Untypical: Breaking Sorority Stereotypes

We live in a society full of stereotypes, the large majority of them having negative connotations. In college, especially, students are labeled and placed into predefined categories as soon as they arrive. There are nerds who spend their entire collegiate lives in the library, the jocks who ride around campus in packs on their mopeds and participate in a Division I sport, then we have hipsters who are always dressed to the nines and are most likely listening to some obscure band, and the list goes on. One group, however, always seems to have a very negative stereotype surrounding it: sorority women. 

The women who have chosen to become a part of this organization on campuses everywhere are immediately labeled. You'll often hear people say, “Sorority girls are so dumb," “All they do is party," and, my personal favorite, “They’re probably just here to get their MRS degree." While some of these predefined notions may be applicable to a select group of individuals, it is not representative of sororities as a whole. Sorority women should not be defined by the opinions of uneducated individuals, and they should not have to face ridicule and judgmental looks for simply wearing their letters in public. These women deserve more respect than that, and here’s why:

Hi, my name is Elise, and I am a sorority woman. This past spring, I interned for Johnson & Johnson in Minneapolis, MN, with their customer facing target team. I managed $2.5 million dollars in inventory every week for their Hair Care Department in the Supply Chain Consumer sector.

I am heavily involved in helping veterans. I volunteer at the local veterans (VA) hospital in Fayetteville once a week. My dad is a leader/speaker for VWISE (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship), and I had the opportunity to listen to him speak to women veterans forming their own businesses post-deployment last fall in Kansas City, KS.

Last summer I was a congressional intern in Washington D.C., for Representative Michael McCaul, Chair of Homeland Security. I learned about legal studies and legislation and even heard former speaker of the house John Boehner speak. As well as ask a few questions to the current honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In the summer of 2015, I was selected to study abroad in Normandy, France, and Paris, France, with the National World War II Museum. I learned and studied WWII, as well as visited the gravesite of my relative who died on D-Day, Walter Sandeman, and is buried at the National Cemetery in Normandy. In 2015, I was also the campus representative for the Jeb Bush campaign, Jeb 2016. I had the opportunity to meet former President George Bush, as well as hear him speak and lead campus efforts for continued involvement in the upcoming election.

Looking forward in my life, I hope to work in Medical Device sales where I can help impact the lives of others and make a difference in our world. I also have a passion for traveling and want to travel to the 109 places on my bucket list.

Hey, guys! I’m Lauren, and I am a sorority woman. This past summer, I had the opportunity to volunteer on the island of Zanzibar for a little over two weeks. In the morning, I spent my time in a classroom tutoring English to some of the most amazing and eye-opening individuals; they will forever hold a spot in my heart. In the evening, I had the privilege of helping with the construction of a school in the village of Cairo. After volunteering in Zanzibar, I headed to the mainland of Tanzania to begin my journey of trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro. It was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done so far in my lifetime—both physically and mentally.

At this moment, one of my future goals is to become a counselor. I plan to do this by persuing an undergraduate degree in social work, then a masters in social work, and finally, wait for it, become a licensed social worker. One day, I also hope to have my own private practice.

Hello! My name is Whitney, and I am a sorority woman. I love taking charge when it comes to campus organizations and am involved in many different and diverse clubs here at The University of Iowa. The groups that I am apart of on campus are Tippie Senate, the Salt Company, Dance Marathon, Intramurals and SLAR (Student Leadership Awards Reception Committee). I was also chosen to be a Tippie Mentor to incoming business students this fall. This opportunity will allow me to advise freshman students and help guide them through their first year at college. As you can tell, I love Tippie! So much so that I also work there as a student assistant in the Undergraduate Program Office.

Currently, I am planning on double majoring in finance and accounting as well as getting certificate in leadership studies. Eventually, I want to live in Des Moines and work at a public accounting firm.

Hi! My name is Meghan, and I am a sorority woman. This past summer, I had the opportunity to participate in an annual training for The Iowa Army National Guard. One of the training programs I participated in was called moulage. During this, my group was taught how to use certain supplies and create very realistic looking wounds; this was done in order to make our training more life-like. After we finished this, we were sent onto the field to find these “injured” patients and place them on a litter (similar to a stretcher) and carry them back to the ambulance. At the end of training, I received a battalion coin for being an exceptional leader, easy to work with and very flexible.

I was recently accepted into The University of Iowa’s prestigious nursing program and also joined ROTC. Eventually, I would like to become a nurse in The United States Army.

Last, but not least... Hi, you guys! My name is Claire, and I am a sorority woman (I will keep this short since you’ve stuck around for so long already!). I can honestly say that I spend the majority of my time in the library studying, and I enjoy consuming endless jars of peanut butter—even on Friday nights (I know, how untypical for a sorority girl ;)! I am a member of Women in Business and Her Campus (obviously lol). My future goals include owning my own sustainable and ecofriendly business/company because I planning on being one of the core leaders in the effort to save our panet. So, if you see me around campus, don’t be surprised if you hear me muttering under my breath about how people need to recycle or how composting needs to be happening more often!

As you can tell, sorority women are not just Vineyard Vines and Starbucks; and they don’t spend all of their time getting ready for the next party. They have goals and aspirations just like everyone else and are striving to make their dreams a reality every single day!