I would be willing to bet that a high school calculus classroom isn’t exactly at the top of everyone’s list of “Places Where Exciting, Life Changing Things Happen.” It wouldn’t be at the top of mine either, but it just so happens to be the place where I first made the incredibly important decision to join a sorority.
Before senior year, I was pretty apathetic about Greek life. I guess I had noticed big crowds of girls in enormous t-shirts and weird, strappy sandals on earlier visits to Austin and had seen movies featuring ditzy, uninspiring “sorority girls” that left very little impression on me. Other than that, I just hadn’t given sorority life much thought.
One day during class, my calculus teacher, a witty, no-nonsense, 67 year-old Southern woman named Mrs. Scott, made some offhand comment about her Delta Gamma sisters teaching her to parallel park her first car. Suddenly, I was introduced to an entirely different type of sorority girl. Standing before me was a woman who put herself through college, earned her Ph.D. in mathematics, and, before retiring to teach high school, worked for NASA. This was also the woman who inspired me to major in biomedical engineering, and she absolutely did not fit into my preconceived notion of what a sorority woman was. After that day, I started to look into what sorority life actually entailed. To my surprise, I found that these real life “sorority girls” were not just shallow airheads as the movies portrayed; they were hilarious, intelligent, fun, and driven women. The more I discovered, the more I knew that I absolutely wanted to be a part of a Greek organization.
When recruitment finally began, I was beyond nervous. I had read blog post after blog post to prepare, and I had heard every rumor about UT Greek life that there was to hear. I was terrified that I would end up in a group of women that I had nothing in common with or that wouldn’t value a balance between having fun and focusing on school. I decided to make sure every sorority knew where my priorities fell. You know the expression “good intentions, poor execution?” Well in the first few days of recruitment I started most conversations with “Is there any way I can do engineering and a sorority?” Overly enthusiastic? Maybe, but at least I got my point across. I can laugh about it now because the answer is so resoundingly obvious: absolutely!
With all of the daily support and encouragement these incredible women give me, the real question is how could I have made it this far without my sorority? When I found out that the girl to my right in the group photo was a National Merit Scholar, or the sophomore who introduced me to everyone on Bid Day was both a dedicated dancer and a business major, I knew that I had made the right choice. Delta Gamma was everything that I could have ever wanted in a sorority.
Now as a rising junior, I can’t believe that my bid day was two whole years ago. Cliché as it sounds, I cannot wrap my mind around what my life would look like without DG. It would have been so easy for Mrs. Scott to leave out that one little anecdote, a story that probably no one from our class remembers, but one that I will never forget. So thank you, Mrs. Scott. Whether you know it or not, you led me to a group of women who are all brilliant, hilarious, fun and inspirational. In DG I am surrounded by women who are interning with senators in D.C., running marathons, giving talks at Harvard, and most importantly, women who pick me up when I’m down and love me always.
I wonder how exactly I got to be a part of such an incredible group of women that care for me so deeply but also push me to be better. I may not know the answer to that question, but I do know this: I am so incredibly happy that Mrs. Scott went to college without learning to parallel park.