JUNE 2018: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS SUMMER?
Being from Orange County, CA, many of my summers have consisted of 10 hour beach days, cliff jumping, LA day trips, bonfires, road trips along the coast, and other California adventures. This summer, however, will be a little different, and I cannot wait for the change of pace and fresh experiences. For the first half of the summer I will be living in Seattle in a fraternity with other Gphis. Hiking, camping, and days on the lake will be replacing my usual days at the beach. I keep hearing that Seattle summers are so amazing that they make up for the winters, so I can’t wait to experience this for myself.
During the second half of the summer, another Gamma Phi and I will be flying across the world to spend 10 days in Israel. We will also be stopping along the way to spend a few nights in NYC. Traveling is one of my favorite things, because I think it’s an incredible way to build perspective as you experience diversity and new cultures. I am extremely excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity and am so happy I get to share it with one of my best friends!
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?
With only a few weeks left until graduation, I have been finding more time to reflect on the four years I have spent as a student here at UW. I am thankful to have had a very well-rounded college experience; exploring my majors, holding leadership positions, and building some of the strongest relationships throughout these four years than I could have ever imagined. Thanks to Gamma Phi Beta I have had the opportunity to meet and make memories with the people I will call my family forever. While there are hundreds of specific memories I could choose from to be labeled as my “favorites,” I have three that have been really impactful. Freshmen year is filled with so many emotions and feels exciting, scary, empowering, insecure, and awesome all at the same time. After a long winter as an out of stater from California, the first sunny day during spring quarter of freshmen year was extremely transformative. It felt like everyone in the house had woken up again! Some were going to lay on the porch off of greenroom, some of the upperclassmen were going to lunch down by the lake, and it felt like finally the rain had ended. And even though it came back as it always does, everyone had an extra little pep in their step for the rest of the quarter. In terms of experiential memories, spring break of junior year takes the cake! Our pledge class decided that because spring break fell on St. Patrick’s Day, it was only natural that we take a trip to Dublin for the occasion. Seventeen of us spent four days in Ireland, exploring Dublin and taking a trip out to the Cliffs of Moher followed by a four day trip in London with more memories in that trip alone to count! This past year we have gone through many changes as a pledge class. We no longer live with our 93 sisters in our the beautiful Gamma Phi chapter house, many of us have graduated early and hold jobs, and the rest of us are searching or have jobs lined up. This past summer moving into the live out we have gained so much respect, love, and admiration for one another as adults. I think that the memories I will cherish the most are the ones we have made as seniors because there is something special in knowing it’s the last year we’ve got. I will never be without the memories of my roommates and I sitting on our front porch as the sun goes down on a hot July evening making jokes, making plans, eating dinner, playing music, just being together. If there is any piece of advice I have for incoming freshmen it’s to give yourself time to build a relationship with yourself. Get to know yourself. Freshmen year is a whirlwind of fun and goes by so fast, but it is also a super important transitional period. Take the time you need to understand your priorities, your boundaries, your strengths and weaknesses, because understanding yourself is what allows you to be a better sister and friend. Thank you to Gamma Phi, thank you to my sisters, and thank you PC 14 for holding my hand and pushing me to grow in ways I never thought I could. You have my love forever.
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
Why did I go Greek? To be honest I don’t have a very inspirational or motivating answer to this question. When first looking at colleges, it was always one of my criteria for deciding whether or not to apply to a school. The school had to have a good greek community. I think my reason for this was because both of my parents were members of their Greek community when they were in college and have only ever had positive things to say about it. They are still friends to this day with people from their sorority and fraternity, and I wanted to make these long lasting connections as well.
As cheesy as it sounds, I think my main reason for wanting to go greek was to find a group of friends that would support me and make me a better person. In high school, I had a big group of friends, most of whom I had been friends with since elementary or middle school. These kids were driven, down to earth, authentic, and truly made me a better person as I transitioned through life stages. I hoped that college would provide a similar support network. With my parent’s experiences in mind, I never questioned whether I would find these types of women in a sorority. However, I am completely aware of the stereotypes given to sorority girls. Just google “sorority girl” and you’ll get an array of pictures of girls, posing together, all done up, wearing matching colors, with perfect, big smiles. For some, this could definitely be intimidating and potentially lead to a decision not to rush. This, however, has not been my experience. Yes my friends and I take cute pictures together, but my life is not the typical, stereotyped sorority life.
I have learned so much from being in a sorority. Having been surrounded by so many unique personalities and differing ideas, I have been challenged to think in ways I never have before. My high school friends and I had very similar backgrounds and experiences, thus, I was rarely fced with new or different perspectives. In just a short amount of time being here at UW, I have been exposed to so many new outlooks on life that have helped me develop as a person. Another thing I have learned is that your friends can become your biggest role models. I look up to so many people in this house in a variety of ways. Academic success, dedication and eagerness in work and extracurricular activities, and openness to helping and supporting others are just some of the things I am inspired by everyday. Since joining Gamma Phi and living with so many women, I have also been challenged to learn and improve upon everyday skills. Time management, communication, empathy, and respect are just some of the areas that I have seen growth in since joining my sorority.
Despite always knowing I wanted to go Greek, I did not always know how much I would learn and grow from being surrounded by the women in my house. If you are on the fence about joining a sorority, I would say you should 100% go for it. I understand the pictures and the promotion of Greek life can be daunting, but I have come to learn that a sorority is truly what you make of it. It can become your peer group, your study group, your network of opportunities, your role models, and your ultimate support system. Although joining was never really a question for me, I was unaware of how impactful a sorority can become. This is something I am incredibly grateful to have learned.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
BY CORI ROSIN
Being in the Greek community here at UW is beneficial in a variety of ways. I have only been in my house for almost two quarters, and the connections I have made have already impacted my life in such positive way. However, it’s not these connections I want to talk about in this blog. I want to talk about the amazing impact that the women in the Greek system as a whole can have. I thought this topic would be the perfect way to reach out to other members of my sorority and get their perspective on how other women in the Greek system have enhanced their Greek experience. Here are some of their stories…
Hannah Joss (PC 14): Being an RC last year was easily one of the highlights of my experience as a Panhellenic woman. Thrown into a room with 70 other women in the Greek Community that I had never met before was frightening, but after only two days I felt as though we had known each other for much longer. Kate and Laura were in my RC group and we immediately knew we were compatible and would work so well together. One of our potential new members asked, “wait, you guys didn’t know each other before this?” and I think that spoke to the ease with which we joked together and worked together. They made my experience so fun and made me proud to be a Panhellenic woman who could so easily connect with members from other chapters.
Simone Johnston (PC 17): I have loved working with girls in different houses who are in my classes. The greek community provides a great network of friends and people to support you academically. I have met so many different girls from different houses who have been great study buddies, supporters and friends! Being best friends with everyone in your house is awesome, but it’s also important to take advantage of the greater greek system we are all a part of!
Grace Lucarelli (PC 16): I met Maddie during recruitment at her chapter my freshmen year. Although a year older and although I ended up in a different chapter, we ended up becoming extremely close when we took a class together winter quarter. We took a chance and decided to live in a fraternity together over the summer. She mentioned another girl from her house, Mia, was also looking for a roommate, so I said she should join us not knowing anything about her. By the end of the summer, Maddie and Mia were my best friends. To this day, we average the majority of the week together! The best part about these friendships is that they have opened doors to friendships with other girls in their chapter that I never would’ve been friends with if it wasn’t for them. I never would have guessed that at the end of college, some of my closest friends would be in another chapter and its been one of the most special parts about college!
Olivia Kingston (PC 14): I value my friendships with other Greek women as much as I value my friendships with Gamma Phis. I believe it is so important to establish relationships with people who are different from you. It gives you opportunities to learn about others, get a fresh perspective on things, and learn more about yourself. No matter how different we may be, we are all strong, motivated, and supportive, and that’s a solid foundation to start a beautiful friendship.
Jasmine Kennedy (PC 17): Hey! For your blog this girl Vinci who prefed me is one of my best friends now. She became a friend and mentor through recruitment, and even though she was sad on bid day she reached out and asked if we could grab coffee. She’s become a huge part of my life and is basically a step big. I think it shows how other houses can still have close bonds and friendships despite not living with each other
Olivia Howland (PC 14): I have had multiple friendships with women in other chapters but some that stand out are women that I went to banff with my spring break sophomore year. I had met one of them through recruitment (Alexandra Johnson) who then introduced me to her friends Lizzie Palmer and Mackenzie Campbell my freshman fall quarter. From there I met Claire Moses who I roomed with on a fraternity formal my freshman winter quarter. These girls have been some of my best friends throughout college and have enhanced my experience greatly. When we all went on a ski trip so many of our friends asked us if we had known each other from high school and we love to just say that it was meant to be for us to be friends. I think it's easy to write off women in other houses in the Greek community because it feels like you might not have a strong connection with them, however these women are ones that I have connected the most with and often more than some women in my own chapter. I then went on the room my junior summer with Claire and Megan Yates and I feel as if the friendships keep growing. The network truly never stops in the Greek community and it has taught me to always be open to meeting new friends and allowing others to share life with you
Anonymous (PC 16): My friend Annie and I grew up together and despite being from a different chapter, she has influenced me by living out her values every day and not conforming to societal norms and being true to herself. She taught me how to stick to your values even when things get tricky in life and your relationships and that in the long run it’ll all be worth it. I think being in a different chapter has helped our friendship a lot because it is really quality time we spend together when we can.
Hailey Jensen (PC 15): One woman in particular from another chapter has enhanced my Greek experience by being a loyal friend. She has made me recognize how loving the Greek community is by supporting me and being somebody I can lean on. Living in different chapters does not separate us but offers more opportunities and friendships that benefit us. I know that our friendship will last longer than 4-years of college. She has truly shown me that sisterhood goes beyond the letters of your own chapter.
As you can see, the connections you can make with women in other chapters are extremely impactful. Whether interacting in an academic setting, or participating in extracurriculars, or just having fun and making new best friends, relationships go beyond just the women in our own chapter. The Greek community is a network of incredibly diverse individuals that can have a positive influence in many aspects of our UW experience.
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
Hi again! 2018 is flying by… I can’t believe it’s already February! I hope everyone has had an amazing start to the year. My year so far is off to a great start, and while I’ve been extremely busy with school, I feel I’ve been academically challenged in a stimulating and rewarding way. The quarter is already half way over, and I just finished my first set of midterms. I had 2 of my midterms and an essay due on the same day, as well as having the flu during the week, so I was definitely overwhelmed. In college, stress can sometimes take over and negatively impact your daily life. What I’ve learned since coming to college and joining a sorority is that being surrounded by people who are as driven and motivated academically as you are empowers you to rise above the stressful times.
Before I joined a sorority, I worried that sorority life would take away from my academic success. Wow was I completely wrong. Being in a sorority has not only helped me accomplish my goals academically, but it has also inspired me to go strive for excellence in all areas of my life. Everyday I am surrounded by girls who not only work hard to get good grades, but challenge themselves to acquire new knowledge and better themselves intellectually. The diversity of majors and interests present throughout my house is something I have come to truly appreciate. I could be sitting in our house library and see some people working on math homework, others working on a business proposal, others coding on their computers, maybe some working with graphic design, and others may be solving chemistry equations. Whatever it may be, I am constantly inspired and impressed by the level of academic dedication.
Along with being amazed by all the diversity of skills and interests in my house, I am also incredibly thankful to be surrounded by people with my same major. As stated in my last blog, I am a business major hoping to specialize in marketing. A large number of girls in older PCs as well as in my PC are also business majors, which means I am surrounded by mentors as well as study partners. I can go to anyone who has more experience than me at any time and ask them for advice about which classes to take, or how to prepare for a certain final, and I know they will be eager to help. Likewise, I am able to work with girls taking the same classes as me and work through any problems we have. For example, every Sunday night after dinner a group of us all in the same Econ class sit down and work through all of our homework together. I can guarantee if we did not have this system, I would not be doing as well as I am in the class.
Not only is being in a sorority beneficial to my academic success, but it is also extremely valuable to my mental health. College can be stressful. There is no doubt about it. Like I said, I had to study for two midterms and write an essay while battling the full on flu. There is no way to go through that without being stressed out, and if you have figured out a way to do it, PLEASE tell me your secrets. But anyways, I was definitely overwhelmed, and being so far from home did not make it any easier. What got me through it though? Everyday, girls in my house would come up to me and ask how I was doing or if I needed anything. People would sit in the doctors office with me just so I didn’t have to go alone. My big even got me cough medicine and my favorite fruits and left them on my bed for me while I was studying. It’s little things like this that make the difficulties of being at college so much easier. You truly feel like you can accomplish so much more when surrounded by such supportive and motivated people.
Hopefully now you can see how living in a house with over 100 driven, helpful, and intelligent girls can not only help you accomplish your academic goals, but also allow you to thrive in every aspect of your college experience.
I hope everyone has a great February and is able to accomplish your goals academically and beyond!
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
My name is Cori and I’m a freshman here at UW. I want to start this first blog off with some personal info so you can get to know me a little bit. Like I said, I am a freshman, having just completed my first quarter a direct admit into the Foster School of Business, as of now I will most likely be focusing on marketing as I work towards my degree. I’ve always been very passionate about fashion, so my ultimate goal would be to use my marketing degree to land a career in the fashion industry. So far, I absolutely love the Foster program and am so excited to see where my education takes me.
My first quarter of college flew by. It feels like I was moving into my sorority house just last week when actually it was months ago. I can’t believe the New Year is right around the corner, and with it new goals and hopes. Some look at a new year as a fresh start, a way to erase the mistakes of the past and begin something new. I look at it as a way to improve and to build upon the things of the past. With getting into college, graduating high school and my first quarter at UW, life has been moving so quickly I find myself feeling like I’ve been unable to slow down and appreciate everything. It seems like when you’re so busy it’s hard to take the time to truly enjoy life. I don’t expect things to slow down at all, but for the New Year, I am going to make a strong effort to value positive things in each day. To assist in this effort, my best friend and I got each other new journals for the holidays, with a promise to write each day starting January 1st. This way, I’m hoping I can take a small amount of time each day to process everything going on and not be overwhelmed by my busy life.
A busy schedule not only makes it hard to truly appreciate all the positives in my life, but I have found myself not taking enough time out of the day to do what really makes me happy. I play acoustic guitar and used to play for hours a day, but have only played once since beginning college. With the New Year and new quarter at UW, a goal is to carve out time to allow myself to get back into playing.
I also love to explore. I will get in a car any day, any time to go to a place I’ve never been just to see something new. I’m from Southern California, so Seattle is completely new to me. Unfortunately, to this point I’ve been unable to find the time to truly explore all there is to this amazing city. This opportunity is my main goal for the year. I want to go out and see and experience all that Seattle has to offer.
I am excited for 2018 to start. I am excited to go back to school and start my new classes. I’m excited to see my friends again. I’m excited for so much, but I’m mostly excited to experience and appreciate the joys in life that complement the busy world we all live in.
Cheers to 2018! I hope you all have a wonderful new year.