Other than my Badge Day 2017 post, I haven’t written a sorority related post in quite sometime. I have stepped back from our alumnae group but I still am an advisor and we have had a few different events that have given me the time to think back on my time as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta thus far. I believe that sorority experiences can vary widely due to geography, campus culture, chapter culture, age group, and a number of other factors, but I do believe that there a few common strings between all of us.
Anyone who has been in the organisation for a year or more can tell you about the mistakes that they have made, and more importantly, learned from. While at the time, it seems fraught with tension and it feels like the world is coming to a crashing halt, you will realise looking back that the world is still in fact turning and that you survived as a person just fine. I know when to ask for help in my job because I learned my working style through my offices and roles in Alpha Gam. I also know how to manage my time, hold difficult or awkward conversations, and how to conduct myself in a professional setting. This is something that is no matter what group you are in or campus you are involved, and while it might not seem as cool or Instagrammable as a “Tight and Bright” outfit you made from the dollar store, you will continue to use that throughout your life (unlike a highlighter green tutu that is ripped nearly in half).
If you’ve been through recruitment (formal or informal), you have some degree of confidence. No matter how quiet or reserved you are, you do have some confidence. I’m lucky in that I get to see PNMs throughout all of recruitment and everyone has their own sort of confidence. And that only grows when you are in your chapter. At the very start of it, the members saw something in you that made them offer you a bid to membership. For a lot of us, we don’t take that lightly- that is very meaningful in itself. And while we all hit stumbling blocks in our time as collegian members, we also learned how to pick ourselves up and carry on. That isn’t something that is as common as you would think, out there in the world.
Okay, this seems fairly obvious, and I’m certain that more than a few of you sent back a huge DUH. At the end of the day, sisterhood is what sets us apart from other organsiations- you can hold positions and organise events and raise money for philanthropy with any number of organisations. Depending on the direction your life takes, it very well might be your job. However, sisterhood is what makes Greek Life unique. While I don’t deny that members of other types of organisations are bonded together, our founders specifically formed our organisations on the basis of sisterhood.
Collegians and alumnae alike get carried away in their official offices and roles and often forget the sisterhood aspect of Greek life. You think that you are the only one that can handle something and don’t trust anyone to do something; or conversely, you think that someone else will always handle it and you don’t have to worry about it. You forget to check in with each and see how you are doing as people, rather than officers.
There was a parents’ night that some of the advisors attended in case there were questions, and afterwards a few of us went out for dinner. It wasn’t anything crazy but it was just fun. They are two of my favourite people in Alpha Gam (and just society as a whole), and I loved spending time with them. Those spur of the moment dinners and brunches and cruises and whatever are going to be what you take away from your membership. You ARE a member for life, despite all of the members who disappear from our organisations the second they graduate, and these are friendships you will have for life if you value them and work at them.
Collegians, what aspect of Greek life is your highlight? And alumnae, what have you learned so far in your membership?