Alpha Sigma Alpha. Fifteen letters. Three words. One amazing decision.
When I first came to Mansfield University as a freshman last fall, I never dreamed of joining a sorority.
The idea of it terrified me! Crazy rushing tasks, insane parties and paying for friends? It seemed like too much to handle.
After being at school for a week, recruitment started. I saw girls wearing their letters around campus and they all seemed pretty normal.
Maybe I had jumped to conclusions about Greek life too quickly. I decided to go out for recruitment the first night just to check things out and be informed. My fate had been sealed.
I found girls at recruitment who were just like me, a little shy and insecure. Of course, it wasn't until after I had joined that I knew they were shy at all! Recruitment hit me like a ton of bricks.
Everyone was so outgoing, happy and eager to have everyone join one sorority or another. I didn't understand. Weren't they in competition with each other? Shouldn't they all be trying to get everyone to join their sorority?
Now that I have been initiated for almost a year, I understand. All of the shy girls who were so outgoing during recruitment? Sisterhood was what helped them to break out of their shells. I have gone through two recruitment periods myself now, and I can attest to that.
It's wanting to share what I have with my sisters with others. To me, it didn't matter what sorority the new girls joined. I just wanted them to have as great a relationship with their sorority as I have with mine.
Of course, many girls had the same worries I did when I joined. And let me just say, none of the things that I had assumed were true. There isn't hazing, there's no crazy parties and I'm not paying for friends.
Yes, I pay my dues, but it isn't for friendship. The dues are for many things, but what I get the most reward from is sisterhood. I would not take a single cent back.
Being in a sorority has taught me many lessons already. I've learned leadership, sacrifice, responsibility and teamwork.
Being in an organization of more than 20 girls who are roughly the same age is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But I've grown from the challenges.
This past year, I've taken positions within ASA that have helped become a leader and much more responsible.
I sacrifice my time every week to help with one of our national philanthropies, the Special Olympics.
Over time, however, I've come to realize that it isn't a sacrifice. I love being able to help with the athletes and see how much fun they're having.
Going Greek has been a decision that I know I will never regret. I am confident that I made the right choice and have become a better person because of my sisters.
Alpha love and all mine.
Younkin is a sophomore at Mansfield University and a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha. She is a student in Dan Mason's Intro to Journalism class.