What It Means to be in a Sorority

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For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be in a sorority. It was never a question. When the Rho Chi’s came around at my school asking if I was interested, I immediately said I was. While they tried to convince other girls who had never even pondered the idea of joining a sorority, I was already hooked. Me being me, I had already researched the heck out of the chapters at my school before I got there. I was set and ready to join years before I even left for college.

 

So Why Did I Join?

I joined for the friendships I knew I would make.

I joined for the instant support system I would have 24/7. I knew that the girl’s I would one day call my sisters would have my back on everything I did. While they may not have agreed with whatever I had done, I knew that they would be there for me.

I joined for all the volunteering I would do. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life and I wanted to continue it well into my college years.

I joined for the memories.

I joined because I have always loved helping people. I want to help my sisters become better versions of themselves while in turn, helping me.

I joined for the generous alumnae chapters that would welcome me home in a new city.

I joined because I am an only child and one day I know I will need my sisters more than ever.

I joined because I wanted to increase my leadership skills. By joining a sorority, I knew I could gain these experiences.

I joined to have a special group of girls that I could bond with more than anyone else.

I joined to make a difference in our world.

I joined to improve my studies.

I joined for networking.

I joined to leave a legacy.

Stereotypes

Sororities tend to have an awful, negative connotation to them. People see all sorority girls as ditsy; girls who like to party, drink, and do other things that would make their founders cringe. However, this is not the case. According to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), in the 2011-2012 year 639,021 hours of community service was done by sorority women and $2,855,095 was raised for their selected philanthropies. Does this seem like the hard work and dedication of girls who only joined a sorority to be known as a girl who likes to party?  No. Rather, it seems like a group of women who have decided to strive to be better in their lives. While there are sororities that have reputations, that does not and should not define them. There is more to everyone and EVERYTHING than a reputation.

Concurrently, sorority women typically have a higher GPA than non-sorority women do. Why? We have a support system. We have mandatory study hours every week. Sororities help women to make themselves better. Why does this topic never come up when people talk about sororities? Isn’t the entire point of college to study, graduate, and find a great job that is fulfilling?

Facts like average the GPA, money raised for philanthropies, and community service hours should be discussed more than the negative sides of sororities. We should talk about the great women of history who were in sororities and overcame reputations and stereotypes and showed that sisterhood is such an amazing thing to be involved in.

Famous Sorority women who have gone very far in their careers to extinguish the stereotypes:

Condoleezza Rice

Nancy Grace

Kimberly Williams

Lucy Liu

Coretta Scott King

Joan Lunden

Bette Midler

Leigh Anne Tuohy

Elizabeth Dole

Kristin Chenoweth

Laura Bush

Georgia O’Keefe

Erin Andrews

Jennifer Garner

All of these prominent women have brought something amazing to the world in one way or another. They have set great examples in their chapters and did/ are continually doing so in their lives.

Why I Joined

Last year, I was told that joining a sorority was stupid. I was just paying for friends. Those girls are the stupid girls. I would like to repudiate that false and judgmental typecast. Thankfully, I did not let that negativity change my decision. I knew what I wanted to do and my family supported me and agreed with my decision. I knew there was more to sororities than any of those judgments.

To me, rushing was something I was going to do. I never had second thoughts about it. I wanted to be a part of something legendary and leave my legacy.

Joining my sorority was the best decision I have ever made, as I stated above. Even in the short time that I have been involved I have met incredible women who inspire me every day to grow. I have had an amazing time bonding with them in ways I have not been able to with other people. My sisters are people that I could go to for anything and they know they could always come to me.

By joining a sorority you find your sisters. The sisters who will always be there for you. There for you, when you need your mom or dad at school, when you are missing your boyfriend, and when you need a hug. Sorority sisters are not just lifelong friends, they are family as well.

My lasting thought is to break the stereotypes. Not just the ones about sororities, but the ones in your life. Show people that there is more to you and whatever you love. They may just find out they want to try something new.

Beth:)

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