Find a place to call home, wherever you are. Be in the band, join a dance team, join a writing club, rush a sorority. Just find family wherever you are.
I was in the band (geeky, I know, but I loved it) in high school, as well as a member of a writing club and a dance team. But for college, I wanted something more. So I rushed Greek and joined, happily, Pi Beta Phi.
I found ritual, stability, and life-long friends in this sorority. I have dozens of shirts that mark days of Greek Sing, Greek Olympics, Lambda Chi Watermelon Bust, sisterhood retreats, kickball games, and rush. For four years, these girls became my family.
I've been thinking a lot about these girls and this time in the sorority because I'm truly noticing how easy it is to drift away from each other. People have a lot of problems with sorority life and that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion (though I do like to point out that Greeks are more likely to graduate college, have a higher GPA, and go on to big company leadership than non-Greeks...). My opinion is this: I've been involved in a lot of things in my life. Soccer, softball, dance, volleyball, honor society, community service, writing, newspapers, band, jazz band... and Pi Beta Phi is the most lasting of them all. Of course, I still have friends from these other parts of my life- friends that I cherish and love. But there's a connection with my Pi Phi sisters that is hard to explain to people who haven't had their own sisters. Even now, I know that my sorority sisters have the same amount of pride that I feel for them. Our actions reflect on each other still.
I've considered getting a tattoo for a while. Many of my sisters have tattoos that refer to Pi Phi and I always thought about it, too, but I never felt like I could fully commit until I made it all the way through the experience with no regrets and nothing that would make the experience bad at the very end. I've been out of Pi Phi for over a year now and I can honestly say that it saved my life. It kept me involved and busy. Grade checks helped me. Jessica Borchert (my savior) helped me with all of my journalism classes. She was never too busy to read my papers or to answer a PR question, patiently and always prepared. Pi Phi helped me.
To all of my Pi Phi sisters, know I think of you all often! PPL and mine. :o)