JUNE 2018: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS SUMMER?
It doesn’t really feel like summer yet.
In high school, it felt like there was more of a formal end to the year. To me, there was more of a sense of closure after every year finished. But I remember submitting my final paper on Thursday and not fully believing that I was already done with my first year of college. It all went by so fast. Bid day came, and before I knew it I was all moved into my new house and crying in the foyer with my mom. Then my first finals week came, and I was sitting in the passenger seat, screaming out the lyrics to Rex Orange County songs, and then I was pulling all-nighters writing essays in the middle of winter quarter, and then it was spring break, and then it was Anchorsplash, and I was dancing around in the kitchen with my best friends in the whole world, and now I’m sitting in my newly made bed at the fraternity I’m living in for the summer.
But it doesn’t really feel like summer yet.
I’m guessing that in about a week, this feeling will change. I’ve spent the past two days moving out of DG and into the fraternity, and I am frankly exhausted, but I can’t wait for the exhilarating feelings of summer to start setting in. My roommate, Kelly, and I just started to decorate our new room, and we’re so excited to see the finished product. I’m going to be working two jobs and taking a class, so I’ll hopefully be keeping myself busy this summer. At the beginning of August, my family and I will be taking a vacation to London to visit our family, and by the time we get back, it’ll be time for Sisterhood Week, and then recruitment right after.
I’m so excited for what’s to come. This will be a new experience of independent living for me, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
Freshman year down. Thank you for the highs, the lows, the beautiful memories and the beautiful friends.
Until next time!
MAY 2018: SENIOR SPOTLIGHT : WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE MOMENTS OF COLLEGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FOR THE INCOMING MEMBER CLASS '18?
My favorite college memory was being an orientation leader. I had the opportunity to integrate new students into the university and introduce them to the greek community. It was an opportunity for me to get to know our campus on a different level and get to know people from other communities.
My advice for the incoming class is to get involved-- not only in your chapter but on campus as well. Some of my best experiences have been integrating friendships from inside and outside of the greek community.
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
When asked why I decided to go Greek, my instinctual answer is often “my brother made me.” Though it is true that my brother, a former avid member of the UW Greek community, was a huge influence in my decision to rush, I did fight him on it for quite some time. I had academics, family, and a slough of mental health issues to consider when choosing my lifestyle for the next four plus years, and I did not take it light heartedly. I insisted that living in the dorms would be the best decision for me and that there was absolutely no reason for me to participate in rush week. Finally my brother, his fiance, and my mother wore me down and convinced me just to do the first couple days and see how I felt- and of course, I fell in love. After the first day of rush week I knew I had found a place that would provide me with a strong support system and unconditional acceptance. I was able to see first hand the energy, inclusivity and love unique to the Greek community I had been told about so many times before. I find it ironic that despite living in a house with 90 other girls, the person I learned the most about was myself. With help from my sisters, I discovered that independence was a skill of mine and that I was a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for. I also learned how to provide support for others and be a functional member of a larger body. The positivity I gained from living in a sorority permeated all aspects of my life from my self-image, to my relationships with other people, to my academics. Going Greek is one of the best decisions I have made, and has already improved my college experience exponentially.
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
BY SORAYA MARASHI
Joining a sorority, I knew I was going to be surrounded by hard working women who always take that extra step in life, even if its not always easy- I mean, they survived rush week right? Each and every one of the girls in my house have something wonderful to offer this world and I love having the opportunity to absorb as much of it as possible. Living with so many girls, I’ve been exposed to new majors, clubs, study methods, classes, and so much more, all of which have influenced my college experience for the better.
Not only do I have my Chapter Management Team holding me accountable for my academics with things like house points for studying or attending office hours, and minimum GPA requirements, but I also have a house full of sisters expecting my best effort. I also appreciate the fact that good grades are celebrated but bad grades aren’t something to be ashamed of- I’m not looked down on for making a mistake. I have the support and the resources I need in order to grow a little more everyday. Having such a strong support system not only means overwhelming amounts of “you got this!”s and “you can do it!”s, but it also means having girls who will stay up until 3 am with you while you cram for a midterm the next day. I never feel alone in the challenges I take on.
These women have shown me how much I am capable of during my time at UW - seeing how far they have come since their freshman year makes me hopeful for the future that I have at UW. It is comforting to talk to people who have almost finished their time at UW, I can talk to them about how they found their path and they can help me get through school difficulties, like deciding to switch majors or surviving a tough professor. While upperclassmen can be quite busy, they are always willing to make time for a quick tutor session or advice over coffee. Hearing the girls in my house talk about their passions and goals for the future encourages me to try my hardest to obtain a future that I am proud of.
Over the past quarter and a half, I’ve witnessed my motivation evolve from a fear of failing, in to a drive to accomplish something I can be proud of. These girls have given me a more positive experience when it comes to school by helping me understand that sometimes the stress is worth the outcome, and that one bad test grade isn’t the end of the world. Academics aren’t always easy, and neither is life, but its always helpful to have sisters there to help pick you back up and remind you what you’re capable of.
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
My name is Soraya Marashi. I am 18-years-old and a freshman at the University of Washington. (I heard that at Yale, they’ve formally made the switch in terminology from “freshmen” to “first-years”. Is it only a matter of time before we make that switch as well?)
I wish there was a clever way to jump into personal background information. It’s currently December 23rd, 2017, about 1 PM, and I’m sitting at my kitchen table in my pajamas because I’ve just woken up (isn’t it wonderful how we stay up till 2 AM for no reason whatsoever? I think college has permanently screwed up my sleep schedule). An open pack of Haribo Happy Cherries sits on the table to the right of me. My dad and little brother, Cyrus, are watching the Manchester United vs. Leicester City soccer game on TV in the living room. My mom is grilling onions for dinner at the stove. The air is bitter cold outside, but the skies are blue and the sun is shining through all of the windows, so sitting inside my warm house doesn’t really make it feel like it’s the middle of winter. It’s beautiful, nonetheless.
I’ve got “Signs of Light” by the Head and the Heart (their brilliant, brand new album) playing through my earbuds right now. “False Alarm” is my favorite track, and it’s queued up next. It’s very relaxing, feel-good music to write to. It’s interesting, though, because historically, I have been unable to be productive while listening to the music I love, because I just end up singing all of the words in my head and dancing around in my seat instead of focusing on the task at hand. So when I’m writing my JSIS papers or practicing Econ problems, I usually put on instrumental jazz or classical music. But creative writing is different. It comes so much more naturally to me. So I can basically listen to trap music while I’m writing this and be just as productive.
Okay, maybe not trap music. But you get the point.
When my good friend Kelly and I were told that we were going to get to write for this blog, we were over the moon. Writing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. Whether it be music, poetry, prose, screenplays or diary entries, I have always found myself turning back to writing as my go-to method of self-expression. I guess that’s the perfect Segway into my 2018 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!!!!!!
1. Write more
(Woah, smooth transition!!!!!!)
Even if it’s just a sentence or two a day describing the turkey and avocado sandwich I ate for lunch, writing more consistently will allow me to become a better writer. It will allow me to organize my thoughts faster, so I’m not staring at my computer screen for four hours before I type a single sentence for a school paper. (Like the episode of Spongebob where he spends all day writing his paper about what not to do at a stoplight for boating school and only writes the word “The” with the fancy T.) I read somewhere once that writers hate writing, but love having written. I’m going to try not to be so self-critical when I’m writing this year, because I find that that is what hinders me the most. In the wise words of Tame Impala, let it happen.
2. Read more
The story of my life is buying a ridiculous number of books every time I go to a bookstore, having not even started the books I bought from the last time. Needless to say, the pile on my nightstand is ever-growing. There are so many authors I’ve wanted to read for years now…Bukowski, Eyre, Angelou, Hemingway...I’ve just never started. Granted, pleasure reading is difficult when you have literally 5,000,000 pages of academic reading a week, but I’m going to try to finish one book a month. Making time for reading has to be a conscious effort; whether it be right before bed or sometime during the day, I’m going to do it.
3. Work out (sometimes)
I’ve literally never been to the IMA. I think the last time I worked out was my junior year of high school. I’m not trying to get “swole” per say, but I feel like getting into a healthier lifestyle would serve me well.
4. Be completely present with every person I interact with
Sometimes I find that my mind is in a completely different place when I’m talking to someone. Whether I’m anxious about an upcoming test or something else I have to do, I want to feel like I’m investing myself into every conversation I have.
5. Be kinder
I put this on my list every year, because this is something that everyone can always become better at.
6. Be more patient
I find myself constantly worrying. About what’s already happened, what’s currently happening, and what’s going to happen. I’m quick to jump to conclusions, and my anxious brain is quick to go down the slippery slope. I always underestimate the power of time. Giving things time to develop and simmer has never failed me before. Time really does make things better, if you let it.
7. Laugh more
Sometimes I forget what it’s like to laugh so hard that my ribs hurt. I never want to forget again.
I’m not entirely sure where I’m going yet. But I’m so grateful that I get a new year and a fresh start. May 2018 make us wiser, softer, kinder, louder, and unapologetically ourselves.