30 Minutes Outside Philly: An ode to the Greek


Sarah Steffens

Hello! August has flown by and it seems as though I have forgotten about my dearest Blog Fans(™). Just kidding— I’d never. The hustle and bustle of summer has come to an end and August, to me, has been the equivalent to the heat waves on warm asphalt, always there but only realized when the heat seems to just be unbearable— the summer was long. August is a drippy cone of ice cream all over my hands that I just want to get rid of already, no matter how sweet the summer might be. 

Moving into the Alpha Omicron Pi house at Lehigh was something I’ve been looking forward to for a bit now. I’ve been planning roommates, bedding, carpets and a whole lot of fun since May.

However, on a cold day in late January—bid day at Lehigh—I cried. I had no idea if I wanted to be in a sorority, and I felt overwhelmed. I was hesitant to complete recruitment, unsure of whether or not I’d fit in. 

On bid day, while all of my friends were jumping up and down, snapping photos left and right, I was tearing up, sitting on the couch and texting my mom incessantly. Some girls would have killed to be in my position—receiving a bid from their favorite sorority on campus—but I didn’t want to be there. I worried about my mental health deteriorating as going out became more of a prominent activity in my schedule, my grades slipping and my moral fibre being compromised—sometimes I felt like I was just not like the other girls. 

Of course I did. What I realized was that those “other” girls were unique, as well.

Upon meeting these women, I realized that the majority of them are thinner, cuter, better at dancing, and, quite frankly, nicer than I am. After joining, I came to know these women as my sisters, rather than people who might see me as lesser.

I did not expect to meet the amazing community of women I’ve met over the past six months. I thought I was comfortable with my friend group until I met fifty other women who seemed to love me for me—just like my other friends. For instance, whenever I post to my online blog, “Thirty Minutes Outside of Philly,” I receive an influx of text messages, supporting, commenting and loving on my post.

In a world where Greek life is deteriorating, I want to emphasize the positive nature of sorority life. Our philanthropy events have raised an impressive amount of money for the Arthritis Foundation and Relay for Life. I’m best friends with advocates, pre-med students, activists, teachers, learners and all-around incredibly powerful women. 

I see Greek life as an opportunity to branch out of your comfort zone and become your best self. These women have become my sisters.

To everyone who is deciding whether or not to rush: give it a try. Before you know it, you’re fighting over hair on the walls of the showers, a suspicious scent coming from the refrigerator or a going-out top that has been mysteriously lost in the laundry. Now, stop reading, and pay your dues.

The girl who cried alone on Bid Day is now running for president.

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