An Athlete’s Perspective: The Benefits of Broadening Your Horizons

Sophia Manners, Maroon-News Staff

As an active member of Colgate’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams and the sorority Gamma Phi Beta, I would say rushing as an athlete was one of the greatest things I have done. Coming into college as a first-year on the team allowed me to feel more confident and comfortable knowing that I already have a group of over 60 people to call my friends, and during my freshman year, they became more like family than friends. 

Going into my sophomore year, however, I knew I wanted to branch out and meet even more people— people who might not share the same interests as me but still complement my personality. Many of my non-track friends were rushing so I decided to do so as well. It ended up being one of the best decisions I have made so far in college. 

My decision to join Gamma Phi Beta has introduced me to a life outside of track and allowed me to make friends with so many more people, particularly upperclassmen, who I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I love my teammates and see them as my sisters, and through rushing I have gained more family! Through numerous sisterhood and philanthropy events, I feel like I have gotten more involved on Colgate’s campus and among my peers. 

Additionally, I have recently taken up the role of Historian in Gamma Phi Beta which has allowed me to become more knowledgeable about this organization and the wonderful women within it, and it has made me even more proud to belong to this sorority. I see this pride and sense of sisterhood amongst all of my sisters as well and, most importantly, I see how they genuinely care about each other in much the same way my teammates do. 

This November, Colgate hosted Cross Country Patriots and a number of my sisters came out to watch me and my teammates compete. Even though they generally did not know what was going on during the competition, the fact that they made the trek up to the course (which is at the very top of campus and includes a steep hill climb to get there) meant so much to me. They wanted to show their support for me at an event they knew was very important and so they spent a large chunk of their Saturday in the frigid and wet November weather to cheer me on. 

On the flip side, soon after I rushed, Gamma Phi Beta hosted our annual Chili Cook Off. It was my first philanthropy event being in the sorority and many of my teammates made an appearance just to show their support for me (as well as to try the chili). Both groups fit into my life so well and complement each other in such a way that I don’t have to give up one circle of friends for the other. Both my sorority and my team support me in everything I do and have displayed this unconditional support throughout the year as I work towards balancing school, sports and Greek Life. 

Rushing has only broadened my circle of friends and I am so grateful to all of them for the encouragement and joy they bring me.