Hey my fellow Sorority Sisters and Fraternity Brothers!
My name is Lily and I was once the President of a large sorority at George Washington University
While I always thought of myself as a “leader”, I never thought I’d want to be President of a 150+ person sorority. So it makes sense that, after being “Pledge Class President” during Freshman year pledging, I was approached by older sorority sisters to run for President.
I was hesitant..really hesitant. Me? President? I’m just here to have a good time! I decided to do my homework. I met with every current Executive Board member and dissected everything I could about their experience, the workload, dealing with other girls, you name it, I asked. I also asked for their support. After feeling confident, I decided that I COULD DO THIS! I COULD MANAGE A DOUBLE MAJOR AND WORKING PART TIME AND BEING THE PRESIDENT OF MY SORORITY!
And what did I learn from Day 1? Man..this was going to be HARD.
So, fellow Sorority Sisters and Fraternity Brothers, if you are thinking of running for President, or for any position on your chapter's Executive Board, here is some advice I can offer you.
1. If there is any way that you can take “easier” classes during your term as President, DO IT.
Being in this position is a full-time job. So in the areas where you have some control, do what you can to lighten your workload.
2. Complete any work that you have around the time of Recruitment BEFORE Recruitment.
Ask your professors for the assignments the month before if you have to. I slept maybe 2 hours a night during Recruitment. I did as much school work as I could, but I was also applying for a job that had a deadline shortly after Recruitment ended. Poor planning on my part!
3. Philanthropy IS actually AWESOME.
Not just because it looks good on your resume, but because it makes you feel wholesome. Imagine doing something selfless in college and feeling great about it afterwards? It’s easy enough to develop a few (well, a lot) of bad habits in college. This is one way to do some good for yourself and for someone who may actually be in need. It’s also fun to execute and participate in philanthropic events with your friends!
4. Also make an effort with Panhellenic/Interfraternity Council at your school.
They play an important role in your Chapter’s on-campus presence.
5. Create good relationships with your Sorority’s National Staff.
AKA the people who govern the entire Sorority. If your chapter gets in trouble (it happens) you want to be on these guys’ good side. They are there to help and support you.
6. Be nice to the Freshmen.
You are creating memories for everyone, but this is the class that you will have the biggest impact on. Put yourself in their shoes- nervous freshmen, looking for a warm group of friends. Pledging aside, be nice!
7. Also be nice to the people who were in the position before you- the older ones.
Remember, I asked these young women to support me before I decided to run. They are your advocates and can be there to support you if you need it. You may even get praised for the work you do if they think you’re that good ;)
8. You will never ever EVER experience anything else like this in your life.
Yes, maybe you’ll manage a team of people at work or eventually become a CEO, but nothing will ever be as...unique..as being elected to be on a Sorority or Fraternities leadership team. So embrace it! Even when the going gets tough and you think no one is listening to you..they are. You are making memories for your chapter that will last a lifetime.
9. HAVE FUN!
As #8 says, you will never experience anything like this again. So try and enjoy it if :)
If I could go back and do it again, I would have looked for a post similar to this one before committing to such as time consuming job...and then I still would have run. With all that being said, being President of my sorority was one of the most rewarding things I could have done in college (and beyond!). Employers care about leadership skills like...a lot. I was able to say that I essentially managed a group of 150 Millennials at the age of 20! Being in this role made me more confident and poised and taught me a lot about myself and how to work with people- best friends, acquaintances, university staff and beyond.
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