How I Fell Head Over Heels in Love with My Sorority

I remember visiting Syracuse my senior year in high school and sitting outside of Schine Student Center with my parents. A group of girls wearing sweatshirts with foreign looking letters written across their chests walked passed us laughing and screeching. My dad looked over at me and in a semi-mocking tone said, “Teece, that’s gonna be you, a little sorority girl.” I laughed and told him to shut up because that was absolutely not me. I had this idea in my head that all sororities consisted of were parties and frat boys.

 

Boy, was I wrong.

 

I came to Syracuse my freshman year and felt extremely lost on campus. I had always been involved in sports and clubs in high school and never thought twice about where my niche lay. However, the campus was so big that I found it difficult to branch out from my floor mates. In an attempt to try something new, I decided to go through recruitment. My reasoning was that if I hated it, at least I could say I gave it a try. I made it through all of recruitment and accepted a bid to a chapter here on campus. In the beginning I enjoyed getting to know all of the girls in my pledge class, and I attended a decent amount of social events.

 

It was fun and gave me something to do with my time; however, I couldn’t help but wonder what being in a sorority was all about. Sure, I met a lot of great girls through the process, but couldn’t I do the exact same thing and not have to pay a ridiculous amount of money? These thoughts vanished one by one, though, as I became more and more involved. Slowly, I began to realize what Greek life is all about.

For starters, first semester sophomore year, it was time to nominate each other for officer positions. I was hoping to become more involved and assume a little more responsibility, but I definitely was not prepared for the nomination I received: Vice President of Chapter Development (essentially the President's right hand woman). I was absolutely shocked and definitely did not see it coming. It blew my mind that these girls saw something in me that I didn’t quite see in myself. Since I was a little overwhelmed and unsure if I could handle so much responsibility, I talked with some of the older girls in the house. Not only did they make me feel like I could handle it, but they reassured me that I would do an amazing job. I was totally out of my comfort zone, but I realized that if these women had faith in me, I should have faith in myself. This was the first sign that my sisters would push me to grow, and the first step in figuring out what it truly meant to be a part of a sorority.

 

There were many events similar to this that cultivated my love for my sorority and helped me realize how amazing it is to be a part of an organization where women encourage each other to branch out of their comfort zones.  At this point, I thought that I had it figured all out, that there couldn’t be more to a sorority than my current perception. I was wrong, and unfortunately had to learn this the hard way.

 

Last week, tragedy struck my chapter. One of our sisters passed away unexpectedly. It tore me apart. She was such an amazing girl, and I am truly blessed to have known her. Her contagious smile constantly lit up every room, and she somehow managed to always look flawless even after doing things that my body is physically incapable of at the gym. She was the perfect example of what it means to be a sorority sister. If anyone ever needed anything, she made it her priority to help them out, and I can recall so many times when she made sure sisters made it home safely after a night out - myself included.

 

Needless to say, her passing left me battling all the emotions one feels after loss, and I found it extremely difficult to pick myself up. But I didn’t need to. I had a house full of close to 200 women, all of whom have been offering each other a shoulder to cry on and unyielding support. It’s challenging to verbalize how beautiful and amazing it is to know that you have so many people supporting you through such a tormenting time. I have found tremendous comfort in knowing that I can go to any and every single woman in my house if I need anything at all - a fact that just blows me away. Although we all will miss our sister more than anything in the world, knowing that we have each other is a comfort like no other that simply cannot be explained. It is something that you won't understand unless you experience it. It was not until I experienced heartbreak that I came to the full understanding of what it means to be a part of a sorority: having unbreakable bonds of love and endless support like no other.