I Was 'That Sorority Girl,' But That Doesn't Mean I Stand With Harvard

I Was 'That Sorority Girl,' But That Doesn't Mean I Stand With Harvard

Underneath my sorority pin and white rituals dress, I am a frat boy.

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Okay, let start looking at the manner differently, shall we?

Sorry, you can't play on the baseball team for your high school, because this is a boy sanctioned sport. Oh, no, no I am not saying that you can't play sports here. You can play softball, it is basically the same thing, but it is the girl sanctioned sport.

Okay, here is the thing. I am all for girl power. And embracing your inner femininity. However, I don't believe that the way to get that is by being exposed to a tight nite group of a "girls only" club. Everyone has different reasons for going Greek. Maybe you want to get involved with social activities on campus, party, or if you were like me, wanting to be around strong and inspiring women. People who drive you to work harder and do more in the world. Having friends both in sorority life and fraternity life, I often heard different reasons why the joined. However, for the most part, it all came down to one word: family. Everyone I spoke to wanted to have somewhere where they felt inclusive and belonged. For freshman new to the world of college and away from home for maybe the first time we all were looking for somewhere to belong.

So, here is the thing, if Greek life is truly about finding somewhere where we belong, then why are we saying, "Sorry, this is an all-girls club," or "Sorry this is the boys only room." Being exclusive doesn't make something more special. It makes it, well, one-sided. Greek life is basically a club. So, why should we be excluded people who are actually interested in joining? The whole requirement process is so intense, that if someone actually says, "Yes, I want to join a sorority, but I identify as male" then why are we telling them no. That they have to go over to the boy's side.

You want to join a house that makes you feel comfortable that you feel like you belong. For me, I never felt like I belonged to my sorority. I felt like an outcast throughout my time in the house. I poured my heart into the social committee, philanthropy works, making the cutest gifts you can imagine for my little, but I never felt like I was met for my house. I made some best friends and that was all great. But, the truly inspirational people that I hung out with and got what I had hoped for from Greek life, where the boys who lived across the fence from our house: the frats.

Yes, frats have their reputations. Their bathrooms never seem to be clean, they haze and can act so rude to girls. Yeah, well, wake up call, that is everyone. Your gender isn't going to be that defining reason why someone acts a certain way. And through my own hazing experience at my sorority and seeing their true colors, I never felt at home there. But take me to my best friends live out any old day and I felt like I was at home.

I would often joke about rushing their frat and how I wish I could. But truth is, that was never a joke, I was always full on serious. I may not be able to relate to things the boys have been going through. The pressures of the society of being a man or how the world expected so much from them but shamed them at the same time, or the thrills of standing up when peeing. But I felt a connection there.

At the end of the day, we join Greek to build a connection, a home. If we all rushed with blindfolds on and spoke to people, we would never see if they are male or female. Instead, we would be choosing brothers and sisters only on their goodness of heart and who we build a connection with through recruitment. You can learn so much from someone of the opposite sex. You can get to see the world from a different perspective. In a group setting, that diversity is important. You want to surround yourself by inspiring people who teach you new things about the world. If we keep ourselves stuck in our "girl clubs" and "boy clubs" we are never getting that perspective we need in our lives. We stay one-sided and taking away someone else chance to feel like they belong. We all want a home, so why are we taking away someone chance to one? Sorry, you can't join the "softball team," but there is the "baseball team" it is basically the same thing. But here is the thing, we didn't want to play "baseball." We wanted to experience what you are.

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'Big' And 'Little' Are More Than Just Labels

It is a special privilege, an irreplaceable bond that two girls share.

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One night last year, I was at my big's apartment doing my laundry because I was a freshman and did not feel like paying to do my millionth load of laundry. We were hanging out with her roommates when one of them told me about this girl who dropped out of her sorority. And don't get me wrong, I can understand dropping a sorority for many reasons, but this girl did not tell anyone she was dropping out, not even her little. Her little heard that she dropped from other girls in her sorority that she wasn't even close with.

When the little texted her big and asked why she dropped and why she didn't tell her, the big just said she did not think it was a big deal. Little responded with, “But I'm your little? Don't you think I should have known?"

What breaks my heart is that her big responded with, “It's not a big deal. Big and little are just labels anyways. They don't mean anything."

And that is where she's wrong. Big and little are more than just titles or labels.

Being a big and a little is more than just candy, stuffed animals, stickers, T-shirts, and presents. It is more than just posting numerous pictures with the captions “Love my littleeeeeee" or “I have the best big everrrrrr" with an extreme amount of heart and smiley emoji on Instagram. It is a special bond that two girls share in the world of Greek life. It is something that lasts beyond just four years of college.

Your big spent weeks crafting for you just so that everything was just right, and she spent the week lying to you saying “I wish I could've been your big" or “someone else called dibs on you" and sending you BS hints in your big/little baskets just so you are all that much more excited when reveal time comes.

A big is someone who takes you under her wing and adopts you as her own. Bigs are girls who love you unconditionally — your college role model, if you will.

She is someone you look up to, someone whom you strive to be just like.

She is the one who will always be there for you, no matter what.

She is there during the middle of the day when you need someone to go to Starbucks with.

She is the one you want to pre-game with before all the mixers and parties.

But most importantly, she is the one who is there for you in the middle of the night when your boyfriend breaks up with you or cheats on you, or when your parents tell you the are getting a divorce.

She is the one you can always go to for comfort and will always do whatever she can to make you feel better about yourself — whether it takes a wine and chocolate night while watching "Friends" or "Gossip Girl," or a night out on the town. She knows you better than you know yourself. Having a big sister is one of the most valuable privileges of being in a sorority.

Not only is having a big an honor; having a little is, as well. Your little is the girl you spotted during rush who just had that thing about her that made you think, “Dibs, she's mine." She is the girl who was your bid day buddy, the girl you welcomed to the sorority you both call home. You showed her the way through rush blowout, fraternity parties, mixers, and how to dress up for Halloween so she didn't end up looking like Cady Heron at Chris Isen's Halloween party.

Your little is the girl you show off to all your friends. She is the one you will stick up for no matter what. If it is a bad breakup she is going through, having school problems, family issues or if your risk management is out to get her, you are always there for her when she needs you. You teach her how to be the best big so that when she gets her little, your grand-little, she is just as spoiled as your little was. You teach her how to be a better version of herself, and you can only hope that she takes as much from you as you took from your big.

She's your mini-me, and you love her until the day you die.

Being a big and a little is way more than just a label or a title. It is a special privilege, an irreplaceable bond that two girls share. These girls will be by your side the day you get married, and you will be there for them on their big days. Big and little is something that lasts way more than four years short years at college. It is a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

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No Matter How Much You Flaunt Your Letters, Greek Life Does Not Define You

Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else is doing.

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As a student at a university with a major sorority and fraternity presence, I know that those unaffiliated, like myself, can't help but wonder if there's something that we're missing out on. Seeing everyone walk around flaunting their letters can make a non-member feel a little left out. I have been told straight to my face "you're going to regret it if you don't rush." But, in all honesty, I don't.

Now, don't get me wrong, being a part of a sorority or a fraternity sounds incredibly fun. With formals to hold, fundraising events to be a part of, "sister photo shoots" to have, and socials to go to, there never seems to be a dull moment for a Greek life member. Not to mention, those affiliated say they have made their absolute best friends through their sororities or fraternities. My friends that are a part of Greek life are always gloating about it, and I can see why. I joined my past roommate at one of her sorority formals and I genuinely had a ball being able to dress up and pretend it was prom again.

However, as wonderful as all of this is, you don't need to be a part of Greek life in order to have THE college experience. Having letters on your shirts does not mean you are any better or any worse of a student than those without them. The letters do not define you.

As an unaffiliated college student, I have still been able to find my group of "forever friends," join clubs, spend nights out, and get an education (since that is, after all, what we're all here for). As cool as it is to be able to stick Greek letters on the back of your laptop, for me, it just leaves more room for stickers of Harry Styles.

Thankfully, college is a lot different than high school — there aren't really any cliques or status rankings. So, if you aren't a part of Greek life, that does not automatically put you at the bottom of the social ladder. At the end of the day, your affiliation does not matter at all. Instead of using a sorority or fraternity as a resumé booster, unaffiliated students can fill those blanks with other work, internship, volunteer, or extracurricular opportunities.

Sure, being a Greek life member may allow you to network and get connections for future careers, but it isn't the only way to do

so. Employers will not pick those in a fraternity over those who are not. They simply look for well-rounded individuals who are involved in something.

So, whether or not you're a part of a sorority or fraternity, I applaud you for making your own decisions and hopefully taking the college route that you wanted to. It does not matter what you are affiliated with, as long as it makes you happy. Otherwise, you aren't missing out on anything special.

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