Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why joining a sorority was right for me

My all-time favorite sisterhood retreat 
This weekend, my sorority is holding a conference in Dallas. All of the collegiate chapters in the region will be there as well as many of the alumnae who can make the trip. It wasn't possible for me to attend this year and it's with a jealous eye I read their Facebook status updates.  I remember region weekend trips fondly, much like the rest of my sorority experience.

There was an article in the Huffington Post last month about why one of their producers chose not to join a sorority. I think she's a bit wishy-washy in her article, like she's trying too hard to make her point, but also not offend anyone. Like saying, I hate peaches, but what do I know? I've never eaten a peach. Yeah, OK. I say pick a side and back it up. Why would you discredit yourself like that?

All the same, it got me to thinking about the people who think the Greek system is a waste of time (there are plenty of them) and how for me, it was exactly what I needed. It's true; the Greek system is not for everyone. But I also think it's a lot more diverse than people give it credit for. If you met me today, you'd never guess I was in a sorority in college. But I was a full-blown Greek with lots of positions and even president of our chapter one year. And I definitely don't consider myself to be the stereotypical sorority girl. Not even close.



And let's get some of the negative things out of the way. One, our chapter never hazed anyone. I don't think any of us would've put up with it. Two, I didn't buy friends, but I did buy an experience. There are dues because you need money to make the chapter run. Plain and simple. Plus, I wasn't friends with everyone (friendly, yes - friends, no). Three, we didn't run around the house in our underwear and have pillow fights (sorry, fellas). And four, none of us were sleeping with professors, flunking out of school or there just to find a MRS degree (as far as I know, anyway). Oh and five, yes there were parties and drinking, but it's college so...what's the issue again?

And while every day wasn't a cakewalk (um, I lived with 20 some-odd women in a two-story house. We had bunk beds - gasp), I don't regret any of it. As an Army brat, I moved every couple of years and never really had a core group of friends. When I joined a sorority all of that changed. I had sisters I could study with, party with, shop with, goof around with, especially when I moved into the house. There was always someone willing to hang out and even though we didn't always get along, we always supported our sisters when it counted.

We were technically adults when we joined, but we really grew up together, especially our individual pledge classes. We joined as naive freshmen and left as seniors ready to conquer the professional world. There were other pros of course - we hosted major philanthropic events and held leadership roles in the chapter and elsewhere on campus. We had pretty decent grades and some women graduated with honors (cough*me*cough). But the real reason I loved my sorority was because of the women in it. And as lame as it sounds, I really did make lifelong friends.

So I hope the ladies at region weekend are having a good time catching up and sharing old memories. Have a glass of the good stuff for me, ladies. I'm thinking of y'all and I'm there in spirit! And to the original author of the HuffPo article, you can try to convince yourself otherwise, but you missed out.

Cheers,
Jen

PS - Our sorority was voted as one of the top three nationally. So, you know...DELTA ZETA DOES IT BETTER.

In case anyone was wondering.

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