What do you think when you hear a woman talk about being in a sorority? Do you think, “oh she’s a partier, oh she is shallow, she obviously doesn’t care about her studies." If you do you may think like most people, however it’s not true in most cases. Sorority women are more than just the letters they represent. They are about their sisterhood, school, community, and philanthropies. Most of these ladies hold some of the top GPA’s on their campuses, and are the leaders in discussion in the classroom. For many of these sorority ladies, joining was more about the bonds than it was about the recognition of letters.
I myself am a sorority woman. I joined my organization over four years ago. When I joined I was 25 years old and a mom to a five year old. I never thought I would ever join a sorority. In the beginning, I thought the same way as many others do. I considered these women to be a joke who didn’t care about their education or anything but partying; boy was I wrong. I attended a meet-and-greet on campus and initially my previous opinion was justified. I walked in and these ladies were running around in the dark playing tag. My first reaction was that I was way too old for these ladies, and I could never find anything in common with them. Again I was wrong. After spending an hour with these ladies I learned that most of them had high goals for their futures, the entire chapter had the highest GPA on campus, and that they cared more about each other than they did about boys and drinking. I was completely caught off guard that these women actually cared about something more than being superficial.
I was initiated about a month later and really dived into the world of being a sorority sister. I held a position on our leaders council, I was active in planning the events that our chapter threw on campus, and I lived ritual daily. It was not an overnight transition, it took work and really learning about what this organization stood for and why it was important for me to join. I bonded with women who were five to seven years younger than myself, and met more sorority sisters spanning all over the US and Canada. It was truly an amazing experience to see how many other women in the world were just like me, skeptical at first and then fell in love with what the sorority was about.
Of course there are some parties, however most sororities are not allowed to throw “bashers or keggers," that’s usually left to fraternities. However the events that are thrown were to raise funds for the organization's specific philanthropy, or to meet potential new members, as well as giving back to the community. The planning and time that it takes to have a good event is great for these women. It teaches time-management, planning and organization strategies, as well as communication with others. All these tools are necessary for life outside of college, as well as for being a productive individual.
There is so much more that goes into being a sorority woman. It's not just what you see on the outside it's what happens behind closed doors. It’s what goes on behind the curtain that really makes these ladies shine. They work together to accomplish tasks, they find a way to raise money or meet organization guidelines, and finally they care about one another. Most of these women love one another without regard of ethnicity, or sexual demographic, they love one another because they are sisters. At the end of the day family matters and supporting one another is the biggest rule to being a good sorority woman.
Over the years I have taught a few new member classes for sisters wanting to become initiated, and what I have found when teaching them is that there is always a desire to find love and friendship. I have had past collegiate sisters come in and talk. The stories they have shared and the love that they have outpoured onto the future generations is what makes me so proud to be a sorority woman. So the next time you see a woman wearing her letters proudly think to yourself, "Wow I wonder how much she does for her sisters, community, and her college."