During the four days of formal recruitment I had been asked approximately 20 times why I wanted to join a sorority! Every time I told the girls, the same rehearsed reasons. I told them that I wanted to make campus a little bit smaller, I told them how I wanted to enjoy community service and how I wanted to become very involved on campus, so that I would gain more experience and learn to be a leader.
Though those things were all true, there were many more sincere reasons why I wanted to join a sorority. I wanted to be around people who were like me, people who brought out the best in me. I was looking forward to the networking opportunities that come with being affiliated, having sisters all over the world who are willing to help me, and surrounding myself with women who had similar beliefs as I do. Most importantly, I wanted to find women that I felt comfortable being myself with.
As it turned out, that place for me didn’t exist for me on my campus until my second year. During the first weeks of the semester, enthusiastic Phi Mu Chapter Consultants manifested campus and advertised for a new, women’s fraternity coming to campus. After receiving tons of free cups, pens and cookies embroidered with Phi Mu’s letters, I decided to give it a try. I attended the extension process, and to my surprise, was greeted with genuine women who dug deep, and asked me why I really wanted to join Greek life. They listened thoughtfully and engaged in a sincere conversation with me. Upon leaving my interview, the decision to join Phi Mu was easy.
During our first semester on campus, our Chapter Consultants worked endlessly and selflessly to make every sister feel like she belonged, encouraged us to be our most authentic selves and taught how to thrive in a setting that matched our passions and values with those of the organization. As the semester progressed, so did our love for Phi Mu. Thanks to our Chapter Consultants, the members of Zeta Eta found truth within the creed of Phi Mu and within its values. We learned the importance of generating a respectable and vibrant reputation on campus, and begun to do so through acts of community service and supporting other student organizations. Our chapter consultants brought support and creativity to our school. We were able to realize our potential and were given the best Phi Mu experience possible. When I reflect on my time as a Phi Mu, I have found that many of my favorite memories would not have been possible without the continuous support of our Chapter Consultants.
I am motivated by the idea of the Phi Mu experience, because I can relate, firsthand, to the wonderful gift that this organization can provide. I’m thankful for my Phi Mu sisters, for my amazing consultant sisters (many of which remain in touch), and thankful to be a part of an organization that offers so much to our members. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience– which for me wouldn’t have been possible without the continued encouragement of our Chapter Consultants. For this reason, I believe that it is important to invest in the future of Phi Mu so that further development as members and chapters is possible!
Guest blog contributor Haylee Schmirler, Zeta Eta, University of Minnesota, is a member of the Phi Mu Foundation Collegiate Leadership Council.