Before I transferred colleges, people asked what I wanted in my new school. I gave a list of things, but when I came to “Greek life,” people either interrupted me or gave me a disapproving look. I got multiple follow-up questions and judgmental statements about what sororities are like and was looked down upon for wanting to join a sorority.
When I transferred and was preparing for formal Greek recruitment last fall, I was undoubtedly nervous to begin with, but my friends and peers made me even more anxious. I was told that the chapters would Google my parents to find out what they do for a living and how much money they make. I was told that they would judge me and be very aware of what clothes and jewelry I had on, and whether or not I was wearing designers and expensive items. I was told that the girls would compare my body to other potential new members’ and that if the other potential new members were skinnier than me I would be dropped. I was judged for wanting to join an organization where I had to pay for my friends.
Despite being uneasy, I went through with recruitment. Not only was none of this true, but also I would not regret going through recruitment for anything.
Joining my sorority was singlehandedly the best decision I have ever made. Being in a sorority is not about my family status or the clothes and jewelry that I wear; it is about the standards I was raised with and the values I live out everyday. Being in a sorority is not about what I look like, or about paying for my friends. It is about surrounding myself with women who support me, motivate me and challenge me to always do better.
Being a part of a sorority means encompassing yourself with passionate, strong and confident women who have your best interest at heart everyday. It is about the women who stand by you during the hardest times and celebrate with you in the happiest times. These women challenge me to grow as a leader and as an individual. They encourage me to be the best version of myself everyday. They taught me what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself and to always have someone’s back no matter what. My sisters showed me the importance of not only participating in philanthropy, but the importance of wanting to help others. Being in a sorority means being classy and respecting both yourself and others. Sisterhood teaches you life lessons to be a good human being and a strong leader.
Sorority women have more standards than the average college woman. Twenty-one percent more sorority women graduate than non-Greek women, and 43 of the nation’s 50 biggest corporations are run by Greek men and women. Since 1825, all but two Presidents have been Greek, and Greeks make up 76% of U.S. Senators. Think about all of that for a second. The next time you judge, or you hear others judging sororities, remember these. Greek life dominates the work force and it is not by fluke. There is something special about being a part of a community that gives you the power and confidence to follow your dreams.
It is easy to judge something you are not a part of, especially because the media solely advertises and illuminates the bad stories like hazing and chapters being closed. Sororities are not about hazing and drinking. They are not about parties and boys. A sorority is an organization of women, like yourself, that encourage you to grow. Sure, we like to wear our letters and throw up our hand symbols for the perfect Instagram picture, but that is not why women join sororities, and it is not why we stay.
We stay for the strength, support and devotion to bettering ourselves, and the world. We stay for the support and hope to reach our goals. We stay for the good times and the bad. We stay for the passion for our philanthropy. We stay for the home away from home and the memories. We stay for the genuine friendships and unconditional love.