Sorority life tends to, more often than not, be accompanied by a wide variety of stereotypes and preconceived notions about what it is all about.
"All sorority girls care about is partying. Sorority girls don't care about school and aren't intelligent. Sorority girls care too much about their looks. Sorority girls pay so much money just to buy their friends."
After being a member of the Greek Community for the past two years, sorority life has exceeded all my expectations and certainly has debunked the stereotypes that come along with it. Going into my freshman year of college, I had always known I was going to participate in Primary Recruitment (a week-long process filled with lots of conversations, long days, and extremely sore feet.) Going through this process was slightly overwhelming at times, only because I knew that I wanted to find the absolute best fit for me, and many chapters were so wonderful in their own ways. However I knew that, with each time I walked through the "Big Blue Door" of Alpha Delta Pi, it became so apparent to me where my heart and soul belonged.
Often times, explaining to someone who is an outsider to the Greek Community is difficult. We use big words like "philanthropy" and bring up our weekly chapter meetings. These can be extremely difficult concepts to grasp. During the last year or so, we had a speaker share some of her thoughts on different aspects regarding the Greek Community as a whole. During her time behind the microphone, she challenged us to think in ways that we most likely hadn't before, as her message centered around the idea of being empathetic towards others. She addressed the stereotypes that are ever-prevalent surrounding sorority women and fraternity men. As she continued, her speech seemed to make perfect sense— those on the outside of the Greek Community do not and probably will never understand life within a chapter, therefore harsh stereotypes are formed. I, as a member of the Greek Community, once knew what it was life was like outside of a chapter, and I haven't forgotten what that was like because at one point, I hadn't had a clue either. It is so important, whether you are a part of the Greek Community or not, to be careful of not falling victim to those basic and almost always untrue assumptions.
One of the most frustrating and disheartening things to me is having to hear people who are outside of the Greek community, whether they are current college students or older adults, talk about being in a sorority as they see it in the movies. No, I am not in a sorority to party, have pillow fights, buy my friends or paint my nails a different color every day. And here's why.
I can wholeheartedly say that I have grown into the woman I am to this very day because of my chapter. I am constantly surrounded by women who push me to do better than I did yesterday. They let me cry when I need to cry, but they never let me me stay saddened for too long. They encourage me to step outside my comfort zone with school and the activities I am involved in. They cheer me on when running for leadership positions. They sit down and walk me through statistics problems when I have trouble understanding the concepts. They encourage me to strengthen my relationship with Christ. I have the privilege to raise money through philanthropic events for the Ronald McDonald House, which supports children with life-threatening illnesses and offers their family a place to stay while they child may be in the hospital for procedures and treatments.
I am going into my second year living in my chapter facility, where I get to share a beautiful home with 60 other women. Sorority life has given me all I could have asked for and then some.
With that being said, though people may question me about why I would ever want to be in a sorority, I will never be anything but proud to wear my letters. My sisters are some of the most well-rounded, intelligent, hilarious, BEAUTIFUL women inside and out that I have had the pleasure of knowing. I am so fortunate to stand alongside women who support me unconditionally, who challenge me to be better in times when I am struggling, and who remind me to strive for nothing but greatness.
I am a sorority woman, and I could not be more proud.