November of my freshman year, I found my home at AEPhi. The connection started as soon as I sat down for coffee with some women, who later turned into my best friends. I felt a connection instantly, and I could truly see myself living in a sorority filled with love, adventure and constant laughter. My values aligned with AEPhis, and seeing such a precious bond that every single sister in my sorority had was truly special.
Going Greek is a very special experience, an experience that I hope everyone gets to be a part of. Being able to find your people, and your path to success is a journey that was for me. The Greek community prides itself on philanthropy, sisterhood & brotherhood, and being a home for students for their next 4 years, giving them the tools that they will carry with them for the rest of their life. My sorority from the beginning really emphasized leadership, and the opportunities we get that match up with our skills that allow us to grow as both people and students. I took on the role of philanthropy my first active quarter in my sorority. Filling that role was so amazing, words can’t describe it. Our philanthropies are near and dear to all of our hearts, both founded by AEPhi alumna that followed their hearts and passion and philanthropies, both breast cancer and maternal-child transmission of HIV. I used my love of marketing, with my passion for volunteering and philanthropies and event planning to create events that demonstrated my sorority’s passion and love for our philanthropies. After my term of philanthropy chair was up, I decided to run for my sororities executive board, as the Vice President of Membership. After being elected, I’ve strived every day for recruitment, retention and reminding members of our shared values that make us AEPhis.
Through and through, my sorority has made me a better leader, a better sister, a better citizen, and a better student. My sisters motivate me every day to do more, to push farther, and to be the best person that I can be. I’m so grateful to be an AEPhi.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
Sisterhood: the affection and loyalty that women feel for other women who they have something in common with. Sisterhood is so much more than living under the same roof, borrowing clothes, and going out for brunch every weekend. It runs deep within our character, it is engrained into who we are as individuals, and allows us to grow together for a common aspiration. Although there are twenty Panhellenic chapters on campus, all with varying mottos, different founders, and unique women. Although we live in different houses we are a sisterhood, build on the values that cherish education and charitable programs that further enhance women as a whole, and allow us to advocate and create change for organizations that connect to the world. Although our letters might not be the same, we are all a Panhellenic community.
I myself did not participate in Formal Fall Recruitment, and I chose to go through the informal method of recruitment, Continuous Open Bidding (COB). Moving two hundred miles away from home was so scary, I remember feeling so nervous but so excited at the same time. It’s surreal to see the lengths and distances people come from to receive their education at the University of Washington. I remember feeling so at ease when one of my close friends from high school met up with me right after moving into my residence hall right before fall quarter of 2016. Her name is Hannah, and I thank her so much for introducing me to sorority life and the Greek community as a whole. We were walking back and forth to various Dawg Daze events and there were about twenty women we past who were in her sorority. Those twenty women were so welcoming, so friendly, and genuinely cared for Hannah. She participated in Formal Fall Recruitment and she found her forever home. She is the one that I thank for leading me to my home today. Although our sisterhoods are different, we are both still a part of the Panhellenic community, upholding the same values, ideals and passion for community. I owe my introduction to my Greek experience to her, and whether she knows it or not, I’m so thankful that she helped me find my home.
Through and through, I am so grateful to be a part of the Panhellenic community. I’ve had so many opportunities, met so many people and truly feel that I’ve made a difference in my own chapter. We are connected to the community through the uniqueness of each and every chapter, but we are a part of something larger too, Panhellenic.
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
BY KYLIE HELTON
In honor of National Panhellenic Conference’s Month of the scholar, I took time to reflect on my chapter’s unique integration of academics in my life since joining Alpha Epsilon Phi and how much my chapter has influenced me academically. I joined Alpha Epsilon Phi in the winter of 2017, and since then, I feel like I’m a completely new person, and a better version of myself. My sorority is comfortable, inviting, and a place where we all genuinely care about one another. We are always checking in with one another, and knowing that I have an entire support system behind me has truly made a difference in my confidence academically, and how I view UW. My sorority is very diverse, in all aspects, one of my favorites being the various majors, career goals & plans, and inspirations for the fields we want to be in one day. Prior to being in Alpha Epsilon Phi, I hadn’t met that many people and I hadn’t really known all that UW had to offer, and all the possibilities that it has.
I am so thankful to live in a home where we are all different; where we all have the opportunity to learn from each other. One of my favorite quotes is “the most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” I live by that quote, and I try to always keep it in the back of my mind. AEPhi has truly pushed and propelled me to do greater things, to seek greater heights and to never give up trying, because someone has felt what you’ve felt, and will always pick you up when you fall. My sisters push each other to be the best versions of themselves that they can be, and inspire one another to step out of their comfort zone. I’ve personally discovered my passion for population & global health, anthropology and nutrition since joining due to the inspiration of a sister that had so much passion for the field. I remember feeling so inspired by her love and admiration for her field, and then I realized how similar our views on the world, health, and society truly were. She helped me find my path at UW, something I was so scared of doing, and so many are still afraid of. Alpha Epsilon Phi is my family, a home of motivators and supporters, and without them I would truly be lost, and with them I know I am becoming the best version of myself.
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Hi, I’m Kylie! I’m a sophomore, majoring in Medical Anthropology & Global health and communications with a minor in nutritional science. I’m the current Vice President of Membership of my chapter on campus, and a lover of photography, design and writing. I’m relatively new to Seattle, as my home is based right out of Portland, Oregon, so exploring Seattle and the Seattle-culture is one of my favorites. I’m always out doing whatever and anything, pretty much whatever strikes the mood with my friends and sisters! My New Years resolution is to stay organized and to travel in 2018. Being a college student can be tough, especially being an organized college student, so for 2018 I really want to stay on top of everything and basically live out of my planner. As for travel, I want to do it more! Last year (wow, last year already), I studied abroad over the summer and I to Europe and I had an amazing time, eating all the new cuisine, taking as many photos as possible and just immersing myself in the cultures. I definitely have the travel bug, and I can’t wait to go explore some more. I am so excited to be able to write for this blog, I think it’s such a great opportunity to combine my life and my thoughts with writing. Being able to combine my passions is such a great experience, and I’m so excited for this blog!