Thursday, May 13, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 8

By Becca Raphael, '10, Gamma Phi Beta
(top row, 3rd from the left - with 09/10 Panhellenic exec)

On August 24, 2006 I wore a white and navy polo shirt, jean shorts and Rainbow flip-flops. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that my mom had made me for lunch and I wore my hair in a half-ponytail. I can remember these details because it feels as though today is August 25 and just yesterday, my parents moved me into my first dorm room at Lehigh. The last four years have gone by so quickly that they hardly feel like they ever happened at all. It’s as though I woke up after my first day of Freshman Orientation and the whole experience was over. In what feels like a few short hours, I’ve made a ton of memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and owe a lot of them to being a part of Lehigh’s Greek life.

I came to college knowing for sure that I would join a sorority. With a middle-sized student body, I knew it was the best option for me to make a solid group of friends and to hopefully find my niche at Lehigh. After meeting a slew of sorority girls my first semester, I began the recruitment process already having an idea of which chapter I’d like to join. What I think is so great about Lehigh’s recruitment process is that it gives you ample amount of time to get to know the sororities and for them to get to know you, rather than coming to school in the middle of August and receiving a bid from a house that selected you based on fake premises. I joined Gamma Phi Beta after the recruitment process without any regrets. I am graduating in just a week, and while I am leaving the school behind, I am not leaving any friends behind—my friends have really become my family.

While yes, I’ve enjoyed the date parties, the Greek Weeks and the permanent sleepovers with my best friends, the most important thing I’ve taken from this whole experience is my own self discovery. If there is anything I can tell to an incoming student about taking advantage of the Greek system here at Lehigh, it’s to never hold back. Find a leadership position within the chapter and pursue it without hesitation. As a new member, I became the Jr. Panhellenic delegate and saw potential for myself in this realm. I became Gamma Phi’s Panhel Delegate during my sophomore and junior year which led me to my position on Panhel’s executive board my senior year. I have no regrets for pursuing positions as a part of the larger community, and because of it, I’ve made friends outside of my house.

Coming to Lehigh was the best decision I’ve ever made, and joining a sorority is what made my experience here so amazing. So, to anyone on the fence about the whole recruitment process, I hope you jump to the Greek side. I can guarantee your experiences will rival anything else.