Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wonderful Words of Wisdom

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   Shanah Gaskil, Director of Administrative Affairs
 
Congratulations to all of the women who are registered for Fall Formal Recruitment. We know that you will have a great experience, and here are some "wise words" from our very own Shanah Gaskill, the Director of Administrative Affairs for KU Panhellenic. 
 
Watching my dad tear up as we said our first of many goodbyes freshman year, wasn’t the most easing feeling I’ve ever felt. But he told me that he was proud, and he knew that I would do well.  And then he and my mom gave me one last hug, as I headed to the first recruitment meeting.
 
As I sat in that first meeting, I was feeling a mix of emotions. I couldn’t believe my parents had just dropped me off, and now I was sitting around 800 overly chatty and excited women... Yikes. 
I knew that I originally wanted to go through recruitment because people from my life had done it before. But as I continued to sit there and wonder what the heck I was doing, I realized that I wanted to go through recruitment mostly for myself. I wanted to make new friends and be involved in something bigger than myself. Joining a group of 150 other woman seemed like a good way to do both of those things. But to get there I was going to have to majorly go out of my comfort zone.
 
In no way was it natural for me to sit and talk to strangers for nearly eight hours a day, while my stomach growled because I was fed one fourth of a Jimmy John’s sandwich. (You’re lucky you actually get real meals this year!) But I tried to stay positive and make the best of the whole thing.
 
After the week was over and I got my voice back after losing it from excessive talking about my not so exciting summer, I knew I had made the right decision. But at first, I found it slightly hard for myself to open up to my fellow “sisters.” I’m not much of a girly girl, so it was kind of just awkward for me. I was supposed to become best friends with all of these strangers, but all I knew we had in common was a chapter. Once I finally realized that I could just be myself and not be so shy and worried, my world became a lot brighter. Being gone from home for the first time in my life wasn’t exactly peachy all of the time and so it was nice to have other women from my chapter to talk to that were feeling the same way. We had much more in common than just a single chapter.  
 
Over the past three years, I have gone from quite the scared and shy new member of the Greek community to an extremely active member of that same community. And I owe a lot of it to a senior that spoke at one of our first chapter meetings. I vividly remember sitting there thinking she was so old and wise. And then she said, “What you put into your college and Greek life experience, is what you’ll get out of it.”  I took those words to heart. And from then on, I realized I needed to have more of an open mind and never let myself be held back because of some lame comfort zone I was holding on to.
To this date, I have become involved in over a handful of Greek and KU community activities. And with this experience, I have composed sort of a list of advice. Here goes nothing:
  • Go out of your comfort zone.. seriously   
  • Always have an open mind 
  •  You don’t know until you try
  • Go to a basketball game, or two
  • You may not be able to control your environment, but you can control your actions
  • Don’t worry about the strange species that some people call  “boys”
  • Things won’t always work out how you plan, but things will work out how they’re supposed to
  • Be yourself
  • Do your homework during the day, so you can play with friends at night
  • Get involved
  • You can’t redo this experience, go all out
  • Call home, your parents miss you
  • What you put into your experiences is what you’ll get out of them
  • Any preconceived notions you hold about someone/something are most likely incorrect
  • But really, push yourself and go out of your comfort zone
With all this being said, I hope that you can tell that I am extremely proud to be a member of our Greek community. Not only have I made friends and become a part of something bigger than myself, it has helped me evolve into the woman I am today. Going Greek was the best decision I have made yet. So please, if you do anything while in college, Go Greek!

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