How I Define "Sorority"

A lot of universities are wrapping up rush week, and some, like my alma mater, are just beginning. While I can't honestly say I miss the chaos of recruitment (rehearsing chants while I should have been finishing a thesis chapter, no thanks), I do miss the what the new member class brings with them in all their excitement. New members remind us why we all wanted to join in the first place, and why we keep participating even after graduation and sometimes even in retirement. As sororities across the country welcome new members, I thought I would properly reflect on how I would define sorority life, and why sisterhood is so important, particularly in this day and age. 
Sorority is derived from the Greek word sororitas, which means sisterhood
I don't care if you're an introvert, extrovert, something-in-between-vert, or you consider yourself hipster, preppy, athletic, nerdy, slightly crazy (yes, I am listing The Breakfast Club), we as humans need some sort of companionship. We also like to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. The dictionary might define sorority as a society for female university students, and Urban Dictionary might like to spew out all sorts of stereotypes, but it is much more than that. Just like going to church is more than a weekly habit or joining the basketball team is more than just getting some exercise. Being in a sorority is more than wanting to socialize, take pictures, and throw some events. At the end of the day when I define a sorority, I think of sisterhood.

Ultimately, we all have different reasons on why joining a sorority appeals to us. Furthermore, we all go through phases in college: honeymoon, eager to lead, compromise, senioritis. It happens. That's okay. 

What's not okay is a nasty attitude. An F You to your executive council. Backstabbing sisters. Manipulating sisters. Bullying sisters. Heck all of this applies to how we treat human beings in general, but you know it hurts more the closer the people are, and with any group (male or female), this occurs often.

Vent about a sister to someone you trust. Write it out. Talk to whatever sister might spur on negativity. However, remember respect. Respect the leaders your sisters voted in; respect the new members; respect each and everyone of your sisters. They're your family. 
I know; it's hard. Family is hard too. I like to think of it like this. I can complain about my siblings' habits until the sun goes down and them me, but God forbid the person outside the family who tries to reiterate that same complaint. Same with my sisters. That's sisterhood. We're bonded in some form or another. So as new members come, seniors prepare for graduation, and all sisters in between, remember you joined this organization for a reason. Look to the positive, be proactive, and appreciate the time you have. One of the biggest things I wish I had done in my senior year was not let negativity affect me so much, including not spending time with sisters.

Here's my advice: Stay a little later at dinner. Don't let big-little drama get to you. Go to the study sessions or hang outs in the library. Skip a class to get lunch in town. Sleepover at the house or dorm on a whim. Have a movie marathon instead of studying for finals one weekend. Trust me, those moments add up and create a much better memory than that time you half studied, half wasted time on social media by yourself with potato chips and too much coffee. 

Cheers to the new members, to the new generations, to the new excitement! ZTA was one of the greatest things to happen to me, and I'll always carry it with me wherever I go. Good luck to AOII: Sigma Tau, AXQ: Beta Pi, and, of course, my ZTA: Gamma Beta girls with recruitment!

What do you guys think? How would you define a sorority? Were you in one?  

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