This post was first published on my old blog Fitness Princess and has now found a home here.
When I became a member of my sorority I felt in my heart that I was joining something bigger than myself.
But then along the way you tend to forget.
You forget the meaning of sisterhood because you live in such close proximity to your sisters and they inevitably get on your last nerve.
You forget the bonds you have with these women because boys, frat parties, and cooler decorating become more important.
You forget that you genuinely share an interest with some of the women in your chapter because they can be catty, mean-spirited, quirky, or downright weird. (But you know what, they’re family- and all families have the eccentric one, the dramatic one, the loud one, the quiet one, the one who is MIA majority of the time, and that’s what makes a family interesting. It makes a family a family. )
And then you graduate, and then you really forget.
You lose touch with many of your sisters, the women who were supposed to be your life long friends.
You forget what appealed to you about this chapter, this sisterhood, this bond, because life got in the way and clouded your memory. You look back and it’s hard to see past the time you were wronged, the time a sister wasn’t there for you or any other dramatic moment that redefined your perception of a sorority.
You forget how incredibly special and unique the bond was with your big or your little because you’re older now and it is not socially acceptable to go around calling a twenty-something year old friend, “big”, “mom”, “dot”, or “little”.
In essence you simply forget. There are more important things in life than a sorority. How juvenile.
But then, there are times when your faith in sisterhood and its everlasting bonds is revived.
It’s in times of need, when you see a sister is hurting that you can’t help it -you want to be there for her in some capacity. Because no matter how hard you try to dismiss it- that bond remains.
When there is a loss, a death, a tragedy we feel compelled to reach out.
That’s what you should do. Don’t be so foolish as to think it’s special that you give of your time, your energy, or your love to a dear friend (or even someone who is practically a stranger) when they need it most. It’s what you should do. Not just as a sister, but as a fellow human being.
But there is also something else you should do.
As a sorority woman it’s difficult for people to understand why this silly little chapter means so much to you. Hell, sometimes it’s even difficult for you to remember why this chapter means, or meant, so much to you.
So the next time you find yourself saying or thinking, “I’m so over the sorority thing.” Think about a time in your life when you may really need your sisters and they’ll be compelled to help. You would want that… wouldn’t you?
Think about the time you were a brand new member and were a little intimidated to go to formal but one of the older girls reached out to you and made you feel welcome.
Think about the time at recruitment when you were a senior and it was your last preference ceremony and you bawled like a baby and couldn’t explain why.
Think about being a younger member or as a PNM going through rush and seeing the older members cry like babies and think, “I want that. I want something to mean that much to me.”
Think about the night when everyone was going out but you and another sister you barely knew stayed in and watched movies, talked, or went and got froyo instead. Maybe you became best friends, or maybe you didn’t. But it was somehow special.
Think about how stressful it was when big and little time came around- what with all the baskets, spending more time crafting than studying and spending way too much money on ridiculous decorations that you know won’t be acceptable after college but you make them anyway. You invest so much time making sure everything is perfectly painted, bedazzled and glitterfied- only to find remnants of glitter when you move out of your dorm room or apartment, months or years after the fact. (Any sorority woman can attest to the fact that glitter is indeed the herpes of craft supplies.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is this..
Treat your sister, every sister, even the sister you have nothing in common with, with kindness, respect, and acknowledgment that they are of value. Always.
Because, after all, these are more than friends- they’re sisters. You don’t have to like them or hangout with them everyday, but you have all collectively agreed there is a unique bond that you share and thus, you are innately required to care.
It’s easy to forget and let harbored negativity and grudges cloud what was once a very special and important part of your life. Never forget the good times and the genuine spirit that at one point in time made you choose to become part of a sisterhood. You needed this and they needed you. Regardless of what has happened since, that will always be a large part of your life. Be grateful you were so lucky to have felt that. Not many people do.
We all still need each other.
Even after we graduate.
Even after we get married.
Even after we have children and our college days are but a distant memory.
Instead of holding on to the dramatics of life, choose to remember that feeling you had when it first hit you. When you for once felt like this was where you belonged.
When you start to forget, just remember…
You promised to “forget-me-not”.
I was inspired to write this post because when the going gets tough for a sister we’re always there to help. Right now my sorority sister Kristen is battling stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 25. She has also lost both her parents recently to cancer. If you were moved by this post please donate what you can to her GoFundMe page to help with her medical expenses.