Q: I live with my “Big Sis.” Since moving in together, our relationship has blown up and disintegrated entirely. She doesn’t talk to me, so I don’t talk to her. I’ve extended the olive branch countless times and now have pretty much dropped her as my Big. We were the strongest Big/Little pairing. Now she doesn’t speak to me and only hangs out with her other Little. It really hurts when I see her post pictures from it. I want to start my own line, but am really attached to our family name. :(
A: i honestly believe that best friends and close big/littles should NOT live together. that was your undoing. i know there are always exceptions, but in general it’s better to keep close friends a little separate from roommates and business transactions. it’s just as tough doing business with good friends or family. some people do it, but there is a high risk for damaging the relationship.
the sister you loved going out with is totally different to live with. she leaves dirty dishes in the sink, she never cleans the shower, she has guys over at all hours, she plays music way to loud, etc… the list never ends for living together irritations. private lifestyles vary widely and sometimes being “too close” can cause relationship strain. total togetherness can be a friendship killer. i have found that a neutral, independent person who you’re friendly with, but not super close, makes the best roommate. then it becomes just about respect, reliability and cleanliness. with the strong emotions taken out of it.
if you can stop living together, your relationship may be repaired. i know one big/little pair who tried living together, got on each other’s nerves, moved out the next semester and are now closer than ever! if you both can forgive and forget the towels on the floor and favorite food eaten without permission ~ then you have a chance to mend your once strong bond. you need space and time.
please don’t make any rash decisions, like starting a new family line, until you gain some perspective. let things calm down and heal before doing anything drastic. i still think there is hope! look into alternative roommates and just let things ride for awhile. when you each have your own space, then start slowly with a few friendly gestures. by being patient and loving, you can hopefully become kind to each other again. let forgiveness guide you and your existing family tree can remain in tact. xoxo ;)
Hi! I am wondering if you can tell me anything about recruitment requirements for Alpha Sigma Tau. I am going to be a part-time student next semester and I have been to a few events for AST, because I have to work in order to go to school, I am only able to go to school part-time this semester. I was told I have to be full-time, but I haven't gotten a for sure answer... Any advice?
the standards for NPC chapters require that PNMs be enrolled full time in classes. that usually means 12 credits or more. if there is ANY way you can juggle a flexible job and classes, you could also enjoy the benefits of greek life while you’re a college student. the time goes by so fast, and this is the only opportunity you have to be a collegiate sorority member.
many girls work, take a full class load and participate in greek life. it all depends on how you schedule your time. for example, if you can work a job on the weekends and/or nights, that would leave more time for classes during the day. or work during the day and take classes at night. or a combo of both! you may be just one class away from full time status. with extra thought and effort, i have faith you can make it work. IF you are really interested in going greek, then switching jobs, changing work schedules and adding a class or two ~ is what you need to do. where there’s a will there’s a way.
you have the next 50 years to work full time. you only have 4 years as an undergraduate. i really admire your work ethic, but for this brief period of time, i hope you can enjoy all the benefits of sisterhood and good times as well. your university days are some of the most memorable times of your life! xoxo ;)
most PNMs don’t know many sorority members when they go through rush! PNMs may know a few friends from high school, or some greek girls from classes/sports, but it’s very common to be “new” to the sorority system. even if you’ve met some sorority members this fall semester, once you visit their house, you’ll meet lots more girls you’ve never even seen before. greeks tend to socialize with other greeks, so your opportunities for getting to know them before spring recruitment have been limited. but now’s your chance!
your #1 job during recruitment is to socialize, interview and bond with the sorority members so they do get to know you and you learn about them too. it is THE way to become aquatinted. you do this by being talkative, outgoing, friendly, inquisitive, enthusiastic, charming and genuinely interested in the sisters you speak with. ask questions, soak up the vibes and process the information at each sorority house, so you can make a wise decision about which chapter to join. be your BEST self so the sisters can see all you have to offer them. when you make a match, you will find your new sorority home! i wish you the very best of luck and happiness! xoxo ;)
Q: I was a new member this semester for my sorority, and we had to make the choice for our collegiate chapter to close Bc of issues. I was offered a choice to be initiated or to be released from my bid, I chose to be initiated, so I am an alumna. Now that we have no chapter, all the girls hate each other. People fight constantly. I was close with my sisters, nobody speaks to each other anymore. I’m sad Bc I had no collegiate experience at all and I don’t even have any close sisters that I thought I would. What to do?
A: oh no! this is the worst news on top of the worst news. i wish your sisters could just be friends, even if there isn’t a functioning chapter. is that too much to ask? apparently so… let’s focus on 3 points to make the best of a bad situation!!
- can you salvage two or three good friends out of the college group? if you could rally several girlfriends/sisters out of this mess, maybe you can still fulfill your longing for sisterhood. if a handful of you could start a mini-club and meet for good times, it would be fantastic. rally around your bond of membership, or start something new like a dinner club, craft club, or book club. find something that will bring you together. loose the fighting sisters and target the BEST girls for your little informal group.
- can you connect with alums in your area? are there any possibilities in your surrounding region for alumnae involvement? maybe you can volunteer with recruitment at a nearby campus, help different chapters in your state, work on establishing a colony at another university, or just meet for lunch and sisterhood with other alums. contact your advisors and regional representatives to see what your options are. seek out any activities you can!
- please take the long view! on a positive note, you are a sorority member for LIFE. it seems depressing right now, but one day when you move to a new city after graduation and you don’t know a single person, your alumnae membership will come in very handy. it could be a lifesaver. your sorority connections may help you land your dream job one day, or bring you a new friend when you’re home with small children and really need another mommy to bond with. maybe you can even work with your national organization in some way. or serve in a panhellenic capacity. there are long range greek things that you can do that will lift your spirits and fill the void you are experiencing now. all is not lost!
i recommend you try everything you can to make lemonade out of your lemons. start small, do your sorority research and embrace every little treasure you can. don’t spend any more time with the arguing sisters. also, join some totally NEW clubs as well ~ which will give you a fresh start and launch you in a different direction. focus your vision straight ahead and make your present and your future as bright as possible! xoxo ;)
Q: The executive board of my sorority recently voted me out as VP of Service because they didn’t like the way I was creating service projects or how I was handling my position. They said that complaints from membership were the reason they voted me out, but when a friend asked around, no one had complained about me, except the girls on e-board behind my back. Now I feel awkward being at chapter (given that it’s the middle of a term) and just doing normal sister events. Advice??
A: if you can take a “break” from your chapter for a while, without officially dropping out, it will give you a time to heal. i recommend you take one step back ~ to regroup, take a deep breath and quiet your nerves from what must be a very upsetting situation. i am so sorry this has happened! i wish your leadership had given you more time to change your approach and correct the things you were doing wrong, instead of booting you off the e-board. their actions seem quite extreme. and very shady the way they trumped up a false reason too.
luckily it’s almost christmas break and you will naturally be away from your sorority for several weeks. it couldn’t be better timing. when you are home, you can calmly think about what has happened and how to act when you go back to school.
from what you describe, it sounds like you were the victim of some unpleasant chapter politics. the sisterhood at large does NOT have a problem with you. that’s good news! there are plenty of sisters left to hang out with. focus on your favorite sisters who are not on the e-board. start fresh with the girls who are the farthest removed from your chapter officers. there are always numerous friend groups/cliques within a sorority. you need to connect with the sweetest, nicest sub-set you can find! look for security and healing with sisters who support you.
after break, let the past go and dedicate yourself to making a fresh start. spend your time with the BEST sisters and don’t dwell on what happened this semester. let the officers stress and strain over chapter leadership, while you relax, enjoy yourself and have FUN. not having you as a VP is their loss. you’re on to bigger and better things… free of all that drama and conflict, you will probably be much happier in the end! xoxo ;)
Q: I already have a little that I got earlier this semester and I LOVE her; we’re basically the same person. We got several new members through informal recruitment, and I offered to take one of them as another little in a few weeks. I’m excited but I’m also nervous because as a quadruplet I know a lot of twins end up feeling like their big plays favorites, and I don’t want that. Any advice on how to avoid those feelings?
A: dealing with twins is good preparation for your future, should you have children one day! you have to love each one of them equally, give each of them individual attention and keep the sibling rivalry under control. hello “motherhood.”
7 top tips for twin harmony:
- encourage the twins to be friends. schedule some fun activites together so your two littles can get to know each other better. you know and love them both, but they may not be close. the more they can bond ~ the less competition and rivalry.
- keep gifts and time equal. it’s important not to lavish one little with lots of expensive gifts and skimp on the goodies for the other. same goes for hanging out and socializing together. fair and equal need to be your top buzz words.
- make twins a positive. emphasize the benefits of having an expanded family line, such as another sister to do things with, sharing clothes, new connections to friends/guys, etc. make a list of all the benefits that apply to you and your twins and play it up.
- create strong team spirit. immediately set a theme for your family, select a name if you don’t already have one, order family shirts or costumes and build family pride. the three of you become the mighty ____! the envy of the chapter. more spirit = less infighting.
- ignore the small stuff. don’t give in to petty irritations. save your energy for only the major dilemmas (should they come along). as the big sister, establish that your family is not going to get bogged down in trivial sniping. if you set the right tone with your twins, they should respect you and get along better with each other.
- yes, you are a role model. if you gossip and backstab, your twins will too. if you thrive on drama and complaining, they will too. conversely, if you act as you expect them to act and treat them as you want them to treat you ~ you will have much greater harmony. role model the positive behavior you want for your ‘ideal’ family.
- be the mediator if needed. if trouble should arise, make sure you listen to both sides, treat both twins fairly and stay as neutral as possible. intervene as a loving big who is there to help and not pit one sister against the other. if you remain unbiased, you should be able to work out any bumps in the road.
"If you want to make friends, go out of your way to do things for other people — things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness." ~ Lawrence G. Lovasik
"To have a good friend is one of the highest delights in life; to be a good friend is one of the noblest and most difficult undertakings." ~ Anon
Q: My sorority has had a lot of issues this semester that had me considering dropping letters. I was finally coming back around but we’ve had plans for three weeks to induct a new sweetheart this week and all of sudden someone posted on Facebook that we should move it to Saturday. The main reasons being that some people have had a long week of classes, an alum (who inducted every single sweetheart until now) will be here, and they’ll be able to celebrate (drink) more on Saturday.
The problem is there’s a sister who’s transferring next year and this may be the only sweetheart she could ever induct. I tried to defend her side but no one cares at all. The president, the only one who could overrule it, completely ignored the post even after she was tagged saying it was up to her. I’m honestly having trouble believing something so ridiculous even happened. Things like this make me think I joined the wrong group of girls but my sisters have already ambushed me with an intervention. They confronted me about always being mad about something and I’m basically viewed as the bitchy uptight sister for being the one who’s not afraid to put my foot down and bluntly say how I feel about our internal problems.
I’m loosing all faith in this sorority and I don’t see anything else I can do to help that. What would you suggest?
A: it’s not just your sisterhood, most sororities have these issues. when there’s a large group of girls you are guaranteed to have conflicts, different opinions, drama, last minute changes, power struggles and more! if it’s any consolation, members act like this everywhere. so you didn’t join the wrong sisterhood ~ you joined A sisterhood!
you are experiencing first hand what it’s like to be a member of an opinionated group. this will prepare you for your future career and “grown up” life where you will have to co-exist with a wide variety of people ~ all with their own agendas, priorities and self interests. to keep peace and keep your sanity, you need to find a balance between putting your foot down once in a while and being a constant agitator. you have an extra strong sense of right and wrong and it’s getting in the way of chapter harmony. your sisters want you to be happy and you want to be less stressed. only by compromising will all of you be at peace. here are some additional tips for improving your situation ~
- pick your battles: unless you are chapter president, most of these scheduling and event issues are not your concern. limit your anxiety to only the very biggest sorority dilemmas which effect you directly. save the fit throwing for dire circumstances. that way you won’t be the chapter nag or the girl who cried wolf.
- relax and step back: yes, your sisters may be inconsiderate and always messing things up, but it’s not your problem. when you belong to a group, you have to be flexible enough to go “with” the group on many issues. constantly criticizing and rocking the boat makes others upset and gives you a bad reputation. this is just part of group dynamics.
- don’t be a know it all: if you always find fault and express it loudly, you become the ‘negative nancy’ of your sorority. this wears thin and leads to the intervention you recently experienced. you appear unhappy and displeased all the time. even though you’re right ~ even though you could do it better ~ even though your sisters keep making bad decisions ~ even though it’s not right or fair!! being right all the time doesn’t lead to loving friendships and a happy greek life.
- try the indirect approach: learning how to work the politics of a sorority is important for effecting change. charging around taking a righteous stand and preaching from your soap box only puts a target on your back. you can have the same opinions and goals, just try a more diplomatic way of accomplishing them. your current method is not working. be more stealth, more kind and more sweet talking when expressing your views. arguing and confrontation never works well with other girls.
- time to grow: this is your opportunity for learning patience and improving your people skills. save your opinions for life and death issues only, run for office so you have the authority to back up your views, work on positive projects which will improve your chapter from within. you can move mountains with hard work and a positive glass-half-full attitude. try it for one semester and see what happens. i think you will feel better, have more impact and your sisters will be more open to your opinions. sometimes it’s all HOW you say it ~ with a smile or a frown!
Q: I’m a sister of a small sorority at a small college and this will be my first semester having littles. I have twins and I already love them to death but due to our school policies we had an extremely short education process and I haven’t had the chance to get to know them. Is there anyway I could easily get to know them so that I can get them things they’ll like and develop nicknames that reflect who they are?? Theres only one week left and with the semester ending I’m so busy. Please Help!! :(
A: luckily the holidays give you an opportunity to do some fun things together in the spirit of the season. how about ice skating and hot chocolate? or doing a little christmas shopping together, attending a christmas concert, painting ornaments, baking cookies, etc… anything fun and festive will help you bond.
but there is no “speed dating” for building friendships. TIME together is the only thing that creates the closeness and the personal nicknames you are longing for. you could create a humorous get-to-know-you questionnaire for your twins to fill out ~ in a totally funny way! but beyond that, you need time and shared experiences. do what you can and be patient. the love will grow as the year goes by. xoxo ;)
I've noticed that sisters in my chapter and women who submit asks to this blog from around the country have problems with their bigs (maybe they're negligent or just plain rude) and I just want to tell y'all that while it sucks, focus on being an AWESOME big when you take a little so the cycle doesn't continue. Sometimes the person you want to look up to and admire isn't who you thought they were, but that's okay! Be your own mentor and be a mentor for others. :)
INDEED! AGREED! xoxoxo
thank you for sharing your big/little inspiration!! ;)
Hey! I've been trying to get a local greek life started on my campus bc administration is so opposed to having traditional NPC/IFC organizations. They want us to be coed with "gender equal" activities, and it's becoming so far off from our original vision. To my knowledge, locals don't need to be recognized by the school so I'm wondering if it's worth it to sacrifice the vision me & all my friends had for the sorority to become officially recognized by the school.
good grief. if you want an all-female “sorority” of some kind, it sounds like you will need to go around/outside the administration. there are some great co-ed greek organizations, but naturally they have a different flavor than a same gender chapter. personally i would vote for the local female sorority, rather than the co-ed school sanctioned group. by imposing these restrictions, the administration basically squelches all traditional sororities and fraternities from forming. which means you will never get the ‘total’ experience if you go with their mixed gender plan.
many local sororities have wonderful times and share a special sisterhood. i think that would be closer to your original vision. i would research the ins and outs of managing a local chapter by contacting other local sororities and learning how they do it. many local chapters function very well and give their sisters a meaningful experience.
a sorority or fraternity is suppose to be different than joining the co-ed debate team or the young democrats club. i believe same-sex institutions can inspire and mold the character of it’s members in a unique way. if you can, i would continue on the path to a local sisterhood. or ~ let the idea go (you tried!) and become involved in other things on your campus. sadly, your school is just not receptive to greek life and your time might be better spent pursuing other adventures. xoxo ;)
Q: My little and my GrandLittle are constantly fighting, there’s times where they won’t talk to each other and I’m caught in the middle. The things they fight about are so silly, and then the other gets mad and won’t speak to her for several days. It’s so dramatic. And we are all in our 20s! I’m not sure what I should do being the neutral between the two.
A: i am reminded of the quote ~ "idle hands are the devil’s playground.” your sisters have waaaay toooo much time on their hands if they get that offended over such trivial things. life’s too short for all this unimportant drama. i think the best thing you could do is get your family involved with something bigger than themselves. your little and glittle need to break out of their self centered bubble. by not having important interests or goals, they are caught in this soap opera like behavior. “busy hands” don’t dwell on bickering!
with your inspiration, i suggest you ALL take up a new hobby, join the hiking club, try out for an intramural sports team, get behind a political cause, volunteer on campus, enroll in a new exercise class (how about belly dancing?), get a part time job, tutor young people, start attending church ~ or anything else to broaden your horizons and expand your vision! take the lead in motivating your sisters to enrich themselves. if everyone was extremely busy saving abandoned animals, playing soccer, or learning to play the guitar ~ no on would have time for this nonsense.
and the best thing about being on a university campus is the availability of options at your fingertips! there are always TONS of clubs, classes, interest groups, teams and other opportunities laid out like a buffet for your choosing. get more involved with your sorority too. if your sisters were immersed in planning formal recruitment, or managing the chapter budget, they would be happily distracted.
take the lead. be a role model. if your sisters won’t follow, then at least you will be out of their petty problem zone. don’t be sucked in by their unhappiness any longer. forge a new path, encourage them to go on the journey with you and move forward to a happier place. your 20s should be about maturing and achieving. time to leave the high school antics behind! xoxo ;)
I'm starting to look at job applications and information needed for them. Different people recommend that you have a list of hobbies and interests ready in case you are asked in interviews. I want to make sure that I am genuine, but I also want to seem professional and well-put together. Can you think of how to put a professional spin on sorority hobbies like crafting, hanging out, and bonding? It would help me out a bunch!
crafting is definitely a recognized “hobby” and “interest!” you should also list your specialties such as art & painting if you paint canvases and coolers. you may also be gifted in sewing, crafting memo boards, or decoupage. list all your creative talents…
- designed tee shirts, chapter website, or facebook graphics = graphic design experience!
- volunteered for ____ & ____ list each philanthropy individually and what you actually “did” for them, instead of just listing general volunteering. for example ~ you organized a taco dinner to raise funds for XYZ charity, read books every month to hospitalized children, hosted a senior citizens holiday party, collected and sold prom dresses to underprivileged teens. name the organization, what you did and the skills you developed which = real life employment experience. show that you can work well with others, lead a team to success, reach fundraising goals, plan and organize, be dedicated to a project over a period of time, etc…
- leadership ~ if you’ve held ANY position in your chapter, make sure to list it and what skills you gained from it. even the smallest job can be truthfully embellished to include leadership, teamwork, creativity and/or managing a budget.
- recruitment gives a sorority girl LOTS of people skills and an outgoing personality. detail how many girls your chapter recruited each year, the planning involved and the interviewing skills you developed to be a top recruiter. salesmanship, publicity, marketing and promotion is also part of recruitment. these things apply directly to most businesses!
- panhellenic and/or fraternity partnerships on all-greek events such as anchor splash, greek week, turtle tug, derby days, or an annual marathon = valuable skills. be sure to include your duties and what you gained from the experience. teamwork and organization are important in partnering with other chapters.
- alum interaction = you work well with all ages and you can relate to older people.
- attending greek socials = you are an active and involved person (not a couch potato). if you decorated and made costumes = creativity and ingenuity.
- sisterhood participation in retreats, study sessions and educational programs = personal development, eagerness to learn, team building, loyalty to an organization, quest for knowledge. ALL things a company values highly in an employee!
- honoring rituals, traditions and standards = respect for the past, living by a code of decent behavior, striving for excellence and obeying the rules. being a greek in good standing shows you are an accomplished person who will be a dedicated and loyal employee.
- writing songs, lyrics, poems, articles, or press releases for the chapter = musical talents and valuable writing ability.
- making lawn letters, banners, or other large scale projects = hands on experience, skilled craftsman, artistic talent.
- in general other things you have learned from greek life include: time management skills, discipline, dedication to academics, strong interpersonal skills, patience, setting goals and reaching them, being able to keep a confidence, proper social media etiquette, self confidence, friendliness, generosity, tolerance and respect for others. the list goes on & on!
any employer should be impressed by the experience and the traits which a sorority member brings to the table. emphasize the positive and put your BEST self forward!
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don’t let your christmas sisterhood social die of boredom! make your holidays happier with these fun and festive gift exchange ideas ~
❉❊ 12 merry & bright gift exchange ideas: ❉❊
- gift card exchange: set a max limit of $30 for each sister. everyone buys 3 $10 gift cards from three different places. play greek bingo or other game to exchange and steal the cards from each other.
- A to Z name game: before the party, everyone is assigned a letter. each girl must bring a gift beginning with that letter. variation ~ everyone brings a gift that begins with the first letter of their first name.
- $3 crafty: every sister must make a gift for only $3. this idea can be themed further to “ornaments” or “holiday decor”.
- free entertainment: instead of exchanging gifts, ask each sister to compose a poem, sing a song, do a dance, tell a joke, play an instrument, or any other entertainment! limit the time to 30 seconds or 1 minute if your chapter is large.
- undercover gifts: for an added twist, ask each girl to disguise her gift in a different unwrapped box. for example put bottle of perfume in a can of mixed nuts. host a fun gift exchange game based on the external container. in the end, everyone opens their disguised packages to reveal the “real” gift inside.
- guess the gift recipient: in advance of the social, each sister draws a name of one sister to give a gift too. instead of labeling the package, it must be wrapped in one big clue as to who it’s for. volleyball wrapping paper for the athlete, lilly pulitzer paper for the preppy sister, newspaper for the journalism major, etc… it’s fun guessing and matching the gifts at the party.
- christmas story exchange: pass out one key word from the story “T’was the Night Before Christmas” to each sister. one sister then reads the story aloud and when someone’s word is said, they stand up and shout, "merry christmas" or "ho,ho,ho" and choose a gift from the stack of presents everyone brought to the social.
- name that tune: this exchange is played like the game "name that tune." play a few measures of a christmas song. the first sister to correctly guess the carol gets to choose the first gift. continue play until everyone has a gift. presents can be unwrapped, or remain wrapped, as everyone has the opportunity to steal gifts from each other.
- question & command: everyone gets a gift to start. put slips of paper into a bowl with a question and a command written on each one. one at a time, each girl pulls a slip out of the bowl, answers the question and then reads the command until everyone has opened their gifts. some examples: Q: what is your favorite color? C: tell everyone wearing that color to open their gift. Q: where would you like to travel to on your next vacation? C: tell everyone to pass their gift 2 spaces left. Q: do you like fruit cake? C: swap gifts with any sister. questions can be a combination of personal and holiday themed.
- numbers exchange: number each gift as it arrives. then, give the girl who brought the gift a piece of paper with the same number on it. ask each sister to write down a little known fact about herself on the paper. she then folds the paper and puts it in a bowl. to start the game, draw a piece of paper and read the fact, NOT the number. the first sister to guess who the fact is about, gets the package with the same number.
- holiday trivia: have every member bring a wrapped gift. attach the answers to holiday trivia questions on the gifts and stack them in the center of the room. gather everyone in a circle and read the christmas questions. the girl giving the right answer gets to pick the gift with the matching answer on it from the stack.
- sing for your gift: write the first line of popular christmas carols on slips of paper and place them in a bag. attach the remaining part of the song on each gift as the girls arrive. each sister pulls out a line of the carol and must match it up to the gift with the rest of the song. she must SING the song before opening the gift!