How My Sorority Made Me More Confident


I've talked a lot about my sorority on here since coming to college. It's not a subject that I think about focusing on or avoiding on my blog because my chapter has become such an integral part of my life. Since living in my sorority house, and going through recruitment as an active member, I've learned more than I ever imagined about myself and my chapter. 

During Thanksgiving break, I was able to catch up with a couple friends from high school. A quick coffee date turned into hours of conversation about how much our lives had changed in the last two years. It was pointed out that, since high school, I've changed significantly. This wasn't stated in a negative way. I've simply emerged from my shell and it shows. In high school, I was quiet and studious. I did my work and I was a member of a couple organizations. I never considered myself one to run for positions or take control.

Gamma Phi Beta has changed that. My time in this sorority has made me extremely more confident in myself. At this time last year, I was nervous to put myself out there except when absolutely necessary. I certainly did not picture myself running for leadership positions. My expectations of sorority life were to pay my bills, attend events, make friends and fly under the radar (much like high school). Now, I hold an executive board position. I was overjoyed to be elected as Public Relations Vice President last week. Now, I can start a dance party at a chapter event without the fear of nobody joining in. Now, I can stand up in front of a room of over 100 women. 

I am gaining life skills at college, even when I am not in class. My sorority has given me the things I didn't know I needed. The support of my chapter pushes me to make each day better than yesterday. It pushes me to be the best version of myself and be proud of who that is. I know exactly who to call when I need a pep talk. I've found women who believe in me, especially when I don't believe in myself. I've learned that when you aren't sure if you want to laugh or cry, you should always look for a reason to laugh.

You can read more blog posts about sorority life here!


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Finals Studying Tips


After planning this blog post, I realized some schools have already begun their finals. For those of you that have not started suffering through finals week yet, here are a few types to help you survive.

Prioritize Classes
Although all of your college professors probably think their class is the most influential one you will ever take, you know which ones are more important to you. You also know which ones you need to spend more time studying for in order to do well. List out your classes, check your grades, and see which ones need more dedication before finals.

Create a Study Schedule
Don't just make a to-do list, make a plan of when you are going to accomplish these tasks. Set small goals, such as going over certain chapters or creating a study guide, and take it all one thing at a time. It seriously helps me to cross things off a list, and see what I have accomplished. Little things are needed to keep you motivated throughout the week.

Find your Space
Not everyone can be productive in the same places. If you like studying in your dorm, then do so. If you are going to the library, get there early to secure a table to do your work at. Personally, I like to reserve study rooms at the library when possible. When preparing for a library trip, pack everything you need so there isn't an excuse not to get work done once you're there.

Take Breaks
Your brain simply cannot spend six hours looking at the same subject. You're not going to remember the information and you're going to end up exhausted. I'm sure this has been scientifically proven. I've found myself to be the most productive if I spend 45 minutes working and 15 minutes checking social media or blog things every hour. It's also important to find time to leave the library and do something else to avoid burning out early in the week.

Go over old Tests
If your final is comprehensive, look at what you were tested on previously. Take note of what things you struggled with and go over those concepts again. It's not uncommon for professors to repeat questions from exams on the final. 

Condense your Notes
Some professors are generous enough to provide a study guide for their final exam. For my classes that did so, I've gone through my notes and highlighted or typed up information on the concepts in the study guide. Studying is important, but it is even more important that you study the right information. 

Take Care of Yourself
Always have water available when you are going to study for an extended period of time. Your GPA matters, but your personal health should be your first priority. Take power naps and try to get a full night's sleep. You'll be more functional during the day if you do. Pack healthy study snacks and treat yourself every now and then. 

Finals week is rough, but you can definitely get through it if you have a plan. Check out your university's resources for stress relief. We have dogs in the library once during the week and free massages at the health center. These types of things can keep you from sitting in your dorm crying over a bag popcorn, not that I've ever done that... 
Good luck on your finals!

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Choosing the Right College


Choosing a college is a monumental decision. This generally isn't a choice you can make overnight, but you could also step foot onto a college campus and immediately know that it is your new home. Where you attend university, and what you do while you are there, essentially sets the rest of your life in motion. When it comes time to make that decision, there are a few criteria you should consider. 

Location
How far do you want to be from home? I chose a school that is close enough to drive home in one day but far away enough that I am not tempted to do so every weekend. Do you want to attend college in a small town or big city? I couldn't imagine going to school in a city, but I had to make sure there was at least a Target in town.


Size
There are universities in the United States with anywhere between 100 and 60,000 students. Take the undergrad population into consideration, and also the size of the physical campus. How long will it take you to walk across campus? 

Tuition & Scholarships
This is generally where the State vs. Private school question comes into debate. State schools tend to be less expensive, especially within your own state. However, you may also be able to earn scholarships to cancel out the difference. When comparing costs, look at automatic scholarships that state schools offer as well.

Campus
What resources are available on campus? If you work out regularly, check out their recreation center. Take a look inside the library and make sure there are plenty of places to study. If you know your major, research the building that your classes will be in.

Majors
Probably the most important thing in a college search is ensuring that your major is available. I would also recommend finding 3-5 other possible majors at each university. Most people change their major several times during college, and you should make sure you'll have other options that interest you.

Housing
Will you be living on campus your first year? What style are the dorms? How expensive is it? Do your research on the residence halls and be sure to visit a few if and when you tour the university. What are the dining halls like? Most schools put out better food on big visiting days, so keep in mind that the food probably won't always be as great as it seems. 

Organizations
While academics is your main focus in college, make sure you can have a well-rounded experience. If you are planning on joining Greek life, do some research on their Fraternity & Sorority Life (just don't pay attention to any stereotypes or gossip). Look for organizations similar to your high school involvement that you could join.

Athletics
This may not be a priority to everyone, but it's always interesting to see which sport teams excel at potential colleges. If you want to tailgate and go to football games, look into their athletic atmosphere. This can be a huge part of the college experience. 

When you're taking all of these things into consideration, weigh the pros and cons of each school. Decide how important each characteristic is to you. I am so happy to say that I have never considered transferring colleges, but it does happen and that's okay. If the school you chose is right for you as a freshman, that doesn't mean that it will necessarily still be right for you when you reach sophomore or junior year. This is especially true if you go into college with an undeclared major or change your major. So, at the end of the day, know that where you choose to go to school is not a decision set in stone! 

Check out all my other college-related blog posts here! Let me know what you want to see by leaving a comment.

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How to find your "Squad" in College


In high school, I was always floating between groups with only two or three consistent and close friends. I started college last year at Missouri State, while half my high school went to Mizzou. I can't begin to describe how happy I have been with my choice in university, but it meant I had to branch out more and make new friends. The idea of trying to socialize in a new place full of people I didn't know was absolutely terrifying. If I can put myself out there and find my crew, then you absolutely can too. 

Take the Initiative

Just say "hello" to someone. You never know where you will end up. I had Public Speaking with my current roommate last year, and we started talking the day after bid day because I walked right up to her and mentioned that I wasn't wearing the shirt but that we were in the same sorority now. And she thought I was completely insane. Then we started getting lunch together before class and going to chapter events together. Now, we struggle to go more than 24 hours without seeing each other.

Get Involved on Campus

Joining a sorority introduced me to my closest friends, but not all of my friends are my sisters. Join other organizations that interest you. Not only will you find people with the same ideas and passions, you'll find your place on campus. It's so super important to have a well rounded group of acquaintances and friends. You never know what doors will open because of the connections you make with people in college. 

Be Authentic

The worst thing you can do in college is try to be someone that you aren't. The deepest friendships that I have are because we are ourselves around each other. My group of friends and I can be completely honest and open when we are together, which is so important to me. I don't hesitate to tell them things or ask for advice. My friends are also my biggest cheerleaders. 

College is difficult and weird and crazy, but it is so much easier with a support system. Look for people who will celebrate your victories and still be there when you fall. Remember, this is the time when you find out which friends are going to last a lifetime. As I mentioned earlier, very few of my high school friends remained close to me after graduation. College makes you realize who you are friends with because you have class together every day and who you are friends with because you actually connect.

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College Morning Routine


8.00 am
Wake up! On Monday/Wednesday/Friday, I start classes a little later so I have time to shower and wash my hair. I still lay in bed and scroll through social media for a decent amount of time (if I don't press snooze too many times). Either way, I like the consistency of waking up at the same time each day. On of my suite mates also has the same class times as me each morning, so we keep each other accountable for getting up and attending class.

8.30 am
By this time, I'm out of the shower and putting my outfit together. Unless it's a rare occasion where I decide to wear jeans or a real shirt, this means whatever leggings are cleanest and a comfort colors t-shirt. Then, I head downstairs for breakfast. Our sorority house mom puts out a continental breakfast (bagels, toast, cereal, etc) each morning.

9.00 am
I head back upstairs to finish getting ready - brush my teeth, do something with my hair, and apply some makeup. I also get the notebooks I need for the day organized now, so I don't have to (forget to) go back up to my room during my lunch break and switch them out. 

9.30 am
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I start classes at 9.30, so I am already in the College of Business building at this point. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I don't start until 10.10, so I have a little more time before I leave. The distance from the sorority house to campus isn't very far, but my classes are on the far side so I usually catch our shuttle to class.

I'm not a perfect human, and I don't have the perfect morning routine. But, I see these types of posts all the time on Pinterest and I wanted to share mine as well! If you guys really want to see a night-time routine as well, I'll post one but my nights are not very routine. Let me know what posts you want to see by leaving a comment, and check out my other college blog posts here!

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Gratitude



I'll admit that I have been falling behind quite a bit when it comes to blogging lately. College isn't easy, and it's always a struggle to balance everything. This blog got pushed to the side too many times and I kept telling myself I would write something for next week. Then, as I was scrolling through bloglovin', I noticed that Kayla, one of my favorite bloggers and the mastermind behind Blogging College, had been celebrating November with 'Thankful Thursdays.' With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I decided to share a few of the little things in life that I am grateful for. These are in no particular order and by no means are they all the things I appreciate in life. 

1. Pretty stationary

2. Sleeping in

3. Dresses with pockets

4. Waffle Wednesday

5. Cozy sweaters

6. Tailgates

7. Long phone calls

8. Drake

9. Macaroni & Cheese

10. Songs that get stuck in your head

11. Netflix

12. My dog

13. Crunchy leaves

14. Strangers who hold open doors

15. Sunsets

16. When people text back quickly

17. Blue Jolly Ranchers

18. The opportunity for higher education

19. Target

20. Gamma Phi Beta

Let me know what you're thankful for, by leaving a comment below. Make sure you check out Kayla's Thankful Thursdays!



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Why You Should Live in Your Sorority House


When I went through recruitment, I didn't know much about being a member of a sorority. One thing I was sure about, however, was that I wanted to live in my chapter's house. After thriving for a year in the dorms, I was ready to move into a house I already called my home. My first semester in this house is rounding out, and talk is already arising of who will be filling these rooms next year. 

First things first, let's talk about food. If you thought a meal plan only existed for freshman that live in the dorms, you thought wrong. The food in my sorority house is so much better than that of the dining hall. While, there may not be as much variety, the quality is so much better. I live for Waffle Wednesdays. How many other times in your life are you going to have your meals prepared by your own chef?

Everything happens in your home. During Recruitment, Homecoming, and Greek Week, when other girls have to drive home at 2am, all you have to do is make your way upstairs to your bed. On the days when you have to be ready and at the house, you won't have to wake up quite as early because you live there. Also, when fraternities or other organizations bring food or other treats to the house, you are one of the first ones to find out and enjoy it. You never know who will knock on the door. We've also had alumnae and women from other chapters stop by, so you never know who you'll meet.

You have 50+ closets now. There has only been one tailgate this semester when my entire outfit came from my own wardrobe. My roommate and I browse both sides when we are getting ready for an event. We wore each other's dresses to semi-formal. The week of Halloween was essentially one big clothing-swap.

There is always someone. If you need to pull an all-nighter before an exam, someone else has to study as well. When you need to have a late night cry, (for whatever reason) there is another girl awake to listen or cry with you. You'll find spaces in the house that grow to have a deeper meaning. Our basement is unfinished, but there is some furniture down there and I love going down there with a sister for life chats.

You'll get close to women that you didn't know previously. Older members always told me that they made some of their best friends while living in the house. You get to eat meals and study and watch TV with different girls all the time. At the same time, I've grown so much closer to the women I became friends with last year. I've learned to pick up on their moods and know what they need and when.

College is only four years, and it is my firm belief that you should make the most of every opportunity that presents itself. There are only so many years when it is acceptable to live in a mansion with all your best friends. Living in the chapter house is an incredible experience and one that I would recommend to all sorority women for at least one year.

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Homecoming 2016


Homecoming was last week at Missouri State! This year, my sorority was paired with Theta Chi, and together we formed the #dreamteam. We placed and won in so many competitions throughout the week together. The effort put in by Theta Chi and Gamma Phi was incredible. We also spent countless hours working on our float in the days leading up to the parade. Many members pulled all nighters pomping throughout the week. I even walked downstairs for breakfast one morning to find a guy asleep on our couch because he had been working all night. I was able to catch two hours of sleep on Friday night, and then it was time to bear up for the parade and game day. In the end, our float placed second. But, our team won homecoming overall!

This year, Gamma Phi Beta was able to sponsor a homecoming royalty candidate. The president of our chapter, Katie, interviewed and made it to court. She appointed me as her campaign manager, which was an incredible opportunity. Our chosen theme for her campaign was Friends, with the tagline "I'll be there for MSU." In the two weeks leading up to Homecoming, we spoke at different organizations, chalked campus, painted banners and shared posts all over social media. I was overwhelmed by the support from girls in my chapter and extremely proud of Katie for how she represented our sorority and our university during the campaign. Although she did not win queen, it was a great experience.

My second Homecoming at Missouri State was the best one so far. It's also made me sit back and think about how fast my time in college is going by. Many of our alumna, who I still think of as 'the seniors', came back for Homecoming. It was so great to see them, but so crazy to think how close I am to being a "real" adult. 

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Big/Little Reveal















I've talked a lot on here about sorority life recently. I wrote a letter to my future little, and compiled a list of gifts you could give/make for your little. I've been preparing for a long time to become a big, but it all became very real in the last few weeks. I opened up my card telling me who my little is and crafted for two weeks before reveal. My chapter surprises the littles with reveal. This means we don't do any gifts leading up to the big day, as to not give it away. My little got all of her crafts and snacks and shirts on the night of reveal. 

I was so nervous, to become a big this year. My big and I have a great relationship, and I was excited to share that with my own little. At the same time, I was stressing out about whether I would even find a little that liked me. In the end, it worked out in the best way possible. I found the perfect little, and reveal was so much fun!

If there's anything sorority/college related that you want to see on here, let me know! It's been a while since I've posted anything, but this semester has been even busier than I thought it would be! I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, but there will still be less posts than there was over the summer. 

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Sorority House Room Tour





I'm a sophomore this year at college, which means I no longer live in a residence hall. This year, I moved into the Gamma Phi Beta house! I had been excited about the opportunity to move into the house since the day I signed my bid. So many older members had shared their experiences and talked about how much they loved living in the house. 

My roommate and I spent the summer counting down the days until we could finally move in. I used the same bedding from last year, since these beds are still Twin extra longs. However, this year I was able to organize things with my roommate and suitemates more. We share a Jack-and-Jill style bathroom between the rooms. There is way more bathroom storage than I ever had in the dorms, and we bought matching baskets for the shelves. This was a really simple way to make it look more neat, and we have had so many compliments on them when people come into our rooms!

Another thing that is different from the dorms, for me, is the ability to loft our beds. At first, I planned to put my desk under my bed. That was before I realized how high my bed would actually have to be and how often I would hit my head. I moved my bed down one click, and use the space under for storage. 

So far, I am loving living in my sorority house. If you are a member of a chapter at a school with houses, I would 10/10 recommend living in house. When else will you be able to live in a mansion, with a chef and 50 of your best friends?

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50 Gift Ideas for your Little


For sorority women, getting a little is similar to having a child. You know, without the whole birthing process. First you have to find the perfect new member, and fight off other active members. Then it's time to start showering her in gifts and love. In my chapter, we don't have a clue week and the day of reveal is a surprise to new members. I think it just builds more excitement and anticipation for the new littles. This does not mean that bigs craft any less, however. I compiled a list of 50 things you can buy or make for your new little to ensure she has a perfectly overwhelming reveal. Each item is linked to an example from Pinterest! 

1. Her favorite candy (puns encouraged)




5. A Mug




9. Snacks

10. A hat







17. Decals








25. Bows

26. Buttons








34. Koozies





39. Banner

40. Mirror


42. Paddle (depending on your chapter's traditions)

43. Key Fob



46. Flowers



49. Coffee


I'm so excited to become a big this semester. It's a lot of responsibility but my family is about to almost double in size and I know my big and grandbig will still be there for me. My big did so much for me and I can't wait to do the same for my own little!

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