The best thing about joining a sorority is that it forces you to make friends. You have to communicate with and get to know your sisters to make the best of your experience. They’ll always be there for you just like true sisters. Some of my best memories in the house are just simple memories or gestures of friendship.
My freshman winter quarter, I got an adenovirus infection. I was in the worst pain of my life, literally couldn’t move, got pink eye in BOTH eyes, and the only thing I could do, according to the doctor, was to eat ibuprofen like candy.
My friends in the house surprised me with supportive notes and cards, ibuprofen, cough drops, and Emergen-C set up on my dresser for me. I literally cried. It was one of those moments when you’re just overwhelmed with the fact that you made a good choice.
2. Support System
More than just friendship, my sorority sisters have been a support system for me. We are there for each other. Every girl is there to congratulate you when you get into your major, will wish you happy birthday, will help you figure out what you want to do with your life and help you reach your dreams.
I’ve sat on the floor with my sister while she cried with the news of her brother’s overdose. I was there for another during a panic episode that she wasn’t good enough to accomplish her goals. I’m there everyday for my little sister when she needs to vent at the end of the day in order to face the next one.
I can’t count the number of times that my sisters have been there for me and helped me work through personal problems and doubt. When my sisters helped me through sickness, surprised me with cheesecake on my birthday, and asked if I was okay; that is what it means to be sisters.
3. Academic Resources
I would not have gotten the grades that I have, if it were not for my sorority and my sisters. Sisters who gave me advice, and served as a mentor, sharing which classes to take and with what professors. They’ve held classes for me, given me their old textbooks and tests, and have always done their best to support my academic journey.
Sororities often have higher grade point averages than the rest of a university population. They have academic support systems specifically in place to help each other, and outside resources to connect you with if they cannot help you themselves. There is an academic chair, required study hours or points, mentorship programs and more!
Sororities require that you meet a certain grade minimum, and when you don’t, they help you get back up. I served as my sorority’s academic chair for a year, and I processed our grade reports and met with those who were on Academic Probation, this just meant that they were required to meet with me and log additional study hours or points and were sometimes limited to fewer social events in a quarter, to help them better manage their time and classwork.
4. College Connections
I’ve heard of and gotten a lot of opportunities from my sorority sisters. Seniors that are graduating and moving on recruit their sisters to take the lab jobs, and volunteer opportunities that they’re leaving behind. And all sisters are eager to share their opportunities and offer tips on how to get you involved too.
As a premed student, I relied on my sisters to help me discover helpful opportunities. Multiple sisters told me about COPE Health Scholars that allows you to experience pre licensed clinical care in the hospital. My sister Sydney, who was on the leadership team for the program, was especially helpful. She let me know when to apply, what to expect from the interview, and what to know to pass my tests.
If it wasn’t for her, it wouldn’t occur to me to wear a blazer, which apparently you can lose a point for not having, in the interview, and I wouldn’t have memorized the phone number that was on the test. In addition, she then helped me apply that learning to my first shifts. When I was feeling anxious about my first survey shift, she took time out of her day, to come help me, so I didn’t have to do it alone.
I’ve already recommended my little for my student lab position for after I graduate, and I tell every premed sister I encounter about COPE. It feels good to pass on what my sisters were so willing to give to me. I’ve also been able to network with professors through the quarterly Scholarship Banquet that my chapter holds, where we can invite them to dinner. It lets me stand out among classmates to share a meal with my professors. Business professors especially love being invited to the banquet in my experience.
5. Connections after College
Not only do you make these connections in college, but you’ll maintain this connection with those you’ve met and even those you haven’t in the years to come! The sisters you made connections with, and the professors you brought to dinner will be connections in your future workforce that you can reach out to.
Nationally, you will have sisters from chapters from all over that will be a willing resource to you as well just because you hail from the same Greek traditions as they. I have never left Washington, but I know that if I get into medical school on the East coast, that I will have a nearby chapter of my sorority to help me find safe housing, and possibly a sister as a roommate.
In addition, you have the option to join an alumnae chapter after you graduate. Basically, it’s the adult life version of a sorority. You will be connected by the same traditions, and have social events to connect you to other adults in your area. This can be an easy way to make friends if you move somewhere new. These fellow alums will also be willing to work with you to make greater networking connections. Sisters are there for each other.
6. Gain New Perspectives
Obviously, you are going to meet people. You will have a diverse group of sisters that you live with, those that live out, alumnae, advisors and more. Each person is a new perspective that you can get to know. In recruitment, you talk to so many people that not a day goes by that you don’t learn something new or discover a fascinating hobby, trait, or idea. Sorority women are not cookie cutter girls and it’s amazing.
More than that, your chapter will hold a meeting, likely every week, that will bring speakers and issues to your door. My chapter has had presentations on drugs and the brain, safe drinking, philanthropic organizations, eating disorders and body positivity, career panels, involvement panels, public relations and media, hazing and bullying, cultural appropriation, and more. This can be a great mode to broaden your horizons.
Each Greek Organization is dedicated to a philanthropic cause. Throughout the year, your chapter will be dedicated to philanthropy efforts and volunteer work with those causes. This is such an amazing way to connect with your larger community and work on yourself as a person.
My sorority requires a couple of hours of volunteer work a quarter. I’ve been involved in street cleans, volunteering at a nursing home, planning a philanthropic 5K, and participating in our food sales and bubble soccer tournaments. Every year we participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, as do all of our sisters around the nation.
Last year, my chapter raised $30,000 for our philanthropy. We have multiple events in a year and promote our cause year round in order to raise funds. We also have other causes such as Inherit the Earth that we do our best to support. Philanthropy has been a meaningful experience for me as I learn more about a world larger than myself.
On top of the sisterhood and resources you gain from your own chapter, you will also gain a Greek community. Every chapter in your community will share similar experiences and will hold people to relate to. When trying to connect with fellow officers of a club, I discovered two of them were in Greek Life. We immediately connected and formed friendships.
There is also governing parties for the Greek community that offer more events, perspectives, and resources to you as a member. I have taken part in free and fun events, a community book club, and community philanthropy events. This is just a chance for further connections to be made and perspectives to be gained in order to have a rich college experience.
In high school, I participated in sports, running start, national honor society, and volunteered at the hospital every week. I did not have much time to break into student government or other leadership opportunities, therefore, I am incredibly grateful to my sorority for offering me the chance to develop these skills. I strongly recommend getting involved!
Each chapter has leadership positions that leads the chapter and manages all the events and members within it. I wanted to be involved with academics, so I spent one year as the Assistant VP of Scholarship. Then I was the VP of scholarship the next year. This experience was incredibly rewarding. I learned communication, delegation, transparency, event planning, and management skills that look amazing on my resume. I also got a free trip to a convention in Florida, the first time I had ever been outside the PNW.
You are going to live in a house with a bunch of other girls. You’ll share meals, heels, excitement, and support. You are going to have FUN! Philanthropy events, exchanges, Grab-A-Dates, dances, sisterhood events, and more will beef up your social calendar so much, you will have to turn down some opportunities to stay sane. Sororities are a social institution. This involves a lot of character building opportunities and resources, but also the chance to make friends and have fun. Take a chance on sororities and you’ll find an experience of a lifetime. Just make sure you’re prepared to take on the character building and sisterhood as well.
Are you thinking of rushing? I’d love to hear about any worries you have, or content you’d like to see about sororities on my blog. Leave a comment below!
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