Crafting the Perfect Paddle

Making a paddle for your big sister is one of the most fun experiences you’ll have as a new member! It’s your chance to show your big how much she means to you, and create something that represents your bond. Here are a few of our best tips for crafting the perfect paddle:

Make It Personal

Your paddle will mean so much more to your big if you include personal touches. This can be anything from a photo of the two of you together to drawings or stickers that represent things she loves.

Buy the Right Supplies

Littles are often so exited about the fun aspects of their paddles like glitter and paint, they forget about a serious essential: Shellac. It’s an absolute must-have for keeping gems, glitter, paper, and any other pieces on your paddle locked in place.

Quiz Your Big

As you’re planning out your paddle design, try to subtly learn more about your big’s taste. Asking simple questions like her favorite color, style icon, or clothing store can teach you tons about what type of paddle she’d like best.

Have Fun!

The most important part of a paddle is the time and effort you put into it. Even if you’re not the best crafter, your big will love her paddle because she loves you!

Check out some cute paddle ideas that we found on Pinterest!

Fall is coming!

Fall brings out our most favorite things of the year: chunky sweaters, leggings, PSLs, and of course our favorite shows. There’s nothing better than sipping on a hot pumpkin spice latte in a warm sweater and enjoying the changes in weather. I know that we all countdown to the coveted day when Starbucks starts selling their PSL. Luckily this year, they started selling them early! score!

The Fall lineup of shows derails us from actually being productive. How do professors expect us to study when there’s a plot twist in the Mindy Project or AHS? In case you find yourself procrastinating even more, check out our Pinterest for some of our favorite things about fall and our website for new shirts!

If you would rather be productive, go out there and go pumpkin picking or hiking. The new changes in scenery provide the best backgrounds for pictures :) You can get to know potential pledges better over hay rides and baking where there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen.

The best thing about fall? Being with your friends 24/7!

Fall Philanthropy Season!

Fall philanthropy season is in full swing! Chapters on every campus are hosting all kinds of different events to raise money and awareness for their national and local philanthropies. There are so many ways to get students to come out and support your philanthropy. Here at Indiana University, we just kicked off a month full of all kinds of philanthropy events! It’s great to see other members of Greek life as well as other students come, have fun, and meet new people at these events while raising money for such great causes! Maybe you could use some ideas to start planning your next event. Here are some examples of what has been happening here at IU:

  • Pi Beta Phi Angels in the Outfield hosted with Delta Tau Delta- Baseball tournament for Cystic Fibrosis
    • Kappa Kappa Gamma: Kappasta- Late night all-you-can-eat pasta bar for American Cancer Society & Reading is Fundamental
    • Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Epsilon Phi: Hakuna MaTATAs- Carnival games (bouncy house, caricatures, dunk tank, etc.) and snacks for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Sharsheret Organization
    • Kappa Delta Shamrock- Volleyball tournament for Prevent Child Abuse America
    • Gamma Phi Beta GloRun- 3K glow in the dark race for Girls on the Run after school program
    • Lambda Chi Alpha: Lambda Luau- All-you-can-eat hog roast and grill out with live band for Hoosier Hills Food Bank
    • Delta Zeta and Alpha Tau Omega: OkTAUberfest- All-you-can-eat BBQ and s’mores with bonfires and live DJ for Starkey Hearing Foundation and Misericordia in Chicago for Autism

    • Get ready for Philanthropy season with new t-shirts for your sorority or fraternity! Use promo code: FALLFOR30 on a Quick Quote page to get started today!

We all have it, that ache you feel after coming back home from studying abroad and realizing you’re back to normal life…it never goes away no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been back.

Studying abroad is an amazing time in your life where you saw, experienced, and ate things you never imagined. You spent time exploring new cities and making new friends and memories that you will never forget. You traveled by plane, train, bus, and maybe even camel! Your last plane ride is the most bittersweet one- going home.

I can tell you that leaving Florence, or any place where you spent a considerable amount of time abroad, was very hard. You have to say goodbye to people who got you through four months of the “study abroad mood cycle”: happy, sad, scared, overwhelmed, you name it. As you’re attempting to fit your massive suitcases into a taxi en route to the airport, you get your last few glimpses of a place that has changed you forever. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I got a little teary-eyed.

When you arrive back in the U.S. after being on a plane and maybe even a bus for more than 10 hours, it still hasn’t hit you that you are back home. You get home and soon fall asleep because it could very well be 2 a.m. in your study abroad location, but is only 5 p.m. at home. The next thing you know it’s 3 a.m. and you are starving; this vicious cycle is known as jet lag. Jet lag is a very real and can seriously impact you the first week you are back home.

I found that the best way to combat jet lag was to make a sleep schedule. Make a set time that you go to bed and wake up. Have friends or family members try and keep you awake to get used to the timezone change. Also stay hydrated! Now that you’re home, everyone wants to see you and find out how your trip was.

It somehow becomes difficult to put 4 months of life-changing experiences into one or two sentences. I found myself saying, “It was incredible” or “I can’t believe I’m back home”. You show your pictures on Facebook to older relatives and give gifts to your friends. Even if someone doesn’t ask, you manage to get snippets of your study abroad experience into conversation. Your friends want to catch you up with everything that happened while you were gone, and you start to feel that you don’t relate to them as much anymore.

You just spent 4 months abroad, why do you feel left out? Well the answer is this, You just traveled all over the world while your friends were stuck at school. You tried delicacies such as Bratwurst in Germany, while they had burgers in the dining hall. The challenge is finding that balance to talk about what you went through while you were abroad, but not coming off snobby or above your friends.

When you are in your jet lag state or just surfing the web you stumble across travel pictures and articles non-stop; It only makes your urge to go back abroad even stronger.  So why not go again!? No one is stopping you! Check skyscanner.com for the cheapest flights and convince some of your friends to go with you! There’s nothing holding you back but yourself.

 

New Semester Resolutions

With the semester already a couple weeks in, this is prime time to lose track of your semester goals. Like New Year’s resolutions (which we’ve all made and all broken), semester resolutions start to fall to the side as things pick up.

Here are a few easy resolutions and tips on how to keep them, making your semester run as smoothly as possible.

Organize!

Every school based list includes organization, but that’s just because it is so important! Every semester I completely organize my school life but by week 3 or 4 I begin to be less diligent. Take this time in the semester to go through and re-organize everything…I mean everything! Empty out your backpack. Clean out all the trash, like scraps of paper and empty coffee cups, that you throw in your bag as you go. Make sure you put all loose paper into their corresponding folder, binder etc.

Keep a Schedule

At this point, you have received a syllabus for all your classes. Hopefully, the syllabus includes all test and project dates. Go through your syllabus and write down all the dates in your calendar. This way, you can go through each month and see how heavy your workload will be (which allow for better future planning). Write down any social dates as well, whether this is sorority or personal. Write down the date even if you think you’ll remember it, that way if last minute plans come up, you can see your day in a quick glance. Also, bring your agenda/calendar to everything! Class, business meeting, your internship etc. You never know when you’ll get a date thrown at you.

Find (and Commit) to a Study Space

Find the best place in your house or on campus to study. This place should be comfortable, well lit and clear of distractions. You should also make sure you can access it at almost any time (for those late night study sessions.) Try to avoid your bed because your brain will associate it with sleep, making it harder to pay attention. Make a point to use this area regularly to that you associate it with studying.

Connect with your Professor

Regardless of the size of your school, you’ll inevitably need your professor’s help at some point in the semester. Early in the semester is the best time to make that connection. Talk to them at the end of class or stop in at their office hours. Introduce yourself and just touch base with them about the class. Ask any questions about upcoming projects or the previous lecture. Building this relationship can aid you in the future when you might need an extension or a letter of recommendation.

The final resolution: Have fun!

Your time in college is limited. Make sure you relax and give yourself plenty of time to kick back and have a good time. Make plans with your friends and attend social events. Just make sure you prioritize!

Last fall, Chloe Todd journeyed from the U.K. all the way to Grand Valley State University in Michigan to study abroad. Intrigued by sorority life at Grand Valley, she decided to go where very few Brits have gone before – Panhellenic recruitment.After finding her home in Alpha Sigma Tau, Chloe spent the year immersed in Greek life. She raised money for their philanthropy, mingled with other chapters at events, and created lifelong bonds with her sisters. Now that Chloe is back in England, I’ve asked her to reflect on her experience on going Greek.

1375948_10152364325873378_1471445718_nWhat made you decide to study abroad in America? 

I knew since high school that I wanted to study abroad. America was an obvious choice for me, as I have always been interested in the history and culture. I knew studying abroad would be an adventure and offer me many new experiences.

Are there any major differences between British and American universities? What would you say was the biggest culture shock?
There are quite a few differences between British and American universities. For example, I only need to study for three years to complete my degree, compared to the 4 or more years that American students need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Grand Valley is also a lot less relaxed than my home university. For example, attendance does not count towards your grade back home. Also, most of our essays and exams are due at the end of the year.

I think the biggest culture shock was how different the Grand Valley campus is compared to my university in London. I’m used to taking a train or a bus to get to class every day, whereas the Grand Valley campus is like a little village.

Why did you decide to go through Panhellenic Recruitment?
I was really keen to embrace American culture, and I knew that Greek life was a big part of American universities. I also knew that it would be a great way to make friends. So when I arrived last September, I emailed to inquire as to whether I would be allowed to go through recruitment. I would only be at Grand Valley for two semesters, so I wasn’t sure if it would be possible. It turns out that I was actually emailing my future big, and that she had done an internship in London and loved England. So I guess it was meant to be.

Since there really isn’t any sort of Greek life in the U.K., did you have any idea what you were getting yourself into?

Honestly, I had only experienced Greek life from what I had seen in movies and on television. I found recruitment so overwhelming, but at the same time incredibly exciting. Each stage of recruitment taught me something different about what it means to be Greek, and just how meaningful it is to be a part of the community.

How did the reality of Greek life at Grand Valley compare? Was it what you expected?
I was 100% expecting to experience what I had seen in television shows like “Greek”. Before going through recruitment, I quite wanted it to be like that. I am, however, so grateful that Alpha Sigma Tau was so much more that what you might typically think a sorority would be. Being in a sorority is absolutely better than I expected, and it means so much more to me than I thought it ever would.

What is the most important lesson being in a sorority taught you?
Being a member of Alpha Sigma Tau has taught me so many important lessons, it’s hard to pick just one. The most important lessons I have learned come from other sisters’ experiences and advice. I have learned a lot about myself, and the type of person I want to become by being around such an influential group of people. Every sister has a unique attribute that I aspire to; my sorority is filled with kind-hearted, smart, and brave young women. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up to each and every one of them.

Overall, are you happy with your decision to go Greek?
Going Greek was the best decision I have ever made! I only wish that I was able to be an active for more than two semesters. I have made some lifelong friendships and amazing memories that I will always look back on with great fondness.

Studying abroad was the most challenging thing I have ever done. Being away from home, my family, and everything that’s familiar was so difficult. However, knowing that I could rely on my sorority to make me feel better is something that I will always be grateful for. Most importantly though, going Greek was so much fun!

60265_10152724739198378_825367118_n

How do you keep close with sisters now that you are back in England?
I mostly contact sisters online. Even if I’m not messaging them, it’s great to see pictures and posts on social media from all my sisters. It keeps me updated on their lives and the sorority. I’m definitely planning on visiting sometime in the future, and they know that they are all welcome to come and visit me in England as well!

 

 

Stress Less!

With the fall semester just around the corner, you may be getting stressed just thinking about all the work you’ll be getting. But don’t worry ’cause we’re here to give you some tips on how to stress less!

stressless

Organize your life -

Yes, organize everything. Your apartment, the fridge, your closet, the random stuff under your bed. Once you start to declutter all the physical things, your mind will do the same. It’s such a relief when you don’t have to worry about that messy room and you can actually start focusing on the real stuff! So take a weekend and completely clean and organize your life. I promise it’ll make you feel so much better.

Breathe -

seriously. do it. take a deep breath. count to ten.

Take a nap -

I know that if you’re stressed you probably have a lot on your plate. And this may not be the most proactive tip. BUT, if you have the time and things are just getting too overwhelming- take a nap. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you wake up. Sometimes a blanket and a soft pillow is all we need!

Namaste

Namaste -

Go for a long, quite walk by yourself. Take a yoga class (hot yoga is the best!). Dance it out. Go to the gym.

If you just feel so overwhelmed with everything, take a minute and remember you’re only human- it’s okay to not have it together every minute of every day. No deadline or assignment is worth sacrificing your happiness :)

Beachin’

If you haven’t taken a trip to the beach yet, I highly recommend planning a trip! Summer isn’t complete without a relaxing day by the water with your friends and family. It doesn’t have to be a week long vacation, or even over a full weekend. Depending on where you live, you might be able to take a day trip to your closest beach! But before you leave the house, make sure you have the essentials:

Sunscreen – Be kind to your skin. Apply at least 30 spf all over. Also try a face moisturizer with spf in it so your pores don’t get clogged! Getting burnt isn’t cute and it leaves lasting damage for years to come.

floppy hat

Floppy hat – Ok, it doesn’t have to be a floppy hat but they’re just so cute. And they protect your face from that harsh sun! ALSO, you may want something to cover up your hair once you get out of that salty water. A baseball hat will work too :)

Swim Suit – yup.

Change of clothes – Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of clothes for the ride home and dinner!

Cooler – For all your snacks and drinks. Don’t forget the coozies!

Also check out our light-weight tees and tanks to wear over your swim suit. Fill out a Quick Quote now!

Get Your Streak On!

Choosing Your Home

Rushing can be very scary and exciting all at the same time. You just graduated high school, committed to your favorite school, and now it’s time to pack up and move out. And on top of all that, you’re rushing a sorority and need to make a big decision! It’s a very overwhelming time but don’t worry because everyone is in the same boat as you. Deciding on a sorority can be difficult for some so here are a few tips if you’re feeling stuck -

Don’t follow your friends: I know this sounds weird but don’t pick a sorority just because all your friends are rushing it. I guarantee you will hear this a million times while going through rush. Even though you and your BFF may have a bunch of things in common, there will be a few things that separate you two and one of you will end up hating your decision. So just focus on where YOU think you’ll be the happiest. And don’t worry about not being close with your friends if you decide on going different ways. Some of my best friends are in other sororities!

Philanthropy

Similar Interests: Over the entire recruitment process, you will meet so many girls and talk to them for hours. So pay close attention to those conversations and who you feel most comfortable around. You will start to notice the sororities that you have the most in common with and you’ll be excited to go back to them- these should be at the top of your list.

Philanthropy: Each sorority has a philanthropy that they are passionate for. If you are deciding between sororities, look at their philanthropies. If you can’t see yourself being passionate about that philanthropy then don’t pick them. You’re entire chapter revolves around this charity so make sure you care about it!

In the end, each sorority knows what girls they are looking for. So if you don’t get a bid from your top sorority, don’t take it personally. It’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because they know you fit better in another sorority and will be happier there!

Make sure to check out our recruitment board on Pinterest!

Moving In the Fall

The Fall semester is about to start and it is never too early to prepare! One of the most annoying things about starting a new semester after the summer is moving into a new place. Whether you’re moving out of the dorms, or moving to a different apartment, it is one of the most dreaded tasks for anyone. Here are a few tips to make the moving process as painless as possible!

MovingLittleMisstoCollege 1. Organize- organize anything and everything. From your clothes to your bathroom, organization is key. This will make the unpacking process a breeze and you will be able to fit more items into your car and make less trips.

2. Get Help- ask friends and family to help you in the moving process. You can do all of the tedious organizing, but they can lend a hand and a car to make it a less grueling process on yourself! Everything will be more fun and less stressful if you have a few helping hands!

3. Have Fun- make a playlist and blast some music! Go into moving with an open mind and take any help you can get. (Maybe even bribe your friends with some cute new t-shirts!) Make this a bonding experience with your friends and family and enjoy yourself!

Don’t forget about our current 30% off of group orders with the promo code SHINE30! Ends 8/31/14