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?
"Reflecting on my four years here at UW, I find it difficult to pick just three things that are my favorite and most memorable.
By far one if the most influential aspects of my college life has been Sigma Kappa, and a character building moment that will be with me always was my first recruitment as part of the chapter. I felt that it solidified my choice and reinforced the values I had pledged myself to the year before. It required me to articulate what made my sisterhood essential to me and undoubtedly served as a crash course in connecting with other people. I thank my recruitment skills after each and every job interview, and it has not failed me yet.
By far the most unconventional of my sorority experiences over the past three years have been the Dungeons and Dragons campaigns I’ve run with my sisters. What I began with some new friends as a fun experiment has grown into a longstanding tradition with my very best friends. Though several have graduated from UW, they continue to come back to play on weekends, keeping us all close. We take immense pride in the game and hold dear many memories of entire days invested in the narrative we’ve built.
Now as I (too quickly) approach my own graduation date, I’m intimidated by what comes next. Recently I participated in an experience that helped me focus in on my goals for my future. As part of the Communications Department, I traveled to Los Angeles and met with a number of professionals in my intended field of work. It opened my eyes to the realities of what I plan to get myself into as a publicist in the film industry. It also set me up with potential mentors, who reassured me that I would find my place and succeed when my time at UW came to an end. Over the short trip, I realized it was as meant to be as I had hoped.
This leads me to my advice for new members: take initiative and stick with it. That internship you think you don’t have a chance at? Apply anyway. If you have ambition and confidence in your own abilities, people will recognize that and give you a chance to pursue your goals. However, you can’t stop there. Showing up early each day and the phrase “I’ve finished my work, what more can I do?” goes a long way. You can make it happen.”
APRIL 2018: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN A SORORITY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED BY JOINING THE GREEK COMMUNITY?
BY ZOE LEVIN
As a high school senior, on the brink of joining the college world, I knew absolutely nothing about sororities. As a Washington local, I had driven down 17th Avenue a multitude of times, gawking at the grand homes of Greek row. However, beyond their intricate doors, what occurred inside these houses was a complete mystery to me.
I didn’t know what it it meant to be in a sorority, but I did know myself. In high school I had been a studyoholic. I was a Starbucks regular, always toting my textbooks to the large oak table where I spent every afternoon. My life was heavily invested in my academics, and if I didn’t do something about it, my college experience would end up similarly. I wanted more.
Then I went to Greek Preview, and I caught a glimpse of an alternate existence I could have the next year as a freshman. For the first time, I learned about the philanthropic, sisterhood, and University-wide events I could partake in as a sorority woman. I listened as each speaker shared how their lives opened up after going Greek. These students had a rock solid support system, and a home filled with lifelong friends. For the first time, I saw myself not just as a successful student, but a college woman who could live with like-minded sisters.
As I finish up my first year at UW, I look back and see how far I have come since bid day. Living in a house with so many supportive and inspiring women has given me the confidence to pursue my dream career and become an active member of campus. I also have many, many valuable friendships I would not trade for the world. My sisters are not just my study buddies (although we do frequent the libraries). They have made me who I am, and I know they will continue to do so.
MARCH 2018: HOW HAS A PANHELLENIC WOMAN IN ANOTHER CHAPTER ENHANCED YOUR GREEK EXPERIENCE?
BY JENNIFER LO
It seems like everyone in the Greek community is in the business school. I can’t say I’m not part of that crowd, because I certainly am. I’m studying Accounting at the Foster School of Business and in every class I’ve had, probably half of the students are Greek. There’s nothing wrong with that at all: in fact, it’s nice to see familiar faces every quarter. However, in Sigma Kappa, we are predominantly STEM majors, which made it hard for me to find sisters to take business classes with.
During fall quarter of my junior year, I met a fellow Panhellenic woman named Anne Marie in the business school also studying Accounting. We were put in the same group by chance for a case competition, and were kind of forced to get to know one another, as we’d be working together extensively for a full month. As we worked together on our project throughout November, I learned that, although from another chapter, she was incredibly easy to get along with and I soon found myself excited to form a close friendship with her.
Before we knew it, we were having team meetings at her sorority house and stayed late nights at Paccar hall; when registration came around, we intentionally signed up for the same business classes and sections. As I got to know Anne Marie, I appreciated how much she pushed me to do my best and to persevere through the most stressful of times, because hard work really does pay off. We worked together on yet another case competition and won, which went to show that our friendship really formed on the basis of working well together, a foundation I believe can’t be built unless people are open to affiliating with other members from different chapters.
Just recently, we were able to attend the Scholarship Dessert night hosted by Panhellenic before one of our group project meetings. Even attending one of her chapter’s feeds was a better experience than before because I could mingle with her sisters and introduce her to mine.
I love my Sigma Kappa sisters, but I think one of the most important parts of being part of the Greek community is to make the effort to get to know other women from other chapters and beyond; I never expected one of my closest friends to be from another chapter - and here we are.
FEBRUARY 2018: HOW DOES YOUR SORORITY EMPOWER YOU ACADEMICALLY?
Although sororities are well known for fostering friendships and making bonds for life, no one generally links academics and diligent scholarship with the institution. However, my commitment to my education and future was a large part of why I joined my sorority. I not only wanted to make great friends, but to be surrounded by intelligent women who were also navigating their way through college and seeking success. That is exactly what I got from my house.I could have never imagined a group of women so driven and accomplished.
Everyone I speak to is passionate about the field in which they are studying or are eagerly searching for their path. Sorority life has been helpful for academics beyond simply motivation. Being in a sorority has meant always having a study group and always having somewhere to go for advice. One of my sisters sat with me for support while I took the entire general chemistry placement test. Another spent all of dinner teaching me how to navigate MyPlan, and taught me how to create the best schedule and get all of my classes. I have felt nothing but complete academic support from everyone the second I walked through the front doors.
Not only is everyone a motivated student with a full resume, but my scholarly sisters are all more than willing to share their opportunities with the house. Different women give presentations on the internships they are involved in, or share with us whenever a research position is open in their lab. Everyone is supported in their endeavors outside the classroom, and the extracurricular wealth is always spread generously.
I already feel that I personally am a much more successful and well rounded student because of my sorority. It was my big who referred me to my current research opportunity, and I have gotten so much advice for my future career goals in healthcare. Only a freshman at the University of Washington, sorority life has already given me an academic edge.
JANUARY 2018: INTRODUCTIONS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
BY MICHELLE TRAN
My name’s Michelle, I’m a third-year majoring in Social Work and double minoring in Diversity and Nutrition. I’m a huge swimming, food, and meme enthusiast so if you like any of those, were automatically friends. But seriously, I’m always down to meet new people and bond over food!!
I was interested in writing for the blog because I think it’s an awesome outlet to share your personal experiences, meet other womxn in the community and get to know them on a deeper level. And who knows? Maybe in the process of writing and sharing, I’ll learn something new about myself through reading the other posts!
When I hear the phrase, “new year’s resolution”, I think about these expectations of seeing immediate change from these goals I’ve created. Granted, that may be the case for some but I know my previous resolutions were pretty hard to attain. This year, I decided to focus on new year’s resolutions that would build on personal growth and friendship.
Write everyday – whether this be a journal post about something that’s been on my mind or a sentence about what I’m grateful for that day, taking the time to sit and reflect on both the good & bad things can help me capture thoughts, feelings, and memories during that day. I hope to be able to look back on these written pieces and see how much I’ve grown over the course of the year and the amazing memories I was experienced.
Implement more self-care - in our busy and people-pleasing lives today, we fail to incorporate time for ourselves. However, true self-care isn’t just taking baths and eating chocolate cake, it’s making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. It’s identifying your needs and taking the steps to meet them. We all need a break sometimes, even when we feel as though we don’t have the time to. But, this year, I really want to put myself first and treat myself as kindly as I’ve been treating others.
Decrease my time on social media/electronic devices - in this generation, everything is based around technology. Whenever someone’s bored, they turn to their technology devices rather than finding something new to do or hanging out with a friend. It’s also rare to see people go on with their lives without documenting it, and I must admit, I’m guilty to doing all these things myself. This year, I want to be able to live my life without the urge of turning to my phone to save me from awkward situations or boredom, or being distracted by notifications and social media when I’m with people. What’s most important is to be in the present and this past year, I’ve felt I lacked that.
Rekindle old friendships and spend more time with the people I love and cherish - since starting college, I’ve found myself neglecting the people who have played a role in my life thus far. Whether it was a teacher, an old friend I’ve known since elementary school, or even someone I’ve met my first year here at UW; I failed to sit down and thank them for their constant support. This year, I want to invest in those that invest in me.