Embracing sororities’ imperfections

Photo by Brenda Lin

When I first decided to join a sorority, I must admit I was slightly disillusioned. With my only connection to Greek life being my stepmom, I viewed sorority life as a blur of Starbucks non-fat chai lattes, late-night sisterhood bonding sessions and cute Instagram worthy photos in various sorority squat poses. On the other hand, my family’s only knowledge of the mysterious inner-workings of the Greek system came from films of the ‘Animal House’ nature.

Therefore, when I declared the summer before my first-year at Tech that I wanted to rush a sorority, my parents were floored. After all, in high school my idea of a crazy Friday night involved racking the Barnes and Nobles shelves for the latest John Green novel or late night driving with my friends singing along to Blink-182.

They, ultimately, failed to see my high-school-self fitting into the sorority party lifestyle while I, blissfully unaware, failed to truly account for the sorority social scene. But my parents, as always, promised to support me in my newest adventure: rushing a sorority.

I must admit my first year joining a sorority certainly came with a learning curve. I constantly faced an internal dilemma, as I tried to remain true to my fairly innocent high school-self while trying to fit into the alluring college party lifestyle.

My feelings for my sorority resembled a roller coaster, as sometimes I proudly declared myself part of the sisterhood while other times I shied away from the sorority label. But since sororities generally portrayed themselves as peppy and joyful organizations, I felt that my uneasy feelings towards sorority life resulted from insecurities.

Now, some may wonder why I am recounting my first-year sorority experience that sounds eerily similar to a Holden Caulfield-esque teenage identity struggle? I only share my experience to help other girls understand that a love-hate relationship with sorority life is perfectly normal.

Although sororities may embrace a cheerful, carefree façade, sororities, in reality, are much more imperfect. With some of the larger sororities including more than one hundred members, cliques inevitably form. With long, intensive recruitment activities requiring members to return to school early, tension among members is certainly heightened.

Instead of branding sorority life as a picture-perfect sisterhood, sororities should embrace their inevitable flaws.

Adopting a Jennifer Lawrence “embrace your flaws mindset,” sororities can accurately portray themselves to new potential members. After all, similar to my parents, most individuals do not truly understand the sorority lifestyle. I believe by portraying sorority life realistically, more girls will be aware of the truth behind sorority life. Furthermore, if feelings of discomfort arise towards their sorority, these girls will know that this is normal; nothing is wrong with them.

Although I harp on sororities’ flaws, I can proudly say that joining a sorority was one of the best decisions I have made in college. My best friends are in my sorority. At a university where the classes are notoriously difficult, I use my sorority as a social outlet to escape the pressures of college life.

I only wish sororities embraced their imperfect nature. After all, if sororities accepted their flaws, then maybe more angst-ridden individuals could do the same.