By Katie Pressler
Photo caption: Alpha Sigma Tau Photo by Katie Pressler, The Keystone
My whole life, I grew up being a cheerleader. Questioning myself if I wished to continue cheering at KU, I could only go with what I always knew. I started the cheer team and then decided that I didn’t want to continue my cheerleading career. Knowing I had strong leadership skills and a need to be involved, I decided to make a change.
Sophomore year, I decided to go for something I had always been interested in: Greek life. Already having some friends involved, I was more than excited to go through the recruitment process. I was extended a bid from Alpha Sigma Tau, an organization that has
impacted and inspired me to better myself as a woman.
During my new member process, I learned so much about my sorority and was especially intrigued about our philanthropies.
AST’s national philanthropy project is funding math and science programs at Pine Mountain Settlement School and our local project is Habitat for Humanity. I’ve always been interested in being able to help other people and so I was happy to hear the contributions AST makes toward both philanthropies. Knowing I am a part of an organization that helps other people makes me feel good about myself and continues to inspire to keep doing so.
While working together to raise money for our philanthropies, we are given the opportunity to work together within our group. According to Nicole Glass’s article in USA Today, “What makes Greek life rewarding is that members are given the unique opportunity to interact with and lead their peers.” In my personal experience, this couldn’t be more true.
Being exposed to working within a large group of people can help build skills to use for our futures. Glass says that, “Although Greek life has changed over time, students who take their membership seriously are still equipped with skills that can be used in their future careers.” These skills could include social, professional, leadership and interpersonal skills.
I believe Greek life gives so much value to its individuals because no matter the organization, students can help fundraise to help other organizations, and help better themselves as young adults. I think this gives students positive thoughts towards helping others, and helping themselves in being successful.
Glass says, “Since 1825, all but three U.S. presidents have been members of a fraternity.” She also says that, “College graduation rates are 20 percent higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.” These statistics indicate the positive impact Greek life can have on an individual.
Apart from giving back to other organizations, Alpha Sigma Tau has helped me grow as a woman and develop a professional mindset as I prepare for life after school. I have learned how to work effectively within a large group of people and strengthen my leadership skills. I also have a huge support system at all times. While being away from home can be hard sometimes, I have all of my sisters to keep me sane.