I remember the first time I asked someone how much her semester sorority dues were. The price tag dwarfed my combined semester budget for food and activities of all kinds.
I was dumbfounded. All of that, just to belong to a group of ditsy blond fakes?
That might be a bit harsh, considering the fact that many sorority ladies are not blond, are very intelligent and successful, and are genuine to the core – but it was the stereotype I decided to maintain. There is nothing like poverty and a teensy bit of jealousy to make for snide and unmerited critiques. After all, I had gone to the opening night of Rush Week to check a few out, and had been pleasantly surprised with the variety of hopefuls and members, the wide range of club interests, and the overall difference between reality and the movies. Still, on the whole, I felt considerably less fashionable and less primped than my sorority sister acquaintances.
In retrospect, I know I also felt considerably less connected, involved, and supported than my sorority-member counterparts. I had an excellent group of friends in college, but they had a wide range of interests and I met them through tons of different activities, making it difficult to get everyone together for a single event. Dappling in different groups made for a nice variety of options overall, but perhaps too many separate groups to get really close to anyone in particular.
I used to sort of look down on people who joined sororities as a way of instantly making friends, but now I realize it wasn’t about “paying” for friends. The number and type of activities sororities sponsor in any given month allows for tons of social time to develop close friendships with people you come to really care about.
I realize now that it was about having a network available for forming friendships, with built-in activities, volunteer opportunities, and a great excuse to spend quality time with like-minded women. No more sorority-knocking comments will hereafter pass my lips (or keyboard).
I’m on a mission to meet new people, make new friends, and enrich my life. No judgmental nonsense from me anymore about the best way to do that!