Since coming to Hopkins, I have done a lot of things I would have never expected myself to do. I successfully finished a half-marathon, I (moderately) successfully completed a college-level math course, I started eating naturally green foods, the list goes on and on. Yes there is a lot that’s different about the college junior sitting before you today from the seventeen year old who first stepped foot on campus three years ago.
But the change that probably would have surprised pre-college Tess the most is my decision to go Greek and join Alpha Phi. You see when I was applying to colleges, the thing that I was opposed to the most, even more opposed to than foods grown by Mother Nature, was a university dominated by Greek Life. I had seen the movies and believed the rumors – I knew I was not a sorority girl. I made it a prerequisite that any school I applied to had a low-key or non-existent Greek community. So when I arrived on Homewood as a freshman, I was perfectly content in my decision to lead a Greek-less life.
Hopkins has Rush in the beginning of spring semester, and so I had some time to mull over decision. Because the further into the semester I got, the more I realized that I had some reconsidering to do. I met girls involved in Greek Life, and realized that these were people I not only wanted to be friends with, but looked up to as well. I started to understand that this was an opportunity to connect with girls who otherwise I would have spent my entire four years at Hopkins not knowing. I wanted to add some diversity to my social life at Hopkins, and Greek Life seemed like just the outlet.
I also began to appreciate that in joining the Greek Community at Homewood, I would not be forfeiting my other activities and organizations. Greek Life at Hopkins does not dominate any aspect of one’s social or extra-curricular existence, but rather serves as one of many smaller communities you can chose to become a part of. I am still as involved in my other activities as ever, and have even managed to swing taking on leadership positions within the Alpha Phi chapter as well.
So as you can see, at the end of my freshman fall I made the decision to forgo my previous (mis)conceptions of Greek Life and Rush in the spring. And I have not looked back since. I forged even closer bonds with girls I already knew, and met countless others I didn’t know existed. Through Alpha Phi I have found my JHU bestie and roommate Dana, the light of my life/my little JHU_Ruthie and so many other amazing friends. Alpha Phi has allowed me to grow as a leader as I now serve on the executive board as Vice President of Programming and Education. I have learned out to plan and execute events, raise money and lead meetings. I am now a part of an international organization that helped me to meet friends and connections while I was abroad last summer in London. Alpha Phi has been such an incredible resource and asset to my life, that I still can’t believe I almost missed out on this amazing experience because of my previous biases.
So perspective students, I encourage you to keep an open-mind about Greek Life at Hopkins, or wherever you end up attending. It might turn out to be for you, or it might not. The important thing is to make an informed decision and not believe everything you hear ahead of time.
Other resources: because I was recently admonished for writing a too “female-centric” blog, I have included a list of links to other Greek blog entries that could potentially appeal to both a male/female audience. Enjoy!