How Sofi Melgarejo Found Her Best Friends For Life At Zeta Tau Alpha

College is tough! You’re miles from home, maybe even in another state entirely. All of your friends are in other schools, your family’s back home, and your entire life is uprooted. It’s lonely and terrifying. For Sofi at Indiana University – Bloomington, it was the same. 

Until someone told her that maybe she should try rushing a sorority to find her place in the universe…ity. University. (Sorry, we take every dad joke opp we see.)

But if you were Sofi, which sorority would you choose? How do you know rushing will be worth it when you don’t even know what it’s like being in one?

But Sofi is a smart cookie. She figured it out and landed herself in her second home. Now she can confidently say, ”One chapter worth rushing at Indiana University – Bloomington is definitely Zeta Tau Alpha.”

“What’s Zeta Tau Alpha?”

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Founded in 1898 at Virginia State Female Normal School (now Longwood University), Zeta Tau Alpha has a rich history that spans, at present, its 172 active chapters nationwide. With over 290,000 initiated members since their founding, Zeta has its place in history as a women’s fraternity of true sisterhood and advocacy.

Their philanthropy focuses on breast cancer education and awareness. If you’ve heard the phrase “Think Pink” for breast cancer awareness campaigns, that’s a trademark registered by Zeta. They’re partnered with the American Cancer Society, Bright Pink, and the National Football League.

Yeah, they’re a pretty big deal.

“How Do I Know If Zeta Tau Alpha Is Right For Me?”

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Sofi Melgarejo is one of our Campus Managersand the current outgoing apparel chair of Zeta at Indiana, meaning that she’s had years of experience being with her women’s fraternity and talking to other sororities for work.

We sat with Sofi to learn about her experience as a current member of Zeta Tau Alpha, so we can tell you all about it.

Q: What made you join Zeta Tau Alpha?

A: I went to an all-girls private Catholic School before college and it instilled this sense of girlhood and community in me. Being from Miami, FL, and coming to Indiana University was a huge and scary transition for me. I wanted that sense of community to make such a big school feel smaller to me. 

Specifically with Zeta, I just instantly clicked with the girls and knew I could be myself. I was especially drawn to them for our philanthropy (Breast Cancer Research and Awareness) which this past BMOC season raised $183k!

Q: So far, how has being a Zeta Sister been for you?

A: Being a part of Zeta Tau Alpha has been an amazing experience for me. I have met some of my best friends that I can see being the bridesmaids at my wedding. I never saw myself as fitting in a stereotypical women’s fraternity until I rushed. I then found out that being in a women’s fraternity is what you make of it and you won’t click with everyone and that’s fine because you will click with those who are like you. 

Q: Has being a member of Zeta Tau Alpha benefited you in any way? 

A: Zeta has pushed me to grow academically and in my personal life. Zeta helped me put myself out there and become a leader – their apparel chair. Being the apparel chair led me to the opportunity to be a CM for Fresh Prints, which has been hands down one of the best work experiences in my lifetime.

Q: What would you say are the best parts about being in Zeta?

A: The best part about being in Zeta is having a stable support group. I have my group of friends but what I love most is that I can go to practically anyone in the house and ask them for advice or help. I also love how many unique perspectives and people we have. 

Some of my best friends and I are completely different majors, from opposite ends of the country, different cultures and ethnicities, etc. Being around them opened my eyes to how big the world is and how much we can learn from each other.

Q: What’s been the most challenging part about being in a women’s fraternity?

A: The biggest challenge I would say is the time commitment.

Being in a women’s fraternity is gonna eat up a lot of your time—but not in a bad way. You will be at the house a lot either just hanging out with your new friends or doing some kind of activity, whether that’s a sisterhood event or working on something for philanthropy – stuff like that. Despite this time commitment, when you find the right place you will WANT to be there!

The key is just to learn how to balance your time well.

Another challenge is finding your role in the house. Whether that means you want to be on the executive board, positions council, or just a friendly face coordinating things. 

I remember when I first joined, I desperately wanted to make an impact in the house but wasn’t sure how. I wanted to bring a special part of myself to Zeta. I eventually found my place as Apparel Chairwoman and got to bring my creativity and designs on campus.

Q: What made you stick to Zeta despite the challenges you mentioned??

A: For me, those difficulties were not things that made me ever consider leaving. I think those are simply hurdles everyone faces in the beginning and they’ll get over it if they’re at the right place.

Q: What would you say are the biggest perks you enjoy as part of Zeta?

A: I’m not sure if I would call these perks, but having a whole second family right on campus is so comforting. Also, the food is awesome. We have set times for all meals and it’s convenient when I randomly get hungry on campus after class to just swing by the house and grab a snack.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who are rushing for the first time?

A: You need to figure out what YOU want. It’s so easy to get swept up in the recruitment talk with the girls around you and let things like ranking/status or what other people want affect your decision. 

Set some time aside and think about what you want to get out of your rush experience and make sure you hold yourself accountable throughout the entire process. At the end of the day, it’s going to be you opening up that bid day card and no one else. 

We hope you enjoyed learning about what it’s like being with Zeta Tau Alpha! Good luck with Rushing!

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