Bid Day 2

Confessions From A Sorority Girl

Disclosing that I am a part of a sorority is, in a funny way, a source of controversy in my life. I know I’ve already totally discredited myself by sharing the sort of insignificant problems I have, but I want to use this article as a chance to clear the names of sorority girls everywhere. As self-righteous as that sounds, I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what actually goes on in Greek life in general. When family members, acquaintances, and friends’ family members alike hear of my involvement with a sorority their initial reaction is most commonly skepticism or palpable concern.

I imagine the word “sorority” immediately evokes images of cringey rush videos of thin, predominantly white and blond sorority girls welcoming you into their mansion and riding around on yachts OR of project-X style parties with girls funneling beer from a tube coming from some elevated surface like the balcony above them.  For me, my experiences haven’t been ~exactly~ like these associated stereotypes (although, full disclosure, I have participated in the latter) and have made my university experience what it is. 

I initially decided to rush a sorority with the sole purpose of finding friends in a new city. What I found instead was an organization full of like-minded women who valued philanthropy, academics, leadership, friendship, and admittedly yes, having a good time. Since joining I have had the opportunity to give back to my immediate and global community with multiple different philanthropic initiatives such as baking for homeless shelters and sponsoring a young girl in a developing country. All active members are required to complete 40 active hours of volunteer work per academic year- the same amount that high schools in Ontario require over the span of four years. Sisters are also required to maintain a certain average to be able to participate in events, meaning that attendance at parties is contingent upon putting in at least some academic work.

The organization also fosters leadership by having chair positions that involve organizing and taking responsibility for a certain component of the sorority itself, and sometimes even overseeing other chairs. I’ve seen girls around me take this newfound confidence and leadership ability and pursue involvement in other organizations and initiatives on and off campus to become truly impactful women. All of these women who often get thrown into the box of “ditzy sorority girl” have proven they are so much more, and have been so much more to me. They have been a huge support system, a source of inspiration to push myself, and even a future professional network. 

Even though a sorority was the right choice for me, it’s not without its flaws and understandably isn't the right fit for everyone. Although I wouldn’t say it’s Project X level by any means, there is still a pretty dominant social/party culture. There are a lot of events that involve other organizations and include partying or drinking in some way. None of these are mandatory but it is still a part of being involved with the organization. For people who don’t enjoy social settings, are more introverted, or don’t drink, this portion of the sisterhood could definitely be daunting. As someone who doesn’t have an issue in these settings and has been able to take away so much more from this organization, I’m lucky.

For people who may not feel as I do, I am still a huge advocate for getting involved while at university. I strongly believe creating a sort of community for yourself can offer the same support system and still encourage you to be your best self the way that being in a sorority has for me. Being a part of student societies, clubs, events like Frosh or Relay for Life, even working on campus can all supplement your university experience in ways you can’t imagine. It might be scary to put yourself out there and seem hard to add more commitments to your already packed schedule, but experiences that foster a sense of community and connectivity to your university are worth their weight in gold.