If you told me three years ago that I’d be heavily involved in a sorority in college, I would’ve said you were crazy. Yet here I am, in my junior year at USC and second term as vice president of Alpha Omega Epsilon, the science and engineering professional and social sorority in the Viterbi School of Engineering.
In my freshman year, when I first heard about AΩE at an involvement fair, I took a break from studying one night to attend their info session and game night recruitment event. I learned more about the organization, played Card Against Humanity with some of the active members, and fell in love with the group. Everyone was so welcoming and kind, and I already felt supported by all the like-minded women in STEM.
My biggest struggle coming to college was finding a group to fit into. In high school, I had many friends that I felt comfortable around, but when everyone went their separate ways for college, the whole friendship-building process had to start over. That first game night with AΩE, it felt like I had found a new community of women that I could bond with.
Fast forward through three years of making friends and awesome memories (including going to Disneyland, many fun study nights and dinners, weekend retreats and end of semester parties, and, above all else, the adventures of food committee), and I now proudly call AΩE my home. I have made so many friends in this organization that I love seeing at our weekly meetings, organized social and professional events, and spontaneous friendly get togethers.
Getting an engineering degree and being in a sorority or fraternity doesn’t seem like something that would easily align. And it doesn’t. As an engineer, you don’t have a lot of free time in your schedule, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything fun. It just means that you have to use the time you have wisely. All the engineers I know that are involved in Greek organizations are very organized, responsible people that know how to use their time efficiently. Whether they came to college with that skill or learned along the way, they have mastered the art of balancing the rigorous academic life of an engineer with the commitment of being in a Greek organization.
In high school, I had a lot of preconceived notions about what sororities and fraternities were like, but all that changed when I joined AΩE. The great thing about Greek life is the diversity in its organizations. If you’re interested in traditional social sororities and fraternities, those are available for you to join. But there are also professional organizations for engineers, pre-medical students, and pre-law students. There are cultural organizations, and philanthropic organizations. Being in AΩE has shown me that Greek life extends beyond what is depicted in television and movies, and is all about communities of people. And AΩE has helped me find my community of wholesome, awesome women in STEM.