The other night, I was getting to know a new friend over a glass of wine. I asked her about her family and where she grew up, she asked me about college and life at Ole Miss. I happened to mention that I was in a sorority in college and was still involved with my chapter now and she made a comment that stopped me in my tracks, and frankly, kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
"Wait, what? You were in a sorority? I don't picture you as one of those kind of girls." Nicely, I asked, "what kind of girl do you mean?" "You know, those bleach blonde, designer-label-wearing, spoiled rich girls who are more interested in finding a husband than getting a degree."
You hear all types of misconceptions about being in a sorority...anything from "Well, you basically bought your friends, didn't you?" to "You mean you all don't look like Elle Woods on Legally Blonde?" And I've even gotten this before: "Do y'all sit around and have pillow fights and paint each others nails?"
So here I am, friends, to tell you all the truth about being in a sorority.
Contrary to what movies portray, the typical "sorority girl" isn't a bleach-blonde, size 2 bimbo. I'm the opposite of Elle Woods and I'm okay with that. Putting labels on other groups isn't socially acceptable, so defining all sorority girls as such shouldn't be the norm. I'm thankful for the amazing women that are redefining what it means to be a sorority woman.
There's no such thing as hazing at our university. It's as taboo to me as it is to you. I've never seen it and never want to. That's another thing movies have exaggerated; we take a "no hazing" policy very seriously.
We don't have house parties. Our sorority house is beautiful and loved; we'd never dare to mess up a house we're so proud of and grateful for.
Not a single one of my friends went to college strictly for a "MRS" degree. The girls in my sorority are motivated and passionate and all have big plans for their lives, and getting a husband was not a priority over getting an education.
Very few of my friends "lived off Daddy's money," as I've heard it put before. I was fortunate enough to have my parents pay for what scholarships didn't cover, but I had a job throughout college for my spending money and extra finances, while balancing sorority responsibilities and nursing school.
Aside from the social aspects, sororities shape young women and mold them into responsible adults. We get involved with lots of extracurricular activities through sororities. We learn time management (hello rush week!) and cultivate great people skills. We learn how to rock an interview and become interested in giving back to others. One of the biggest advantages I learned was how manage sorority responsibilities, classes, job schedules, and everything else all at the same time.
You find life long friends. Cheesy, I know, but hear me out--those girls are the friends I talk to every day, still to this day. I know in my case, I made friends I may have never made otherwise, and those are the girls who stood by me on my wedding day. Those are the women I look up to and admire, the girls I call when I've had a bad day or need to vent over a glass of wine. They're more than just superficial friendships and casual "let's get together soon" wishes; they're the kind of friendships most women dream about having. We've lived together and grown up together.You learn big lessons from these friends. Together, you go through parent divorces, losing loved ones, big moves, job losses, and so on...all of the big life lessons that make you grow up quickly. And those girls stand by you and you stand by them. They become family. The kind of family that I'm now celebrating engagements, weddings, and baby announcements with. The kind of community I always hoped to have.
After graduation, job connections and resume opportunities through alumnus of Kappa Delta will be so beneficial. Any major city is going to have an alumni association, and that association is ready and willing to help fresh faced graduates out in the big world. I'm thankful for this network that continues to give back to me.
Sorority girls aren't all that different from any other girls, in the end. Sure, we know more sorority chants and have infinitely more t-shirts than most, but deep down, we're just girls who want to be a part of something great, something bigger. We may get a bad reputation sometimes, but we're really just well-rounded, ambitious women. The kind of sisterhood that a sorority cultivates is an incredible thing, so don't knock it 'til you've tried it. I think we all have regrets from college, but being in a sorority isn't one of mine. No matter what sorority, I feel like the feeling is mutual across the board. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for the community that my sorority gave me--it's a sisterhood that pushes us to be better versions of ourselves, and I'm continually grateful for that.