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Confessions of a Carleton Sorority Girl

“There are sororities in Canada?”

That’s usually the first question I face when I mention that I’m a sister.  The second is, “Oh, so you’re in a cult?”  This query is normally followed by earnest head nodding and wide eyes or crinkled foreheads and thin lips.  People either think I’m crazy, that I’m playing a trick on them, or they flat out disapprove.

Still, there are those that reserve judgement. They listen to me, they ask better questions than whether I slaughter goats while dressed in cloaks and they don’t really care one way or the other as long as I’m happy.  Those friends have been real troopers while I adapted to Greek life. They were on the receiving end of multiple Facebook picture updates, statuses about letters, formal and everything else they do not understand.  Thanks for sticking it out with me guys – sorry (but not really sorry) to say that those activities won’t slow down anytime soon.            

Being a sorority woman is something I’m proud of – I proclaim it in interviews and it’s one of the first extracurriculars I mention when I meet new people.  I never intended to become part of a sorority, at least not until the summer before first year when I compiled a list of the extracurriculars I wanted to be involved with when I got to Carleton.  That’s when I began to research the sororities on campus and I presented the idea of joining one to my parents, who were completely in favour of my choice.

Personally, I went through formal recruitment with Panhel (the Panhellenic [Greek] Council for Carleton) and the process was an absolute whirlwind.  Over several weeks I met a few hundred girls and from them I was supposed to choose my family.  Sounds intimidating eh?

I was lucky, from the first night I knew who I wanted to be with and at the end of the process I got a bid from my dream organization.  I became a fully initiated sister this past November and it feels as if I’ve known these girls for longer than a year.

You’re probably saying “but it can’t all be sunshine and roses!” and you’re right.  Nothing is perfect and it took a while to get used to the pace of Greek life (as well as the vocabulary).  However, balancing mixers, sisterhoods, rituals and simple relaxation time with my sisters is slowly but surely naturally becoming routine for me.  

I now have a network of alumnae, sisters and friends to help me when I’m stressed, upset or just plain lost.  I did not buy my friends – I bought into a fantastic organization that has allowed me to meet wonderful women that I may never have met if not for my sorority.

Now, if any of you have read my other blog entries you’ll see that I wrote a piece on being sober in university and my sisters have been completely supportive of my choices.  We don’t hang out exclusively with fraternity brothers (though I’ve met some very decent and nice young men who are in frats), we study – a lot because we want to succeed, none of my sisters own a private jet (or if they do they have somehow neglected to tell me) and we’re not all blonde, thin…basically we aren’t a stereotype, but we are all beautiful.

The point of this piece was to share what being in a sorority is really like but it’s difficult to convey the reason behind why I love my sorority so much.  I have always felt safe among my sisters; they all love each other in different ways.  You may not always like your sister but you’ll love them forever.

I’ll leave all of you with this quotation my Big sister (non-biological) painted on one of my initiation gifts, “”From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”      

*Is the Greek life for you?  Come out to Fall Recruitment at Carleton and find out!

I am a third year student double majoring in humanities and English. I love to drink tea, talk to people, and write.
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