Stop Saying Sororities 'Kill Individuality,' We All Know It's Not True

Stop Saying Sororities 'Kill Individuality,' We All Know It's Not True

Before you start judging, start knowing.

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Recently, I came across a tweet that went viral about how sororities have a certain "dress code" during recruitment. There was a lot of backlash from sorority members and alumni; and a lot of support from those who agreed with her. There were replies back and forth about how the sorority stigma is real and everyone is the same versus the "dress code" is similar to having to dress professionally in a workplace. It just kept going back and forth.

Don't judge something that you know nothing about. Coming into college, I was unsure about joining a sorority but since I only knew only three other girls from my high school, I decided to go through recruitment. During the process, I watched "The House Bunny," which features stereotypical sororities in the movie. I was reminded of why I was a little nervous, but I continued anyway.

It seems intimidating and exciting all at the same time. These girls are dressed similarly and they're all so happy, or peppy if you will. However, there are reasons behind what you see in the process. For one, we dress similarly to differentiate ourselves from the potential new members going through recruitment. In addition, we dress similarly to look more uniform. You might say, "well doesn't that kill individuality?" and with that, I will answer, no, it doesn't.

I say this because even if our colors for that day are red, white and blue (for example), sorority members can get whatever short-or-long-red dress they want. In a workplace, a woman can wear whatever she wants — as long as it is professional and appropriate. It is the same in this case.

Going forward, all sorority girls are definitely not the same; and if you do not believe that then I encourage you to meet more people in Greek life; in multiple sororities at multiple universities.

I am a prime example. According to stereotypes, the only mold I fit is being blonde. That is literally the only thing I can think of. Aside from that, I study international business (which involves many difficult courses may I say), I have worked two jobs while going to school, have branched out to other clubs within my community, and have different interests than other members in my sorority. That's one of the reasons why I love it.

If that is not enough for someone to be convinced; I would like to point out that we have differences further than our various Netflix show options. Our majors vary, the clubs we join around campus vary, and we all come from different kind of family backgrounds where someone was raised by a single mom or another woman chose to support herself when she went to college. I've met tons of these girls. Our majors consist of nursing, accounting, communications, psychology, criminal justice, and so on. Our clubs consist of The Odyssey, student ambassadors, the student-alumni association, and more.

We are human beings and we make our own decisions ultimately.

Don't judge me for my clubs and interests, when I don't judge yours. End of story.

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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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If You're Thinking About Joining Greek Life, Don't Overlook Professional Sororities

It isn't just about not living in a house with 60 girls.

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There is a pressure on college campuses to join the Greek system on campus, and that pressure is there for a good reason. Being involved in organizations like sororities can help you push your comfort zones, grow as a young adult, and meet so many people who help you become a better person in the end. The problem with this pressure is that it makes trying to find an organization feels like it is a one size fit all type of situation — that you must participate in formal recruitment, want the most popular sorority, and you run around in heels on campus to your new home on Bid Day.

I am going to say this one and make this clear: there is nothing wrong with wanting to participate in formal recruitment. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be involved in a social sorority. There is also nothing wrong if you don't want to be involved in that type of organization. In the end, it is your choice with what you do in your college career. My thing about wanting to join a sorority is that there are different types of sororities for a reason, not everyone wants to do the same thing. If you are on the fence about the idea of joining a social sorority, look into organizations on your campus that might not fit that typical mold.

For me, the idea of joining a social sorority didn't seem like the right fit for me, but I still wanted to be involved with an organization on campus full of driven young women. I wanted to be surrounded by people are different than me, but in the end, have very similar core values in life. I found an organization that worked for me: Sigma Alpha is a national professional agricultural sorority.

Being a part of this organization though has taught me about how some people perceive my sorority. "Redneck," "not a real sorority," and "I've never even heard of you before" are common things I hear when I talk about my sorority to those outside of my group. Even though Sigma Alpha is a professional sorority and we don't have a house, we are part of the Greek and Panhellenic system on our campus. Yes, we are different than social sororities, but we still have similarities that cannot be overlooked. We as an organization are filled with passionate young women wanting to make a difference in the world, we have fun, and we love our organization. No matter if you are a social or professional sorority, that is who you are at the foundation level.

I'm not saying that one type of sorority is better than the other—what I'm saying is that there are types of sororities that are better for you as an individual. You can't do everything your best friend does, and you need to be independent enough to know what you want. This is a personal decision, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about that

My biggest piece of advice if you are considering joining a sorority, do your research about several sororities that align with your values and overall feels like the right fit for you. I understand that getting into these organizations are competitive, and you may not get accepted in your dream one, but having ideas of what you like and don't like will help you through the journey.

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