There are so many opportunities to get involved with on campus; something I highlight on every single tour that we have over 1,100 student organizations, and if you don’t find something you like it’s pretty easy to start your own. Luckily for me, out of all of the organizations I have become a part of, I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one. One of the organizations that I have ended up devoting the most time to is the sorority that I joined my very first semester at Cal – Kappa Alpha Theta.
I do have one of those very cliché stories in which I never thought I would go through the recruitment process, and yet here I am. I truly believe that UC Berkeley’s Greek System is not only so much more relaxed than at other schools across the country, but also it is so much more progressive than any other school that I’ve heard of. While there are absolutely systemic problems, UC Berkeley is at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and community development, alongside promoting sexual assault awareness and continuing to develop survivor resources. I see it as a way to make 150 friends in your first few weeks at this big school. I see it as a way to positively impact our local community through our philanthropic efforts. And I see it as a way to find a smaller community in a school of 30,000 students.
Upon joining Theta, I knew immediately that I wanted to get more involved in terms of holding a leadership position, because of how at home I felt and because I wanted to make positive changes. My freshman year, I was elected to the position of Archivist, which is basically a glorified name for photographer. I really enjoyed this position, and enjoyed being at all of the events and gaining a better understanding for how the chapter was run. And then, my sophomore year, I was elected President.
It is safe to say I was not expecting to hear the results of this election. While I was both honored and excited, going from photographing events to managing an organization of 150 women wasn’t going to be the smoothest transition. But I was ready for the challenge, and excited for what the future brought. Upon being transitioned by the previous president (which took about ten different meetings to complete), I was told that it was practically a full-time job, requiring about 35 hours of your time every week. Again, I was up for the challenge.
Now, almost a year later, I cannot imagine my Berkeley experience without this challenge. I have grown exponentially as a person and as a leader, because I have learned how to handle almost any situation one could imagine, I have learned how to time manage, and I have also learned how to remain productive and positive on very little sleep. I was lucky enough to have opportunities to attend national leadership conferences, and further build my leadership style. Most importantly, I truly believe I was able to positively impact my chapter, and boost the morale so that all 150 women felt excited every time they walked through our front door.
I think the moral of this story is that Cal finds a way to challenge you when you’re least expecting it, but it’s important to tackle that challenge head on, because it undoubtedly will become an integral part of your Berkeley experience. Go Bears!