Whenever I tell people that the lifetime movie Dying to Belong is what made me want to join a sorority, I’m always met with confused stares. Why? Because the plot of this movie basically goes as follows: girl (Stevie from the Parkers) feels like she doesn’t belong, girl meets cool girls on campus, girl wants to pledge sorority, girl is ridiculously hazed then girl dies. Like most movies about Greek life, I’m sure this one milked the unfair misconception that all the members of sororities and fraternities do is haze pledges, drink beer and exhibit raunchy sexual behavior. But something told pre-teen me that there was something more magical about all of this, and I promised myself that when I went away to college, I would pledge my sophomore year- and that I did.
I’m not sure when it started, but my level of cynicism grows every day because it’s so hard to tell when people are being genuine. I’m always skeptical of others’ intentions so I’m not one to easily open up. But that changed when I met my future sorority sisters the summer after my freshwoman year when I attended an informational about the sorority. Sure it was nice hearing about all the cool things the organization had accomplished and all the future goals it had set, but what really won me over was hearing personal stories from sisters on what made them want to pledge. One in particular still gives me the chills whenever I think about it (4 years later!). I can’t tell you everything the sister said (mainly because I don’t remember it all) but what I can tell you is that when she was speaking I could feel her genuine love and passion not only for the sorority, but her sisters as if it were tangible. I knew in that moment that this was the one for me. Two semesters later, I officially became a sister.
Now, I can sit here and tell you how my sorority is “the best sorority in all the lands” and joining it was “the best decision I’ve ever made” and how I just “love all of sisters because we’re a giant family”, but then I’d just be a liar. Every person will say that their sorority/fraternity is the “best” so I’m not even going to entertain that argument (it will simply be based on opinion and it won’t hold any actual significance), and while it was definitely one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life, it wasn’t the best (studying abroad in Barcelona was because, hello- duh). Lastly, I’m going to keep it real: I’ve encountered sisters where just the simple mention of their names causes me to epically roll my eyes, so no, we’re not a giant happy family where everyone gets along all the time, but we’re a family nonetheless.
My nine chapter line sisters (the women who pledged with me at my university) are my without a doubt my soulmates. We’re all different in an interminable amount of ways yet we’re so perfect for each other. They understand me in a way other friends will never be able to. They know all my horrible flaws and insecurities and still love me unconditionally. We share such a unique bond that just thinking about it baffles me because how can these people I would just randomly see around campus grow to secure such a deep and meaningful place in the depths of my heart? Thankfully this beautifulness didn’t end with them: I’ve met so many other women who have proven to be just as important. There’s a sister who lives all the way in Florida, and even though we don’t speak that often, when we do it’s like we’re sitting right next to each other catching up over a glass of wine and we’ve never even met in person. My pledge mothers, the women who guided me through my pledging process, are really like mothers to me, women I can always count on for tough love and real advice. I now have a ‘little sister’ and when I think of the relationship we’ve developed, the memories we’ve shared and the many more we will, I can cry because it all seems so unreal. How is it possible to go from not knowing her just 5 months ago to loving her as if we were blood-related? And I can’t forget the sister whose testimonial still gives me the chills- she’s honestly one of the most important people in my entire life whose existence I will forever be grateful for.
I can look at these women and say yes, they are my sorority sisters, but so many of them have also grown to be so much more than that. Women I can text in the middle of the night for tips on professional progression, romantic life advice, and simply someone to just chat with for hours about silliness. The fact that we can go from complete strangers to life long friends just from having the simple commonality of the same three letters written across our chests will always remind me that while it may appear to be insincere and a little crazy, I swear this kind of love is as real as it gets.