This week, your social media feeds have probably been filled up with pictures of girls rocking the ‘sorority squat’ and throwing their own personalized hand signs. I’m sure you’ve made your own generalizations about the Greek system, as I did before I was a part of it. That is totally okay, everyone experiences Greek life in completely different ways. Here’s my perspective from the inside.
I was very skeptical about Greek life. I did not want to conform to a certain way of life or believe in specific ideals just because I was involved in a national organization. I was afraid of being grouped into one big stereotype. I was afraid of not being taken seriously if I had a house attached to my name.
After a semester of being unassociated with the Greek community, I had a slight interest in what it had to offer. I actually had to make a video for a sorority on campus for a class project, and when I walked up to shoot some b-roll I saw girls playing hopscotch, pulling random people walking back from class to join, and frankly acting like complete idiots. It looked like fun.
From there on out, I had found a place. At that point it was just that – a place.
I’ve been involved in my sorority for almost two years now. I won’t lie, some of those generalizations I was worried about are true, while some could not be further from the truth. It has not been perfect by any means, but it has been the most rewarding experience of my life.
I have never felt like I had to conform to a certain way of being. A certain way of looking. As I look around the group of women I spend so much time with, I see a diversity of personalities and perspectives. It’s cool to sit back and watch everyone interact with each other, because we all balance each other out really well.
I have probably been taken more seriously with my sorority attached to my name when it comes to discussing life with my family, or participating in campus events. It’s a nice thing to put on your resume if you hold a leadership position… and I’m all about the resume. I didn’t realize how much sororities were involved in changing their communities. I became more excited to volunteer which was something that never previously interested me.
Being generalized into one big stereotype tends to happen to every Greek house. I will even find myself generalizing at times, and that is something I shouldn’t do. A house is either considered ‘too stuck up’ or ‘too pretty’ or ‘too smart’ or ‘too fun’ or ‘too corky.’ It is the definition of what happens to women in society every day. We can never be perfect in the eyes of the public, so when you group a bunch of women together the same generalization and judgement occurs, on a grand scale.
You know, that’s okay. People will think what they want to, and they might not realize their judgements are harsh. They might not realize how diverse each house is. If one girl acts a certain way, that does not necessarily mean that is the case for the other 149. If one house acts a certain way, that does not mean the Greek community is flawed. I used to generalize all of the time, and it was because I had never experienced what sisterhood actually meant.
This week was recruitment. It was emotional and long, tiring and stressful. I currently don’t have a voice from talking to girls all week. I worked so hard, all week long, because our goal was to recruit women who are better than ourselves. And we did…59 of them. And they are amazing.
I wouldn’t have worked so hard at recruitment if I didn’t believe in this organization. I’m sure many girls feel the same way. I have been asked many times, “Why haven’t you dropped when something has gone wrong?” My answer? Because I believe in what my amazing group of girls has to offer. I believe in our hard work to make a change, to be different. I believe in the Greek communities on every campus who treat others with respect.
No organization is perfect, but the effort has always been there. When you group a bunch of women together there are going to be conflicts, but it is how you solve those conflicts and strengthen your relationship that makes all the difference. I see that happen every day, and it is amazing. Perfection is not ideal. Reality and loving others around you despite the conflicts that arise is ideal. And because of that, I will deal with the generalizations with a smile on my face. Every day.
What I’m saying is sisterhood is not about partying or social status. It may seem that way sometimes, but it’s not. And if some houses seem that way, that is not the character they should hold. Sisterhood is about empowering other women, being ambitious in everything you do and being as genuine as possible to better communities and the people within them.
If you are a part of an organization that gives you a deeper perspective on college, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same signs of struggle. Power through, because your impact is so positive, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.
If you are considering joining an organization that will give you a deeper perspective on college, do it. It will be the best decision you ever make.
I can proudly say that my sorority is not just a place anymore – it’s a home.