JUNE 2018: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS SUMMER?
Summer, such a beautiful thing. No rain and no responsibilities--that is, until you get to college. Most of my friends are either doing summer classes or working. While the majority of people are bummed about it, I’m actually extremely excited to work this summer. This summer I have the opportunity to intern with Amazon in the finance department. I’ve heard that Amazon works their employees hard, but I see it as more of a challenge than a downside. I don’t mind school at all, but sitting in class for two hours and listening to a lecture about some financial theory can get old. I’m excited to actually be able to use what I’ve learned in a workplace and apply it to real world situations. I feel like this all sounds super nerdy but Amazon is a company I love so I can’t wait to be on the inside and see how the company functions.
Aside from my internship, I have a few other trips this summer that I’m beyond excited for. Right now, actually, I’m staying with my cousins in Chicago for a week. One of my cousins, Kyle, and I are going to a music festival in downtown called Spring Awakening this weekend. It’s technically my first multi-day festival so it’s really exciting despite the fact that the weather forecast shows a high probability of thunderstorms:-) I brought Kyle to a show back in December with my friends so it’s cool that now he gets to bring me to one with his friends, too. Then once I’m back, I’m going to another music festival, Paradiso, at the gorge. This is especially exciting because not only am I going with a group of my close friends, but I also get to bring my best friend, and my little, to their first festival. As stupid as it sounds, EDM has become a weirdly large part of my life so the fact that I get to show them what it’s all about is special. Then as if two festivals in two weekends isn’t enough, I’m going to a third festival in August which Kyle is going to fly over for. Yeah, I’m becoming one of those festival girls but no shame.
Basically my summer is going to consist of working and music festivals, and that’s ideal for me.
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
My decision to “go greek” was not an immediate one. When considering going through formal fall recruitment before my freshman year, I went back and forth a lot. I never viewed myself (and still don’t) as a “sorority girl”. By this I mean I wasn’t sure about living with a hundred other girls and sharing virtually everything. I really like my personal time and own space so this was going to be a major adjustment for me. However, the driving reason I participated in formal fall recruitment is because I’m a firm believer in “don’t knock it til you try it”. I’d rather do something and know I don’t like it than not do something and wish I had. Ultimately, I’m glad I stuck with my philosophy because being in a sorority has taught me a lot about myself and others.
Right off the bat, being in a sorority is a completely unique experience and I can’t think of anything comparable. When you really think about it, it is a sort of strange idea; that over a hundred women associate themselves with some greek letters, live together in a house, and there they form some of their closest relationships. In high school I had my close friends but wasn’t super active throughout my high school so I was quickly overwhelmed by the gamut of personalities that can live under one roof. Sure, everyone’s values and morals align for the most part, but aside from that you can have some of the most varying characteristics among your sisters. In coming to know my friends and talking to people throughout my chapter, I’ve learned how to interact with different types of personalities and how each one requires particular approaches. Personally, I am not a very emotional person and don’t prefer to share my feelings if I don’t have to. Living with so many girls, I’ve learned this is not the case for most lol. It was hard for me initially to learn how to be sympathetic and comfort people but as time goes on, I now know how to care for each of my friends when they need my help. This is a skill that takes many people years to develop but being exposed to it so widely allowed me to adopt it quickly.
Though this post is relatively short compared to my previous ones, I hope that it shows that joining a sorority is a growing opportunity for yourself beyond stereotypical things. I thought about writing about how it taught me about time management and how to be a leader and stuff like that but wanted to go into something deeper that I feel is a really rare skill in the real world. Nowadays, people can become so caught up in their own views and mindsets that it’s difficult to create meaningful relationships. This is something I think can translate into all aspects of our lives whether it be personal, social, or professional. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to join a sorority: first off, I say you won’t know if you never try, and secondly, there are so many lessons that come along with sorority life beyond the surface items that you won’t know unless you are in the situation yourself so give it a shot.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
BY DANIELLE SEAMEN
Hey everyone, I’m back! Sorry I flaked but I had three midterms to study for and was too busy hating my life to write the last post. Forgive and forget though, right? Whatever the case, this month’s topic is about how sisterhood goes beyond just your chapter and is prevalent in the entire Greek community. I’m not gonna lie--it’s extremely easy to fall into this trap of only hanging out with, talking to, and associating yourself with the girls of your own chapter. From the moment you run home on bid day, it’s hard to want to spend time with anyone else. I mean after all, you joined your chapter because the girls are some of the dopest, smartest, and most inspiring you’ve ever met. Your new time spent in the house is so exciting because everywhere you turn there is someone who you can just completely vibe with without having to try at all. It’s easy to think why would you need to make friends with anyone else? We’d all be lying if we said we haven’t been a little consumed by our chapter at some point or another. One way that I felt I was able to break this habit was through my classes. Coming to UW, I was starting with my junior level classes. By then, most of the other people in my classes had grown to know each other over the past two years and had already established those relationships. Being a business student, pretty much every class has a group project (by that I mean I’ve only had one class without a group project). Because it sucks being the last one without a group, I always made an effort to make friends on the first day. While it was harder and more uncomfortable than automatically teaming up with people I already knew, it allowed me to make friends with so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise. Not everyone I met was in a chapter, but it was cool to meet someone who was in a different chapter and think like oh you’re just like me, too. There hasn’t been one particular person who has had a significant impact on me through that whole experience, but the point of this story is to stay open minded and remember that just because you think you’re chapter and the women in it are the coolest people you’ve ever met, that doesn’t mean there isn’t other awesome people out there for you to meet, too.
Well that last portion went a bit longer than I expected so if you’re still reading this then congratulations you made it to the actual story of this post. When thinking about a woman in the Greek community who has greatly impacted my life thus far, there’s one instance that happened fairly recently that really stands out. Ever since I stopped listening to Hannah Montana, I’ve listened to rap music pretty exclusively (aside from some country here and there). Back in October, a couple of girls in another chapter, Arden and Victoria, invited me to come with them to an EDM concert. I tentatively agreed but in my head wasn’t so sure about it. At the time, Arden and Victoria were more like acquaintances and going to an event like this is nothing that myself or my close friends would even think to do. When you read “EDM concert”, I’m sure you immediately thought of people wearing furry boots, light up binkies, little to no clothing, and all the rest that comes with the stereotypical idea of a “rave”. And yeah, that’s exactly what I thought, too. The idea of all of that made me slightly uncomfortable and not to mention I actually hated EDM lol. However, they insisted it would be a great time so I randomly bought a ticket thinking sure why not? When the time finally came I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Walking into the venue it wasn’t too far off from the things I mentioned earlier; however, what I didn’t realize was the community that the whole experience created. Not just Arden and Victoria, but everyone I met was extremely welcoming and supportive just because of the fact that I was there with them--like everyone there is immediately friends just because they all shared the same interest in music. That was a really eye opening experience for me to realize that “raves” are not just what they appear to be on the outside. Since then I have learned to not judge things just based upon what you might see. I feel that this experience has caused me to look at things in a new way. Not that I was ever a super judgmental person, but now I am not so quick to make assumptions and really try to understand other people’s views better. Without Arden and Victoria, I don’t know if I would’ve ever had this realization. I now consider them to be two of my close friends and am thankful that I put aside my dislike for EDM for that one night (even though now I love it). A lot of you reading this are probably thinking that this is super cringe because I just wrote my blog post on how a rave “changed me”. If I read this blog post before October, I would’ve thought the same thing. It may sound dumb, but just goes to prove my point I guess. Stay open minded and don’t knock it til you try it, right? Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like and subscribe!!!
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
BY SHELBY CARROLL
One of my concerns before going through recruitment as a sophomore was my ability to maintain, and hopefully boost, the academic score I built as a freshman. I feared obligations and events would interfere with my academic pursuits. My goal was to find a sorority that not only felt like home, but surrounded myself with other studious, goal-oriented women who would push me to be my very best; I absolutely found it.
Theta does lots of little things that add up into an extremely helpful tool-kit for achievement.The first element I was introduced to was our study tables, which are simply hours spent studying outside of the house on certain evenings. The system is not mandatory, instead it is rewarding; for every time I report my attendance to study tables, I receive a partial house point. Even when I’m not motivated to get going on my homework, I go to the library for study tables. As a result, I’m more on top of my reading than I ever was when I lived in Haggett. Another program Theta has implemented is a Career Mentorship Program. I’ve found that the opportunity to talk to someone in the field you hope to enter really ignites motivation to put into school work, better yet, I already have a local contact I could use for my career. That’s a big deal for me since I’m from out of state and don’t have many connections in Seattle. The final component of the tool-kit is the attitude our executive board takes towards grades. Women who accomplish above and beyond are revered on our “Top Ten” board which features those with the 10 highest GPA’s in the house. Not everyone (me included) can be in the top ten, so we celebrate other scholastic successes on a weekly basis through Snap Cup cheers and Theta of the Week nominations.
The tool-kit alone is not the entirety of how Theta has achieved Top in Grades for the past seven quarters, but the women who empower each other. At least, I think so because beyond the intentional incentive and assistance, just being in this house has helped me so much at the UW. When I was struggling through QMeth and trying so hard reach a GPA worth of Foster, Theta women had my back. Anyone who had taken it previously reached out as soon as I mentioned my struggle, and plenty of them ensured me I was not the only one who found the material difficult. Moreover, thanks to their wonderful support and advice, I finally decided to change the major that was making me so miserable to one I would actually enjoy. Now, I walk to POLS 203 smiling with a few other Thetas by my side, literally and figuratively.
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Hi all! My name is Danielle and I’m the blogger for my chapter, Kappa Alpha Theta. I wanted to participate in blogging because I think it’s important that PNMs, current greeks, and non-greeks alike can get a honest take on what things are like being in a sorority and greek life. I plan on just telling it as it is--no sugarcoating. Everything I write here encompasses my experience as a member of the greek community but it definitely does not reflect the experiences of everyone. Everyone has different ups, downs, challenges, and triumphs. I am so excited to share with you the things that have made my experience unique!
Now for a little bit about myself, I’m currently a sophomore in the Foster School of Business studying finance and information systems. I’ve grown up and lived my whole life in Sammamish, WA (about 30 minutes east of UW). I always thought I would go to a university in California (I am not good with temperatures below 70) but ultimately UW was the best option both academically and financially for me. Though I never pictured myself at UW, I couldn’t be happier I ended up here because it has created so many opportunities for me to grow in both my academic and social capacities. Something that makes my situation different is that in high school I did running start. For those of you who aren’t familiar with running start, it is a program offered in Washington State where high school juniors and seniors can take classes at their local college rather than at the high school. In doing this, I finished my Associates in Business degree by the time I graduated high school and came into UW with 100 credits. This has presented many challenges but has definitely been worth it because I will be graduating in a little over a year.
“New year, new me”-- something we all probably tweeted or captioned a photo at least once in middle school. While now seen as a cliche, I think the meaning still holds true for all of us. If you’re like me, you’re extremely (sometimes too) self analytical and are always looking for ways to better yourself. The new year is just a way kick yourself and be like “hey actually do something”. My main resolution for 2018 is to give back to my friends and family. I don’t mean this in a physical or monetary way, but in a more emotional way. I’ll be the first to admit I can be insensitive; I really don’t need much emotional support or affirmation but forget that most people do. It’s easy for me to fall into this pattern of like “oh well I wouldn’t care about this so they probably don’t either”. For example, if I made my mom a sandwich and she was like “Danielle this is such a great sandwich!”, it wouldn’t phase me much. But, if my mom made me a sandwich and I said that, her mood would go 0 to 100 real quick. As I’m typing this I’m starting to get a better understanding of what this goal entails and I see now that a big part of this resolution is about showing people that I appreciate them. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely appreciate everything that my family and friends do for me, but I’m not the best at showing it. Like I said earlier, I’m not very emotional and I think this stems from the vulnerability associated with it. I have a super strong, independent personality so being open and vulnerable is something I usually wouldn’t dare getting close to. Wow, ok, this New Year’s resolution post is turning more into like a self-therapy session or something. Whatever the case, I can see now this blog is going to help me not only teach you guys about me, but myself as well. ‘Til next time!
Kappa Alpha Theta (@uwtheta)