31 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became President

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  1. Start your term out by eating a big ol’ slice of humble pie. Nothing will alienate your chapter faster than acting like a princess instead of a president.
  2. Your new name is President. That is how you will be introduced to parents of new members, alumni, and especially bartenders.
  3. Trying to get you sloppy drunk is the chapter’s new favorite game.
  4. When they succeed like they eventually will, try to hold it together. Explaining to your house mom why she walked into the kitchen at 2AM to find you throwing cheerios as you scream “BOW DOWN BITCHES” is not a conversation you want to have.
  5. Set boundaries early. Even if the Greek Week choreographer really is acting like “Stalin in Lulus,” it can wait until you’re out of the shower.
  6. Make friends with the other presidents. They will 100% have something to teach you. Also, post gaming panhel meetings is great group therapy.
  7. Don’t try to micromanage other officers. The chapter elected them for a reason, just like they elected you. Trust your social chair when she says that she can make “the evolution of Miley” work as a mixer theme.
  8. But still pay attention to what they’re doing because everything is your fault now. Buses for formal late? It’s your fault. Not enough girls cheering at philanthropy events? It’s your fault. Bid day balloon arch looking lopsided? It’s your fault.
  9. Except that it isn’t. Be kind to yourself. Some nights you need to get out of the house, drink of a bottle of wine, and let the tears flow. Then get back to business.
  10. Because no matter how overwhelmed you feel inside, you’re the head bitch in charge and you need to hold it together for your chapter.
  11. At some point you’re going to need to work with a fraternity president for some philanthropy or school event. Both of your lives will be so much easier if you take on all the real work and leave him to just focus on getting guys to show up. Preferably sober. His job is a thousand times harder than yours.
  12. Which is why when you encounter a situation that makes you want to verbally bitchslap a fraternity president (and yes, it’s a “when,” not an “if”), you should probably just buy him a beer instead. Twenty minutes of listening to what he deals with on an average Tuesday will make you want to hug every one of your sisters.
  13. End chapter before The Bachelor starts. Just do it.
  14. You will make at least one huge mistake. It will probably happen early on. Chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. Trust me, nobody hates you, and even if they do you have a whole year to prove why you were the right choice.
  15. You can’t make everybody happy. If you don’t believe me, ask your t-shirt chair.
  16. When hearing “whatever, I’m a senior” for the thousandth time makes you want to cry, just remember that the new members think you’re a celebrity.
  17. There is a very good chance someone will throw up on you this year. Save the cute shoes for your first formal out of office.
  18. You don’t get to choose who you are a president for. I don’t care who you are or how big your chapter is, there is no way you like every one of your sisters. Tough luck. For the next year your job is to make sure every single member has the best experience your organization can offer.
  19. You’ll probably have the chance to go to a national conference with other officers from your sorority. After spending 12 hours in a hotel conference room talking about “values based growth,” make time to share basement songs. That’s what the chapter really wants you to bring back.
  20. Don’t power trip. Is it cool that your pledge class rival needs your permission to speak in chapter? Of course it is. Will you usually call on her last? Probably. But don’t give her a reason to start telling people that they should totally just stab Caesar.
  21. Sometimes the best you can do is close your eyes and pretend not to see the nine stolen fraternity composites sitting in the living room at 2am. That’s ok.
  22. Let’s be real. Half the reason you ran was to know all the secret chapter drama. In truth though? It sort of sucks. You’re going to get the really juicy things, but for the most part people are going to come to you with some heavy stuff. You’re going to find out that sisters are fighting uphill battles you never knew about. You will walk away a less judgmental person.
  23. You know who has the best drama? Your alumni board. If you’re smart, you will stay the hell out of it.
  24. These women have held grudges for fifteen years because one of them had the house dining room painted that heinous pale pink without talking to the other one. Trust me, you can’t hang.
  25. On the real though, get to know your alumni. They’ll drive you crazy harping about the chapter gpa, but the second they start talking about the famous panty raid incident of 1985 you’re going to want to buy them a drink.
  26. Leading by example means no more drunken stealing. It’s all fun and games until the university calls looking for the parent’s weekend welcome banner.
  27. The alumni board will make you explain to the chapter why Daisy Dukes aren’t appropriate attire for a philanthropy event benefitting a children’s organization.
  28. The chapter will make you explain to the alumni board why it isn’t ok for them to wind up the grandfather clock every time they come over. Yes, we know it’s an antique. An antique we can hear chiming at four in the freaking morning.
  29. You will have to talk your recruitment chair off of a ledge at some point. She’s the only person who needs a drink more than you do.
  30. Except for maybe your standards chair. Be really nice to her. Like really, really nice.
  31. There is nothing worse than a burn out. Yes, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but you fucking begged for the chance to do it. So power through to the end. Then you can have your turn to be a risk management issue.

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After growing up in the best part of the country, BestCoast is now learning to appreciate snow and beer in a state where fried cheese is a delicacy. As a former sorority president and current law student she welcomes any and all comparisons to Elle Woods. When her head isn't in a textbook she can be found yelling at football referees and roping polite strangers in to Deep Meaningful Conversations about their life choices.

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