When I moved out of my sorority house, it was the easiest and hardest thing I had to do that summer. I had lived in the Alpha Delta chapter home of Delta Gamma during my sophomore year of college. After living with fifty-four other women as an introvert, I needed space.

But not so much space, that I did not want to be involved. Making that fateful transition from a “live-in” to a “live-out,” seemed like I was closing the door to close-knit involvement with my sisters. I chose to live in a studio, desiring my own space and privacy. But with that freedom came the looming shade of loneliness.

I must admit, I lost some sleep over the issue. How was I going to soothe my FOMO (fear of missing out) and also lean into independence and solitude? I felt as if I was risking my social security but I was determined to be present in my sorority life. Here is how I did it:

First, I would attend the philanthropy events!

I and a few of my close friends, who also lived out of the chapter house, made a pact with each other to attend ALL of the food-related philanthropy events. We wanted to show our support, raise money for good causes and eat! I distinctly remember attending events such as Pi Beta Phi’s Pie Day and Gamma Phi Beta’s Pancake Brinner. Brinner, by the way, is the night-time version of Brunch. Breakfast and dinner, it’s perfect.

Second, I ran for a position in my chapter.

Elections were coming up and I knew I wanted to be involved as well as felt confident I could be a leader in the position I desired. So, I put my name down for director of philanthropy and WON! It was a great feeling. After that, I was in communication with not only my sisters to increase involvement in Greek related events, but also in contact with others fraternity and sorority life. I was able to expand my engagement a lot more than anticipated and it was great! Not to mention, I loved winning too! So, when we took home a win in Sigma Mu Omega’s “Dateable” event alongside Sigma Phi Epsilon or when we snatched the win in Sigma Phi Epsilon’s capture the flag, it was the cherry on top of an already fulfilling cake.

Lastly, I attended or proctored Study tables.

Study tables were held two times a week for women to meet in the library for two hours of proctored studying. Study Tables were held to promote scholarship as well as build support between sisters. Usually, I was at the library already. It was easy to pack up my stuff and make my way to the scheduled meeting area.

Sharing notes, engaging in hushed discussions and sitting together while studying although serious in nature helped me stay bonded with sisters over the very reason we came to the University of Oregon in the first place –to be students.

All of this to say, moving out of the chapter house, although a huge step, does not have to be the death sentence to your sorority involvement. A little creativity and determination to stay present are all it takes. My list is not a one-size-fits-all recipe of involvement but it could be just what is needed to jumpstart a new live-outs experience! Good luck!

Written by Tyne Riddick

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