I am in my last year of college (YAY) and as I look onwards to the finish line I like to take a moment to recollect on my experience years. The biggest being that I became a sorority girl.
My experiences are broken down in four ways: how I felt before joining, how I felt/feel now that I am in one, and how it has changed my life.
I remember, graduating from high school, declaring whole-heartedly to my parents and my boyfriend that I did not want to join anything. I have always been in some type of organization or activity since elementary. I’d been in orchestra since the fifth grade to the day I graduated from high school, did track from seventh to eighth, was in Student Council and Theatre since my freshman year and then joined the cheerleading/dance team my sophomore year. I was committed to all of my high school organizations until I graduated, so now I sport a beautiful “B” on my Letterman with several little details proclaiming that I did not quit anything and even earned bars for my years of dedication.
But ultimately I felt burnt out. I was tired and for once, I just wanted to focus on school.
As you can obviously tell, life decided that this was not going to happen.
You see, I moved to San Antonio, Texas on my own. My only friends from high school that close either went to the University of Texas at Austin or Saint Mary’s (spoiler alert, I never saw them). I felt lonely and wanted to make friends. So I headed out to a random event that UTSA was hosting that day. That is where I was introduced to a variety of sororities.
UTSA hosts four councils of Greek life. I won’t get into the specs, but I awkwardly found my way to two sororities that I never knew even existed: Latina based sororities.
You see, I had only ever seen the sororities you see on TV or in movies. And they were rarely ever painted in a pretty picture and mainly consisted of white women.
Now, I’d like to say that UTSA is much more diverse in all its councils and they do not only consist of white women. But at the time, that is all I really knew. So seeing these two sororities really spoke to me. To me, I was seeing women that looked like me that had the same values and goals that I have. These sororities were Sigma Lambda Alpha and Kappa Delta Chi. Although I admit, I requested information for both these organizations, I ended up falling in love with Kappa Delta Chi.
You see, although both organizations are beautiful and encompass a sisterhood that is unique, I just found my home in Kappa Delta Chi (the nickname being KDChi).
I managed to make a friend that was also interested in KDChi and she encouraged me to go to every rush event with her.
(This was us before)
(This was us after she moved away and joined KDChi at another University)
After the second rush event—mind you these were about two hours or so long and they had many prospective ladies at each event—the sisters managed to remember my name.
I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it meant a lot to me. Not only did they say my name, they said it right. I am a rather quiet person by nature, and back then I was way shyer then I am today and rarely corrected anyone on how to say my name. I doubted they would remember me, but the moment I walked into their informational, they welcomed me with smiles, hugs, and “Hey Marisa! How are you? How was that class today?”
They were invested in me. A shy, sun city girl that had nothing to offer to the organization but my desire to make friends.
(The first rush event I attended)
I remember calling my parents that night and telling them I was going to apply for KDChi and giving them the summary of their presentations. Then came the first reaction my dad had. He told me: “No mijha. Sororities are for elitist people that party. You don’t want to surround yourself with that.”
And that stuck with me. Because yeah, I saw that in the movies and TV shows. My parents both went to college and they saw that. But, I’d also hear girls saying things like: “oh yeah, she’s my bridesmaid/maid of honor”, “my relationship with my big/little(s) is amazing”, etc., etc. and I wanted that. I wanted someone to be my sister. My adopted (not really, but practically) sister was not in San Antonio. I had no friends, and the one I did make was about to jump into the sorority boat with, or without me. And honestly, what did I have to lose in applying?
NOW THAT I’M IN
The rest is honestly a beautiful history. I may not have got along with every sister in my organization, but that never stopped the feeling of being in a sisterhood. I admired—and still do—the wonderful women that have created and continued to grow my sorority. And we all agreed, even if we didn’t get along all the time, we still love and respected each other. And that is what it means to be sisters.
(I event got to be a Maid of Honor)
Most of the women that have joined my sorority that are first generation women, and even if they weren’t or aren’t, they still have this ambition and drive to be successful that many first generation students have. They are courageous leaders. They are kind and intelligent. And they are each unique. I mean, some of these girls were in multiple organizations, taking honor courses, and had more than one job. They would make it to community service every Saturday morning, on time, with great attitudes, ready to work, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. You'd never know they had been partying till the 3, 4, even 5 am.
Now that I’m in I do want to share these opportunities that KDChi has given me. Because being in a sorority can be a beautiful experience. My class sister, Ashley Cano, said in her mini graduation speech during our grad farewell: “You get out what you put in.”
I live by that phrase. Being in a sorority—in any organization—that is completely true. If you make the effort to build those relationships, put effort into the events and activities, you will reap the benefits.
HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE
This organization, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., has influenced me substantially and I’d like to say for the better. My parents have even noticed. My mom always comments that my confidence and my feistiness has grown and I am appearing to be a more empowered woman every day.
And I know I can count of my sisters. Heck, when I applied for jobs recently the first people I thought to ask to be a reference are my sorority sisters. Although they are our University, District, and National advisers, I knew I could count on them to provide an accurate description of me and my ability to work for whatever company I was applying to.
(My little sister, her little sister, my second little, and my second little and grand little's class sister)
(My sister and I got to go to Chicago for our sorority's National Conference a year ago. Got matching shirts while we were there.)
I have had my ups and downs with my sorority, just as any one person does with any organization or school activity, but I am so thankful for every experience I have had. And of course for the amazing friends I call sisters. I do will always relish in all the moments I’ve shared with so many of my sisters. The 2 am baking sessions, the drives down winding roads, the talks under a blanket fort, the midnight pep talks, the retreat in the woods with no power, or even the long nights making cake pops talking about Disney characters.
I encourage every girl to take a look at Greek life in their University. And truly look into each one because once you find that one that clicks for you, you won’t regret it.