Tag Archives: sisterhood

On Being a Sorority Woman

IMG_4818I often reference my sorority here. This is because, despite the fact that I’ve now been out of college longer than I was a collegiate member, it’s still a huge part of my life. I can give you the usual spiel about the sisters I met later becoming my bridesmaids (true) or how my best memories from college were made at a sorority function (also true), but I can also tell you how my sorority experience better prepared me for life as a whole. How the opportunities I had to plan a fundraising dinner for 200+ people at age 19 prepared me far more for my career than that integrated marketing class I took, and how convincing a roomful of critical young women to vote for me to be on the Executive Board and “lead” their chapter is the best interview prep I could have ever received.

After college I took my experience a step further. I got a job with my sorority’s national headquarters traveling to other chapters around the country and acting as a liaison between the national organization and individual chapters. This position challenged me in unique ways and was probably the best decision I made fresh out of college. Rather than going straight to an office where I likely would have felt a little naive and in over my head, I went to an organization that embraced my youth as well as my femininity. I was raised up and empowered as a young professional woman –something that doesn’t happen often in Corporate America – and I took that feeling of resilience with me as I transitioned to new opportunities.

A misconception I often hear about sorority women is that they are all the same. I’m always very defensive when I hear this, as nothing ever made me feel more like I could be myself than the support of my sisters. And frankly, if we were all the same, nothing would have ever gotten accomplished. We needed the stubbornness and loyalty of some sisters to keep us grounded, the fashion sense of others to make sure we didn’t go out looking too ridiculous, accounting and business majors to keep us on budget, and those with athletic ability to help ensure that I would never, ever, have to play a round of Greek Games dodgeball. Being in a sorority didn’t just bring out each of our individual differences, it highlighted them.

I’ll also tell you that if you think young women only join sororities for parties and boys, you’ve obviously never been to an 11:00pm Friday night Greek Sing rehearsal the day before the big show. If you had, you’d know those are about the last things on one’s mind. If that is or was someone’s main priority, a sorority is probably not for that individual. If learning the values of working as a team, making sacrifices for others, and giving something your all is important to you, then by all means, bring the Milano’s pizza and come with some choreography ideas.

When I made the decision in 2008 to accept my bid, I didn’t know the lifelong experience I was committing to. Today, I honor the pledge I took to uphold the values and traditions of my organization, and I do so every day through my social and professional interactions with others. As an active member in an area alumnae chapter and organization volunteer, my sorority gave me a whole lot more than my bridesmaids and some memories, it gave me a future of things to look forward to, and when I moved to a new place and was overwhelmed as a recent college grad and newlywed, it also gave me a new place to call home.

Happy Founders Day to my fellow sisters. Here’s to 115 more.

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Mid-Week Peaks & Our Rocky Relationship with NYC

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Happy Wednesday! How’s everyone’s week going? To keep it perfectly real, I’ve been in a total pre-vacation slump. We leave for Cape Cod on Sunday, and nothing makes you feel like you need a vacation more than knowing that you have one waiting for you. J and I have taken turns all week telling one another that we just have to make it to Friday. Alas, despite the slump, there have also been some great highlights over the last few days. Here are this week’s mid-week peaks (as well as a fun little story about our rocky relationship with NYC):

  • A Get-Together With Alumnae Sisters

After work on Friday I headed toward Baltimore for a dinner meeting with some of my alumnae chapter sorority sisters. Getting involved with my local alumnae chapter was one of the best decisions I made after moving to the DC area. Making friends as an adult is hard work, and having this great group of women as a support system made the transition so much easier! I love J beyond measure, but I really look forward to the laid-back, once-a-month girl time I get to have with this eclectic group of ladies. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how much you have in common with those who have shared life experiences. We are a range of women in different age groups, professional fields, from different areas of the country, and in varying stages of life, but we all come together because of a commitment to our sorority that we made in college… and somehow, we click.

  • Day-cation to NYC

On Saturday J and I made a little daytrip to New York City and finally put to use the MegaBus tickets we bought almost two years ago. To give you a little back-story, J and I got engaged one memorable weekend in the city in October 2011. However, the proposal wasn’t the only thing that made the trip memorable – it was also the weekend a snowstorm hit the Northeast. In October. With plans for a grand autumn proposal in NYC (unbeknownst to me), poor J and I trekked around the city getting wind-blown and soaked through before he popped the question at a romantic little restaurant in Greenwich Village over dinner and by that point, much needed wine.

The ring was in his jacket pocket during this experience… I can’t help but laugh now…

So while that proposal weekend was perfect all in it’s own right, in 2012 J and I decided to give the city in autumn another chance. We wanted to see the fall leaves in Central Park and eat pastries on the sidewalk in Little Italy. We purchased two MegaBus tickets and looked forward to our weekend getaway. Then, in the days before we were set to leave, Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Needless to say, we cancelled the trip. However, if you know anything about MegaBus, you can’t really cancel. You either lose your money, or you have to keep scheduling future trips (never more than 2-3 months out), and rescheduling, and rescheduling… In our case, we rescheduled for almost two years. Life got in the way and there was never a good weekend to go. Until the last time I went to amend the reservations, and I told J “This is it. We either go or admit defeat.” So we went! And the weather was glorious!

We couldn’t make a weekend out of it, so we committed to seven great hours in the city. We ate, we took pictures, we walked – a lot, we strolled Central Park and watched street performers, and we enjoyed a day together with minimal distractions. And despite the long hours and over-air conditioned bus ride home, it was a pretty great day.

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What’s been a highlight of your week? Cheers! xx