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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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    It's All Greek to Me

    Sarah Laborde

    Despite common misconceptions, there is no cookie cutter Greek man or woman. Every Greek organization is different, and I’d like to share my personal experiences. Each school and chapter has different rules, regulations, values, rituals and characteristics. The popularity of sororities and fraternities in the United States has grown since the 1800’s, and universities around the world have similar systems and organizations.  

    From the outside looking in, Greek life can seem pretty confusing, and it can be confusing on the inside as well. I do not understand everything that my sorority does. Some of the rituals and traditions seem old fashioned, but being part of a tradition that has been in place for over a century is an incredible feeling.  It is a bond that I share with my sisters. Yes our organization’s crest is unusual, and the motto may or may not translate to what Wikipedia says, but knowing the true meanings and values expressed in these gives me a sense of pride in the organization. And it’s just fun knowing the secret.

    Here is a small but realistic list for Greek Life to try to give you a better understanding:


    Dues can get a bit pricey, but like all things Greek, they are different from chapter to chapter. People often think that in Greek life you are “paying for your friends.” In my opinion, I’m not paying for my friends, I am paying for fun things I can do with my friends: philanthropy events, family weekends, movie nights, lunch in our chapter’s house, exchanges, and so much more. Events big enough to host over 300 people (the size of my chapter) are going to be costly. The best thing about dues is that most chapters are willing to work with you through a payment plan or some other form of assistance.


    I “know” everyone in my sorority but I only truly have a connection with about 50. But even if I knew everyone, there is no possible way to make 300 girls get along with each other and be best friends. It’s just not possible.  Like I said before, there is no cookie cutter Greek man or woman; there are countless personality types and sometimes clashes come with this diversity. The inevitable fact is that you will not like everyone, but being in that organization exposes you to those people you would have never met without that common bond. Each person is unique and there is a place for everyone; it just may not be next to you at Monday’s chapter meeting.  

    Time commitment

    Speaking of meetings, there are a lot of them. I didn’t realize the time commitment being in a sorority requires. Weekly meetings, committee assignments, recruitment and leadership workshops, volunteer hours and mandatory event shifts start to add up after a while. Before you know it the semester will end, but you’ll look back and be proud of everything you and your chapter have accomplished.  


    The average GPA of Greek men and women is usually higher than the campus average. Greek organizations have academic requirements for members to remain active.  Older members often offer advice on which classes to take and what professors to avoid. Some chapters have peer tutors and academic mentors to help members achieve their academic goals.

    Being a member of a sorority has changed my college experience. I’ve found that the benefits of Greek life far outweigh the costs.  I have met so many wonderful, confident, kind-hearted women and have been able to grow as a leader, a student and a friend. Greek life has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to break out of my shell. It has given me lifelong friends and a network of people I can count on both now and in the future.


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    Studying Abroad Changes Your Life!

    Sarah Laborde

    I have traveled abroad before, and I was able to see that the world offered more than just my small hometown in Louisiana. So when the opportunity arose to study abroad I DID NOT want to miss it. Through the honors college at my university, I had the chance to study in the U.K. at Oxford University — one of the most well-respected institutions of higher learning in the world. I encourage students to study abroad when the opportunity presents itself.

    Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Discovering the cultures and customs of different nations gives a student a fresh perspective of the world.  A person’s experiences abroad can shape and mold them into well-rounded individuals who can connect and interact with people of many different backgrounds.

    Academic experience abroad sets you apart. The first step in getting that great internship or landing your first job is to have a standout resume. The benefits of the global mindset a person gains from studying abroad are what bosses and businesses value, especially with today’s globalized economy.

    I’ve put together a list of things I’ve learned to do or consider before studying abroad: 

    1. Know what you are getting into before you get on the plane – Keep an eye on political events and safety messages from the country you are going to. These happenings may affect foreign policy, currency or exchange rates, and the overall atmosphere of a country. Sign up with your nation’s embassy in the country you are traveling to, and stay up to date on current events.
    2. The time leading up to your program’s departure can be quite stressful – Constantly checking to see if the flight you booked four months ago is still confirmed; watching the pound to dollar exchange rate like a hawk to be sure you get the most out of what little money you have to spend; finding the right clothes to pack and the luggage big enough to fit everything you will need for the next month; all take a toll on what little sanity you have left from the previous semester.
    3. Don’t try to climb the mountain – On my program, we were allowed one free weekend, but climbing the tallest mountain in the U.K. may not be the best idea for someone who is not used to altitude change or much altitude at all (New Orleans, LA is BELOW sea level). Seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be AMAZING, but tickets DID NOT fit into my budget. Dream big because your study abroad should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but be realistic.
    4. People > Places – Make an investment in the people you are studying with. Try to get to know at least one person from your group before your program starts. Having a friend to go to London with you for the day or to help you study for the next quiz is something everyone needs while in a foreign place. Find a buddy, and your experience abroad doesn’t have to end when you touch down back in the States.
    5. HAVE FUN!!! – Studying abroad is all about having an amazing encounter with different cultures and peoples. It should be FUN! Go explore the world, and soak up everything you can in the new and exciting places you will go.