I always get asked how I balanced being a college Athlete and joining a Sorority… Well the key word is Balance! I believe Structure and Balance is a life necessity for all people; but these lessons were instilled in me early on by my family. Growing up my Dad kept me on a schedule: School, HW/Chores, Practice, Rest and Repeat. It may have been unaware to me while I was growing up but once I got to college that lifestyle was easy to adapt too. Believe it or not there are plenty of athletes who balance Greek life and their Professional careers.
Well, my sophomore year of college I became interested in Greek life. Greek life isn’t for everybody but I encourage people to at least look into it. Ignore every stereotype that you hear about Greek life! Most of them aren’t true, but they can easily influence your outlook on things. The most important thing I learned about joining my sorority was being confident in being myself.
Ok so to address the topic at hand, balancing being an Athlete and being in a Sorority:
To start off, one of the best life lessons I learned while at the University of Memphis was the importance of being involved in my community. I knew my influence as an athlete would carry me a long way in life, as far as networking and connections, but I also craved the ‘college experience’ so I joined different organizations. However, becoming a Zeta was one of the greatest decisions I made in college. I have Sorors who I can look up to for guidance and talk to about anything and everything, I am actively involved in my community and can relate to people as more than just an athlete, and I also have 6 of the most amazing, understanding and craziest Line Sisters anyone could ever ask for!
When it comes to balancing athlete and sorority life I had great support from both the UofM Rho Gamma chapter (where I crossed) and the FSU Rho Kappa chapter (after transferring). All my Sorors from the Rho Gamma chapter were so understanding and supportive of my reasons for transferring, so that made my life easier. As well, the Rho Kappa chapter was so welcoming and still very understanding of my athlete obligations. Due to their Sisterly Love I was able to balance both lifestyles. Although I had to make sacrifices and miss certain events, I knew what stood as a priority and thankfully I never had to justify that to my sisters because they knew I valued both track and our sorority. I gave both 100% to both every time that I could.
Now that I am a Professional Athlete my balance has been nearly the same. I am always willingly ready to represent Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., in any way possible and to the best of my ability. I understood that this is a lifetime commitment I made when I joined the sorority and I take that responsibility as serious as I do my training. I make trips back to see my line sisters whenever I can and we talk regularly about everything! They are my family; they support my track career like they are standing right on the line with me for every race. They cried for me when I won nationals and drove 14hrs in 2 days just to watch me walk across the stage at my graduation. We all have lives, jobs, kids and relationships but we never forget to make each other a priority. Balancing both will require sacrifice but having a support system of unselfish people is the best way to seize the best of both worlds.
Follow my Soror on Instagram @queen.hvrdler Thanks for the blog idea!