When I was getting ready to leave home and go away to college, I made a promise to myself. Under no circumstances would I be joining a sorority. I remember walking around campus the week before my Freshman year began, listening to the potential new members of each organization jumping up and down and chanting, and thinking about how ridiculously painful and irritating it looked. The heels, the matching dresses, the perfect hair, and makeup.

You do you, but I wanted nothing to do with any of it.

As the semester went on, I began meeting more and more individuals in each organization, and one organization, in particular, caught my eye. The women were always the sweetest, silliest, most genuine, down to earth women I had ever been exposed to. Everywhere they went people were saying hello, and smiling.

These girls didn't just respond with a sidetracked "hello," they cared about you, and asked you how you were doing or how your day was going. When you answered, they listened.

These girls were always the ones in my classes asking questions or studying in the library late into the night with plenty of time to go on a perfectly aesthetic coffee date the next morning. I admired them, and I realized I wanted to be apart of their amazing bond. You could sense the love these girls had for one another, and for people in general. But there were so many stereotypes.

Weren't sorority girls supposed to be unintelligent and materialistic?

Weren't they supposed to rude and petty?

Weren't they supposed to just chant and look pretty?

Even now, when I proudly wear my letters on my chest I can tell people are thinking about these things. I know because some people are courageous enough to say it to my face. They ask me questions about my sisters, and when I tell them the truth, that my sisters are some of the most beautiful, intelligent, and loving women I have ever met, they act like I'm lying. But here's the thing, these stereotypes exist, and everyday sorority women have to constantly fight to change the stereotypes. I was one of the people, who degraded these women, not even realizing they were some of the most dedicated and hardworking women on campus. They have the ability to balance social obligations, maintain a high GPA, practice and honor ritual, and kick butt at their philanthropies.

I am so grateful that out of their compassion and kindness, to a person who wasn't even yet apart of their bond, they proved me wrong, and showed me the truth. Sorority life requires dedication, time, and passion, and sometimes, patience. But it truly is a lifetime bond that you will never forget.