What Being In A Sorority Has Taught Me My Freshman Year
I came to college with this grandiose idea of what it would be. I always dreamed of a big school with the giant football games, joining a sorority and spending time with my sister shopping, talking, and going out together. I always pictured having a roommate who was my best friend and being able to have a new and fun experience every day.
College- you get there and somehow find yourself drowning in a place with over 20,000 kids. I came from a school where my graduating class was less than 200 kids; I then began trying to figure out where my place would be. I rushed and it was one of the scariest and strangest things of my life. You spend a week wondering where you are going to fit in in this sea of people and then you finally find your place. It’s the one place that makes you feel safe and happy and like you fit. You aren’t a puzzle piece tossed off to the side, you’re part of the picture.
The day I went to open my bid, I honestly was shaking. All my other friends had gotten into their choice of houses and I was the last one of the group of 8 of us to open my bid card. I remember looking at my roh chi telling her I didn’t think I opened it. I finally opened that envelope and found out that I was not only in the house I had chosen, but that my roh chi was also a part of my house. Now, I am not a sappy person. I don’t cry in movies or tear up at puppy dog videos on youtube or anything, but I actually started crying because I knew that from that second I was part of the most amazing sisterhood I could ever have asked for.
Meeting my sisters for the first time was the best feeling I have experienced possibly my entire middle, high school, and college career combined. Running in the house and down those stairs, hand and hand with my new sisters, while the older girls stood chanting and singing and screaming for us in the living room below was the most amazing and exhilarating experience. I wouldn’t change that moment for anything. There’s something about knowing that you are part of something greater. You can see it in girl’s eyes when they talk about their houses and you really can tell who is in love with their sisterhood and the legacy they carry with them.
Over the semester, we had hard times and we endured trials that seriously tested our devotion and love for the house. It was hard– it was hard having faith in something so new to you, but that you already love so much. We got through it. Now, I’m not saying there weren’t nights where we yelled at each other or argued or that we didn’t need a hug and a shoulder to cry on sometimes, but we got through it together.
The outside world always looks in wondering why we love each other and what our sorority means to us so much, but they will never truly understand. I’m not just in a house with 160 women. I am in a house with 160 strong, beautiful, independent, unique women who I know would stand behind me if I needed anything and would be there to assist me in any way I needed. I’m not just in a house with 160 women- I am in a house that has had hundreds of women before me take the same pledge to be committed that I have. I thought rushing would be fun, but I never knew that I would have the opportunity to build on an organization that has withstood a century.
Being in a sorority has taught me how to forgive and let go. People will talk, people will get under your skin and push your buttons and test your friendship and loyalty to them. I’ve learned to let go and take things with a grain of salt, because in the end, we’re all sisters.
It has taught me to love unconditionally and hold myself with higher integrity. You wear your letters each day of your life and they follow you through every decision, word you say, and challenge you face. Holding yourself to a higher standard is one of the greatest, most important things I have learned.
I have learned how to strive for success and to not become discouraged when I fall slightly short. My sisters have made me realize that the more that you put in, the more you get out of college, your house, and life. It can be applied to anything. They are always there to pick me up when I need a helping hand.
So many people have told me that I am superficial for being in a sorority, that I pay for fake friends, that I could never love and know 160 people that well and call them my sisters, that when I graduate they’ll forget me, that I could be ‘in a better house’ or that I’m a specific way because I’m ‘in a top house’. I have had people ask me why we care so much about each other or ask why I come back every day, even when we might not all be getting along at that moment.
For all of those people, let me explain. I took a vow that I would be dedicated and loyal to my sorority for the rest of my life, that I would be a sincere friend and that I would wear my letters proudly, with poise, dedication, and honor. These girls that I surround myself with are all connected to me through shared experience. I don’t think any of us could forget each other because we laugh together and can look across a table at each other and know that we’re connected by some unseen bond that so many women before us also share. I could not ever think of being in a different sorority because from the moment I walked in and saw these girls as my sisters, I never could go back from that. They had my heart from the moment I stepped foot inside and I would do anything for each and every one of them, even if me and that girl aren’t particularly close. I love them because they understand me.
My advice for anyone who is thinking of joining a sorority in college- you will have the best experience of your entire life and share a wonderful and life changing bond with girls who genuinely care about you. I would never take back my pledge to my house because I know that I wouldn’t be the same woman I am today without them. They’re my angels. They are always there.