Why I Joined Greek Life

Why I Joined Greek Life

by Des “xerneAs” Amaya | IG @busy.b33

My Impressions of Greek Life

Greek life was always intimidating and unfamiliar to me. Being a first-generation college student, the only Greek representation I had was “Scream Queens,” a show about superficial sororities and fraternities covering up dark secrets. I didn’t know anyone invested in Greek life or who’s had a good experience with someone in Greek life.

Discovering Sigma Psi Zeta

One day, I got a call from Ella, one of my closest friends from high school. She told me she found a sorority with a great philanthropy and was interested in joining. I’ve always looked up to Ella. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and I trust her with my life. Knowing that she was able to find community with such a strong group of women gave me hope that I could do the same.

Eventually, I saw Ella standing proudly in her black line jacket. I don’t know if it was the jacket itself, or the pure pride Ella had to represent an organization with values dear to her heart. Her happiness and pride were contagious.

It was November of 2019 when I passed a black table selling mooncakes for the mid-autumn festival. I recognized the colors as the same ones on Ella’s jacket. It was Sigma Psi Zeta (SYZ). I asked how to join, not realizing I had completely missed the recruitment season.

Rushing SYZ

I waited until January of the next semester, keeping an eye out for the posters, and found them in my dorm hall. The first event was a bullet journaling and study tips presentation in the back of the library. Most of the friends I made that first semester also had negative perspectives on Greek life as a whole due to a specific frat having a very negative reputation on campus. This meant I had to go to this event alone. I had never felt such anxiety before entering a room because I did not know what to expect.

When I opened the door, I was greeted warmly by one of the older SYZters. I was so nervous and ready to be defensive but soon found out that there was no reason to be guarded. Everyone seemed interested in getting to know me, whether it was my hobbies, why I chose our college or just my life in general. It was so genuine. I felt like I had found my home.

Finding Home at College

Finding your identity is so hard in college, especially with the background I grew up in. More specifically, I was struggling to come out as queer, unsure of how well it would go over in a group dominated by cis women. It ended up slipping out suddenly one day, and no one even batted an eye. They accepted me in my entirety, nonbinary and all. These women fought for me to ensure my pronouns were respected in the Greek community and among themselves. They corrected people for me because they knew I was too nervous and wouldn’t have done it myself. They were my advocates when I wasn’t confident enough to be my own. I owe a lot to these women, for loving my whole, unfiltered self. And, I owe a lot to Ella, without whom I would not have found this wonderful community.

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