Sororities don’t always have the best reputations.
Pop culture and media often depict Greek women as airheads whose interests solely include: fooling around with as many people as possible, testing the overdraft limits of our fathers’ credit cards, and spending our free time alternating between drinking glasses of candy-flavored alcohol (Skinny Girl brand only, please) and bedazzling our belongings.
Consequently, many people view us negatively as those who strut around campus in oversized tank tops and Nike shorts, using our four years only as a means of completing our M.R.S degrees. These stereotypes may describe some sorority women, but, for the most part, they couldn’t be more wrong. Sororities are not loose associations of those who only go out with one another nor are they breeding grounds for Pinterest-obsessed ditzes.
They are so much more.
I haven’t always made the smartest decisions during college (words to wise: never schedule 8am classes and avoid post-midnight Taco Bell at all costs). However, there is one decision that has completely changed my college experience — without a doubt, for the better.
Navigating college is a challenge, making it easy to feel alone — especially when you begin your first year away from your parents, your house, your siblings, your old friends, and every source of comfort you’ve known for the last 18 years of your life.
At the beginning of freshman year, I never imagined that I would join a sorority. As my first semester progressed, I befriended a handful of upperclassmen that were all members of different sororities. They convinced me to go through recruitment — a weeklong process during the spring.
On the first day, it rained miserably, and I was freezing and exhausted — a sure sign from the cosmos, I thought, that I wasn’t cut out for this. After whining to my friends (read: getting over myself), I calmed down and stuck it out. On the last day, I received my bid, and three years later, I can’t imagine how my college life would have played out had I not joined.
The women I’ve met since joining as a member of my chapter have not only become some of my best friends but they also form my greatest support network while at college. I know that the bonds I have forged here — through sharing countless heart-to-hearts, disappointments, and triumphs — will last me a lifetime.
Cheesier than a slice of Domino’s, I know, but I mean it. That’s what the primary objective of joining a sorority is, should, and will be: finding family — 120 sisters strong — away from home.
These will not just be the women with whom you party. These will be the women who grow with you, starting as freshmen — naïve to the inner workings of college — and ending as seniors — ready to make mod podge marks on the world. These will be the women who deliver freshly baked peanut butter cookies to the library when they know you’re cramming all night for a midterm. These will be the women who take you out when you’re feeling down and with whom you can have fun spending an entire night giggling over YouTube videos. These will be the women who hug you until you forget to cry and remember, instead, to breathe. These will be the women who hold you up and keep you from falling even when you reach the lowest points that college has to offer. These will be the women you hold up and you keep from falling.
And these will be the women who become the sisters, the bigs, and the littles who help to define your collegiate experience.
After all, it’s not the letters you wear that matter but those who share them with you.