A year in the life: lessons learned from Greek reinstatement

Hello again, dear readers. Hopefully you were able to get some rest on this lovely three-day weekend and celebrate Easter/Passover/spring to its fullest. During my weekend at home in West Texas, I wracked my brain for subject matter on which I could focus my column this week. With no material present as I drove back to San Antonio on Sunday night, I began to despair. Luckily, life has a way of working itself out, and material presented itself around midnight on Sunday night.

You may or may not be aware of the fact that I am a member of the once-sanctioned social club Gamma Chi Delta. That being said, as many of you know, our club was allowed to return to campus this week, inspiring various celebrations and many sightings of that “Gamma Green” (a color which looks ghastly on my sallow skin tone). Before you put down the paper and walk away because you think I’m about to embark upon a column’s worth of pro-Greek statements, I would kindly ask you to wait, because I’m actually moving in another direction…

I’ve noticed that in many of my columns, I try to teach you something. I ask you to cherish some principle or accomplish some moralistic feat. And yet, this is not fair. What gives me the authority to lecture/preach/sermonize to you fair people when I myself am still learning about life? Therefore, this week, I want to tell you a little about what this year has taught me about myself. And with any luck, you’ll take away something along the way.

Interestingly enough, the temporary loss of my social club allowed me to see why I loved Trinity. Though this sounds counter-intuitive to many because of the sometimes confrontational nature that exists between the sanctioned clubs at Trinity University, bear with me as I explain.

Without typical Gamma social and community activities I found myself with a lot of free time. This forced me to fill me time with new activities and people. I became a member of ASR, which I had initially mocked upon my arrival at Trinity (okay, I still make fun of it…but lovingly). Through joining this student group, I found that Trinity was so much more than classes and parties. It was full of people who wanted their money to be used for something that would benefit the greatest number of people. It was filled with people who wanted to save the tigers and who wanted to be great civic leaders through Model UN and Fair Trade action. And by becoming part of a group that helped students, organizations, and the administration affect positive change, I felt that I had a direct role in shaping my education. This, in turn, added another piece to the puzzle that is my identity.

Furthermore, without Gamma activities, I was able to become closer to people that I probably would not have known if I had stayed inside my Gamma bubble. I met one of my best friends, Claire Hoffmann (if you don’t know her from the roast or Bays, you should meet her), who offered support when I felt frustrated and always made me laugh. I became closer to other members of other Trinity clubs and now count some of these people as my closest friends. We’ll probably go to each other’s weddings one day….provided there’s an open bar (kidding). I met alumna that we (stupidly) thought had abandoned us, and I learned about their lives at Trinity when they attended our beloved alma mater. And through their time and efforts, we were able to return.

Mostly, my year without Gammas taught me some things about myself. And these things weren’t all necessarily good. I learned that I usually judge people based on first impressions, am quick to anger/act, and have a problem with authority figures (Sorry, mom, dad, and beautiful alumna). However, during our time in “re-engineering” Gammas, I learned that none of these characteristics were beneficial neither to me as a person nor to my future. So, I’m trying to change (be patient, it’s me). And, thus, my year without Gammas taught me the most important lesson of all: embrace change. (I tried to keep it sermon free, I’m sorry!) Yes. This is me, Gabrielle Marie Shayeb, telling the world embrace change. I know that I’ve always petitioned against it, but this year has taught me that with change, good or bad, comes the chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. And though it may be difficult, I think the rewards far outweigh the negatives.

In the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that”. Please don’t expect any future articles with a deluge of feelings/philosophical musings about Gammas. It’s against my nature. Because even though I’m a Trinity University sorority girl, I’m so much more than that. I am not my stereotype and I am changing every day. And I’m sure the same can be said for all of you. Looking forward to talking to y’all next time, when you can fully expect a return to normal cynical preaching on the life and times of one curly hair confused girl, trying to navigate Trinity University and make it out alive.  Peace and blessings.

Gabrielle Shayeb is a senior majoring in history.