21 January 2015

Why I Will Encourage My Daughter to Join a Sorority


Let’s get one thing straight about this post from the get-go: this isn’t going to be a mushy discussion where I reminisce about girlfriends or how “I didn’t go to college to find a husband, I came to find my bridesmaids” type of shit. Gag. #cuethenausea  

What I will discuss are solid reasons why I will encourage my daughter to join a sorority.

Growing up and especially in high school, I was more of a “go with the majority” type of girl. I had my own thoughts and ideas about issues and an urge to make a difference in the world but those urges were overshadowed by the desire to want to fit in. Back in my high school days, speaking up and assuming a leadership role was never considered cool and the thought of peer disapproval made it too big a risk to take in trying to forge new paths. I could make a million excuses for why I wasn’t more involved as a teen but the sad reality is that I lacked true confidence and self-esteem.

Fast forward to my freshman fall semester at college. My parents dropped me off at my dorm, kissed me and then waved good-bye. For the first time in my life, I was all alone: no family, no friends – no one. To make matters worse, I went to school out of state so I literally knew no one, nor did I have any connections of any kind to make my transition to college life a little easier. For the first few weeks, I felt adrift at sea, alone and isolated. I had a full course load, a part-time job and had attended a few shindigs on campus but didn’t really have a core group of friends to call my own. I was lonely and in desperate need of more to make me happy.

Enter sorority rush.

Now, I will be the first to admit that at the time, I had the same pre-conceived notions most people do about sororities: snotty, stuck up rich girls who act entitled and don’t have a single brain cell between the lot of them. So what made me want to go through rush? One of my classmates in my English class was already a member of one of the other sororities on campus and I genuinely like her. She was funny, down to earth, amazingly creative, sharp as a tack and really set a high standard for those of us in her study group. If we were having a hard time with a paper or our projects, she was always the first to step in and help and more so, her take and contributions were usually on point. I was genuinely impressed by her and to make it all the more interesting, she had a nose ring, a couple of tats and came to class one day wearing a motorcycle t-shirt that read: “If you can read this then the Bitch fell off.” Definitely not your standard sorority girl stereotype. I was sold. She wasn’t a mold nor was she a programmed robot. She was herself but still part of an organization and because of that, I was sold. Long story short, I went through rush and accepted a bid from Kappa Delta Sorority and to this day, it was one of the best decisions I ever made during my college career.  

{Photo Credit: Sister Deanna Arnnett)


So let’s get the obvious objections about Greek life out of the way: parties, drinking, blah blah blah. Look – do I think the Greek system has some challenges and concerns where that’s concerned? Yes. Do I feel like they should be the scapegoat and poster child for issues with college drinking and partying? Nope. Kids will party, drink and act a fool pretty much anytime and anywhere. They don’t need to be a part of the Greek system to do that. More so, I’d even go as far to say that if you were a college student out partying and drinking on a Friday or Saturday night and think that was okay but look down on a girl simply because she wears a set of Greek letters, then that says more about who you are as a person. Translation: hypocrite. Every student run organization is going to have their unique set of challenges. Having the mind-set that not having a child involved in Greek Life means they will never fall prey to partying or drinking is just a foolish way to think.

So what are the positives and why would I want my daughter to join Greek Life?

Leadership roles :: When you’re part of an organization that is 100+ ladies, everyone has to take on leadership roles in committees to get things done. I instantly went from zero leadership skills to commanding large groups of ladies and directing them according to standards. I learned how to work with all types of people, from all different backgrounds, with all different kinds of beliefs and opinions on how things should be done. Learning how to be a leader for life in this regard was a game changer for me. 

Individuality :: Contrary to popular belief, sororities do not exist to produce cookie cutter, Barbie replications. Quite the opposite, actually. In my particular chapter, I had sisters from every race and background of life. What was even more important was the fact that everyone was celebrated and accepted for who they are as a person. I was encouraged to be who I was while my sisters gave me the support I needed to grow as a person, individually, on my own terms. I never felt the need to have to fit in or look a certain way. I was simply me. 

Connections :: Let’s be honest: If you’re a career woman in today’s world, connections correlate with job success. Yes, to some extent it is what you know but It’s also WHO you know. In my career, I can credit three of the jobs I’ve had to a sister in Kappa Delta. Networking and connections with other KD’s and Greeks has played such an important and vital role in my career.

Friends Who Always Have Your Back :: As I mentioned before, when I arrived at college, I had no one but when I joined KD, I instantly had a group of ladies who were there for me. Whether it was giving me support in scholarship, advice on personal problems or helping me to better myself, my sisters were there every step of the way. Not to mention that when we did go out for a night on the town, I was never alone. We always watched out for one another and to me, that extra layer of protection was invaluable.





Philanthropy :: One of the major cornerstones of KD, or any sorority, is philanthropy. Over the last 10 years, my initiated chapter of Kappa Delta, Delta Pi Chapter, has raised over $109,000.00 for The Family Center in Murfreesboro, TN. This coupled with the thousands of hours given to the national philanthropy, Girls Scouts of the USA, members continue to give of themselves time and time again and not just for the 4 years they are in college, but for a lifetime. My strong sense of philanthropy and giving back to my community can wholly be credited to my membership in KD. I learned how to give of myself, my time and my talents to benefit others and I’m forever grateful for the lesson learned.

People & Life Skills :: It stands to reason that no matter how much you get along with a group of people, you will still have disagreements. It’s only human however, being in KD with so many diverse women from different backgrounds, races and religious beliefs gave me the opportunity to learn from others, expand my mind and find ways to work out differences together as a team in a collaborative and peaceful way. With 100+ ladies, you really have to find a way to learn to communicate but more importantly, to listen as well. Kappa Delta gave me the necessary people skills to learn to deal with all types of personalities and while finding a way to work together towards a common goal.

I like to think of my time in KD as a “rehearsal” for real life. I was encouraged to run for leadership positions and had the opportunity to grow as a person both professionally and personally. Even more important than a feeling of accomplishment was my newly established confidence as a woman. For this, I am forever grateful.

For skeptics, it’s truly difficult to put into words how much something so personal influenced and changed my life for the better, but after reading this first-hand account, I ask you to consider how much good comes from the efforts of Greek Life, along with all campus-wide organizations.

Also, I invite you to watch this video of the Delta Pi Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority as you learn more about the chapter and its annual philanthropy fundraiser, Wing Fling. This is my initiated chapter and I couldn’t be more proud to belong to this exceptional group of sisters and the national sorority. If you also feel inclined, please check out the nationalsorority website to learn more about KD’s founding principles, activism and commitment to excellence in all areas of life.

Ta Kala Diokomen, KD’s open motto, translates to “Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful and highest.” It started as something I wrote on flash cards to memorize for initiation but over the course of many, many years, it evolved into something far more important to me. The years of ritual, chapter meetings, endless volunteer hours and community service and the drive for academic excellence helped me to understand what it’s all really about. I began to understand that I was a member of something sacred and unique and founded on principles and values that have endured for over 118 years. An organization founded by women who were strong, opinionated, driven visionaries who lived in a time where the female opinion was not created equal. I simply went looking for friendship and in the process, found so much more and for this, I will always be grateful and will always encourage my daughter to seek all things honorable, beautiful and highest, especially sororities. 


Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

22 comments:

  1. great post! I wish I had joined a sorority in college. I won't say I regret not doing it but I wish I had. I will see encourage callie to join (well if she wants it) bc I think there's more food than bad as long as you find the right fit! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. Yes, finding the right fit is definitely key! So glad to see your smiling face around these parts, friend! Hope you guys are doing well and almost moved in. Can't wait to see you beautiful home!

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  2. YES to all of this, my dear! GREAT post. I was thinking about doing something similar to this, but was saving it for badge day. I love that you mention how everything extends not just to your national organization, but to all Greek organizations as well. I definitely feel a kinship not only with other Alpha Gams, but with women in other organizations too - like you! Awesome post, my dear. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I really appreciate your kind words. I have several friends who are Alpha Gam and they are such great ladies - like you! Hope you're having a good week.

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  3. Great post! I really don't know much about sororities, and I didn't have the opportunity to join one, as the college I went to didn't have Greek life (private, small college). This provided some wonderful insight though!

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    1. Thanks, Jamie! I'm glad you were able to pick up some positives. Thanks for reading!

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  4. i love love loved being in a sorority. i met some of my bestest friends there- and learned serious life lessons! but was the same way "i'll never join a sorority". and now it was one of the highlights of college for me!

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    1. Ditto here! Working on a college campus and seeing the active KD's here is so much fun. So many great memories. It was one of the best times of my college career!

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  5. This is such a great post! I have not had what you'd call a 'typical' college experience so I never felt like I could join a sorority, even though I really wanted to my freshman year. There were some girls I saw who would fit into that typical sorority girl category, but mostly everyone seems nice and friendly. Glad you had such a great experience... =)

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    1. No doubt the stereotypes exist but as a whole, it's a great group of strong, confident and intelligent ladies. Thanks for reading, Miranda!

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  6. this is really interesting! I thought about joining a sorority in college but then talked myself out of it. there's a part of me that wished I had.

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    1. Thanks, Alexis. I appreciate you taking the time to read!

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  7. You are the very first friend I have that is a sorority sister. I think that it's easy to picture what being in a sorority looks like without really knowing BUT your truly shined a light on the entire process and made me see how rewarding joining a sorority or fraternity could be for our children.

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    1. I promise not to whip out any chants, songs or girly girly stuff on ya. ;-p But seriously, it was SO rewarding and I'm sure fraternity men would say the same. Thanks for reading!

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  8. I have many friends who or sorors and the bond they have is great. On the same hand, I have seen sorors sisters who were not able to really bond within the group, but have excelled without that bond.

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    1. That's a great point and yes, it's not a perfect system but I think if you can find the right house for you, it can be close to perfect. Thanks for reading!

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  9. I know nothing about sorority life so I really loved reading your input. I definitely shied away from it in college, but my husband was in a fraternity. I love that it was such a positive thing in your life. I hope if Aria wants to go that path she'll have just as a great of an experience.

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    1. I hope so too, Courtney! Aria would make an amazing Kappa Delta! ;-)

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  10. I did not go greek when I was an undergrad, the greek program at my institution was not very strong. However, I now work at an institution with an outstanding greek system. It can absolutely be such an amazing experience and I know lots of folks (friends, colleagues and students) who are excellent ambassadors for going greek!

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    1. I'm so sorry! It always makes me sad to hear about greek systems that aren't managed well because it's such a loss for the men and women on campus but I'm glad you are associated with great reps of the system! Thanks for reading!

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  11. I was in a sorority, Sigma Kappa, and it was the best decision of my life. I will definitely encourage both of my children to pursue Greek life.

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    1. I know a lot of Sigma Kappas! Great group of women and I'm so happy to hear you still support greek life. Thanks for reading!

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