So I have had a very busy “sorority” weekend this past weekend. I spent all day yesterday writing letters of introduction for several young women I have been helping with recruitment. Since most of these young ladies are heading south to a super competitive SEC school and this particular school is in the throngs of pre-recruitment events, I need to get them off so hopefully they will receive some invitations to upcoming events. My desk is covered with resumes, pictures and notes.
On top of my sorority stuff, my daughter attended the SEC regional leaders conference for her sorority in Atlanta this weekend. Since she is on Exec and VP of Property she is required to go. It was a fabulous experience! She met many new friends and they had a t-shirt exchange :). She came home with a brand new t-shirt from Southern Mississippi! To add just one more thing to her weekend they finished off by having their Atlanta tea yesterday afternoon. It was held at her sororities executive offices in Atlanta. The building looks like a huge anti-bellum mansion. Inside is everything that relates to the history of her sorority. What a great place to use for such an event. I was excited to hear all about it and the fantastic young women she met!
This morning I looked at my desk and figured that I needed to clean up this mess! Well…it didn’t last long. As I was going through the first pile I found my Alpha Phi quarterly. Each sorority sends out quarterly editions of their own magazine to actives and alums, filling them in on all the happenings of their sorority. I LOVE reading through it….stopping to read the little news blurbs about what each chapter has been up to. And the pictures! I love to look at the girls, in their letters……smiling. happy and truly enjoying being part of the sisterhood that is Alpha Phi. It brings back so many good memories :).
This made me start thinking…..even though you are reading this because most likely you are involved in the recruitment process in some way (you are directly involved or you have a daughter who is getting ready to go through recruitment)…is there a part of you that is wondering “WHY”? Why go through all of this …the recs, the letters of introduction, the pics, the clothes, the travel, the stress….I mean why? What’s in it for me….really? Are there benefits beyond a social life and a bunch of fun girls to hang out with?
OH MY YES!!!!!!!
I have posted a little about this before (remember that rant??) but I wanted to touch on it again, just in case you were wondering.
When a young woman joins a sorority they just don’t join a Greek organization for the next four years and then be through with it. They make the choice to enter into a lifelong sisterhood. These sisters will be there to help with studying and classes, to provide tissues for “boo hoo” moments, to celebrate, to be the “big” sister, future bridesmaids and god-mothers. These young women will provide a support system that will be comforting, lasting and awe inspiring.
When you pledge a sorority you spend many nights in new member meetings learning the traditions and rituals that this sisterhood was founded upon. My girls and I were sitting around the living room this past Christmas singing sorority songs and talking about each of ours experience. My husband came in and asked a question about a particular ritual and my youngest piped up, “Dad, I’d tell you but then I”d have to kill you!”….we all laughed. The truth is though that these rituals are sacred to each of our individual sisterhoods..they are for sisters only! Not only will you learn the building blocks that your sorority is built upon (memorizing your chapter’s founders) but you will also learn the foundations of Greek Life itself like memorizing the Greek Alphabet. As you begin to immerse yourself into the sisterhood of sorority life you will also be expected to uphold your chapter’s ideals of academic excellence (most houses require a minimum GPA), moral character and service to others (philanthropy).
Upon completion of the pledging process you will participate in the ritual of initiation. This ritual will solidify the promises you have made to hold yourself to the highest standards of Greek life and to the sisterhood which you will become united with. For those of you have already participated in this process you can attest that your life will never be the same. You have a unique bond with these women you now call sisters. As you proudly wear your letters and your badge you now know what it truly means to be Greek and of course you will hold yourself accountable for the high standards and privileges that Greek life and sorority life affords.
Being part of a sorority and Greek life provides you with privileges and opportunities like networking, leadership, professional and academic success. More importantly it gives you a sense of belonging, worthiness and purpose. By belonging to a sorority and being “Greek” you will never be alone. No matter where you go your sisters will be there to be your biggest supporters and allies. These women will be your everlasting friends. There are alumnae chapters across the United States, Canada and even abroad. It’s amazing that when you utter the words “I was a member of XYZ” to another who has also experienced Greek Life that the bond is instantaneous. The woman doesn’t even have to be a member of your particular sorority but just “being Greek” ties you together.
Since my daughters became Greek I have noticed what strong and well rounded you women they have become. They have learned to care for others and their community. Both are involved in multiple philanthropies. They have promised to never to be a bystander in the face of a challenge. After an F5 tornado ripped apart the community that my youngest daughter calls home she immediately set to formulate a plan to help the people of her community.
One of my daughters is now a very active alum and the other still a member of a campus community yet I see both girls making choices for the betterment of their respective sororities and sisterhood. No matter where they go, or what they do, they are always keeping in mind that they represent their sororities at all times. They have both expressed that as they now watch younger members of their particular chapters go through the process of sorority life they are excited to see these women develop into model sisters and students. They cannot help but feel a pride in Greek and sorority Life, and all that it does to challenge collegiate women.
Both girls have held executive positions in their respective chapters in fact my youngest daughter currently holds the Exec position VP of Property that her older sister also held. Currently my older daughter sits in a Exec position of her alumnae board. Both girls are committed to drive their chapters in a better direction, unifying their sisterhoods, committed to make their chapters better and stonger on their individual campuses.
I am blessed to have two such wonderful daughters. I am blessed that both girls are able to experience not only their individual sororities but also “being Greek”. I am confident that each will continue to grow and flourish while upholding their powerful Greek values. I am blessed that I too was able to share in Greek life…it is a bond between sisters, and mothers and daughters that all should experience.
BUT….the most important thing I want you to take away from this post today, as you are contemplating Greek life and sorority recruitment is this: Being Greek is just not an extracurricular activity but is a home for not only your college days but the rest of your life.