To preface this, I should probably mention that I’m a member of Alpha Chi Omega. But everything I say is applicable to whichever sisterhood you are personally part of. From the outside- with orientation pamphlets in hand, and your parents worried gaze upon you- the row of big, beautiful houses were intimidating to say the least. “How will I ever get beyond those heavy front doors?” you thought. Or perhaps you wondered, “Isn’t the phrase sister a little bit excessive?”. (C’mon, admit it, we all thought that at one point or another.) After one semester of being an Alpha Chi, I have embraced the term “sister” wholeheartedly, and have come to feel giddy when I reach the front steps of the sorority house that intimidated me all those months ago.
Maybe one thing that led me to feel this way, is that I’ve never had older sisters before. And I never truly realized the drawbacks of that until a few months ago. This year I have heavily relied upon girls two to three years older than me for advice, support, laughter, and love. They treat me as equal, yet keep a watchful eye out for my general well being. And yes, they are my resource for boy advice.
But it’s more than that. I’m surrounded by academically driven and goal oriented women constantly. You know how in high school it wasn’t always “cool” to be super involved in organizations, and want to contribute to the society in which you are a part of? It’s just not like that here, and I’m guessing in many sororities across the nation. I have a sister who is now the President of student government, and I watched as the house backed her throughout her entire campaign. After seeing older girls write theses, hold executive positions, and fight for causes they are passionate for- I want to do the same.
I didn’t start writing for the Odyssey until I met so many people who valued my opinions. My sisters are the people who share my articles the most. They have encouraged me to be bold, share my thoughts, and explore the world.When faced with the decision of where to study abroad -- it was my sisters that I turned to. This meant long conversations where busy women gave their time to discuss something that had nothing to do with them. How cool is that?
Something that is also very cool is how college women come together to raise money for their philanthropies. Alpha Chi advocates for domestic violence awareness, which is a cause that really resonates with me. Whatever the cause is, though -- the shift between giggling and fun, to fighting for something larger than us all is such a humbling dynamic to be a part of.
Finally, and this one is more personal, Alpha Chi accepts me for me. Since most of you reading this wont know me- I’ll tell you that I am a quirky individual. I wear sweats pretty much every day, have a unique sense of humor, and am very very emotional. I came into Alpha Chi at a really difficult time in my life. So many sisters first impressions of me were filled with tears and more information than they probably needed to know. But they stayed by my side. And the next morning texted me things like, “Hey buddy, you are tough as nails. Love you.” While I knew that how they were seeing me wasn’t my best self, I could somehow trust that, in time, they would get to see the “Emma” that I was before a bad relationship. They instilled, and continue to instill, confidence within me.
It’s so weird -- sororities have these negative connotations, but I think of them as women standing together on college campuses everywhere. Standing together for a cause, for friendship, for inspiration, and for support. Whatever the Greek letters are that you proudly boast across your chest... I hope my experience resonates with each of you because you all deserve to find sisters that encourage you to love yourself.