As college students none of us are new to the subject of stereotyping. Subconsciously (alright, and some times consciously) we put our acquaintances in certain categories based on how they act and present themselves. As students majoring in strategic communication, we know that the first step in the right direction is always making sure you’re presenting yourself in the way you want to be viewed. But what happens when you’re already a stereotype?
As a member of a sorority I have a negative label against me. Immediately, I am categorized as a partying, ditzy girl that could care less about school and only about how to get a frat boy’s attention. However, what I’ve learned in PRSSA is that this is not how I have to be viewed because I have the power to change it. Constantly, I am working in a public relations role to make sure that the positive outcomes from my Greek life experience are being presented.
I joined a sorority to gain a sisterhood. I didn’t “buy my friends” because I was unable to make my own, but to join a group of women who have the same values I do and have for over 100 years. When I’m asked why I joined a sorority I make sure to focus on this and not the partying aspect. Also when I’m “branding” myself, social media comes into play. It’s no secret that college students enjoy going out, but it’s also no secret that what you post says a lot about who you are and what you really care about. Being in a sorority I will admit I have many opportunities to go out between socials, date parties, and homecoming and Greek week celebrations. I like to go out and be social but I also care a lot about our community. My social media is filled with different philanthropy events that we hold and community service we participate in. I am in a sorority and I have a stereotype against me… but that does not define me. Who I am is more than what meets the eye.
The three Greek letters I have hold so much more meaning to me than those on the outside know. I don’t hate those who aren’t in Greek life and I understand that stereotypes give people an altered state of mind. I might not be able to change the stereotype but I do know I can change other’s beliefs about me through branding myself in the way I want to be viewed.
Vanessa Copetas is a Sophomore studying Strategic Communications. Follow her on twitter @vanessa_copetas!