12 November, 2013
As I've been navigating the real world for the past 5 months since I graduated, I often find myself thinking about the lessons being president of my sorority taught me. For this week's Something Greek blog, we've compiled a list of the ten best things being a Greek life president can teach you.
1. It's really hard to get people to do things. Whether you're trying to get people to show their support at another organization's philanthropy event or if you're trying to get a coworker to send you a spreadsheet, you're probably going to have to remind them no fewer than seventeen times.
2. Lead by example. Sure, you could tell your new members an event is mandatory, but will they understand the importance of being there if you don't even have the decency to show up? Probably not.
3. You can't do everything by yourself. You've been an active member of your organization forever, so you know how things work and the best way to do them, but if you don't even ask for help, how will anyone know how to carry on your traditions when you graduate?
4. Talking to people a generation or two older than you. We all have that group of alumni that are our parents age, but are still super involved with the sorority's alumni association. As president, you'll be talking to these women via email, on the phone, or by Facebook message. Chances are you'll talk to your boss post-graduation similarly: friendly, but professionally.
5. A little competition is healthy. Your experiences with friendly Greek week rivalries will come in handy when you're competing with a friend for a promotion. Better yet, remember the time you ran against your pledge sister in an election? Also similar.
6. It's a lot easier to get people to do what you want if you're nice about it. Remember that social chair who wrote the strongly worded letter to her chapter during Greek Week? Well, I bet none of her sisters listened. Vent to your best friend, then deal with everyone else in a calm fashion.
7. Separate business and friendships. This one is just as important in Greek life as it is in post-grad, office life for so many reasons. Yes, you go to happy hour with your co-workers, but from 9-5 you need to be serious. This is very similar to social event behavior versus charity walk behavior. Also, you're not always going to get along with everyone, but you need to play nice for the sake of the greater good-- whether that's a co-worker that gets on your nerves or that other Greek life president who drives you insane.
8. You're doing better than you think you are. When I was president I was constantly worried that I wasn't doing enough. Then, I got an email from an alumni saying what a great job she thought I was doing. Something similar happened at my job a few weeks ago. You're doing okay. I promise.
9. People will look up to you. In my senior scrapbook, one of the younger girls wrote that I was the strongest woman she knew. Be careful what image you're putting out there. People are noticing.
10. Don't forget to enjoy the moment. You will never have another shot at college, just as you will (hopefully) never have another entry level job where you can absorb all of the information around you. Of course, you have a lot of work to do, but make sure to have fun along the way! Are you the president of your organization? What's the most valuable lesson you've learned? If you could do it again, what's something you would change? Leave your responses in a comment!