It’s not paying for your friends. I mean it is, but it is so much more than that. It is being a part of something so much larger than yourself and being surrounded by other women who have similar ideals who will support you and hold you accountable through life.
Coming into college, I didn’t know that many people, and I didn’t have that many true friendships that carried on from high school. I was the friend who hung around the outside of the friend group and bounced around from group to group. For some of the bigger events I was there, but for some of the more personal and intimate things I was not. I had a group of friends to go to homecoming with and do all the fun things, but I wasn’t at many of those friends’ sweet six-teens. I knew that when I got to college I wanted that to change. I wanted friends that were truly my friends, and people that I could and would spend time with not only while in college or at college events but also do life after college with them too.
Going through recruitment was scary, to say I didn’t know anyone feels like an understatement. No one in my family had ever been a part of sorority life so I was unsure of what to expect. I had no one currently in any of the sororities at my school to ask questions about the culture of sorority life and each sorority on my campus until I met my Pi Chi pre-recruitment.
When I told people I was planning on going through recruitment, I received one of two responses most often. They were: “Oh, you don’t seem like someone who would join Greek Life” or “You’re going to pay for your friends?” At first, this was very discouraging, but I decided to look at it another way and prove them wrong. Sorority life is not just meant for a certain type of woman. While it may not be for everyone, don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t for you. If the women around you are trying to discourage you, they may not be the right sisters for you. Don’t let that keep you from trying to find the right fit.
The ‘paying for your friends’ comment made me think hard, though. I had to search within myself and decide if I thought I would just be paying for some short-term friendships or if I thought there was a potential to form some of those lasting friendships that I so desperately wanted to create. I made the right choice, as now I have some amazing lifelong friends that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.
When paying my first sorority bill, I was nervous that it was paying for friends. But once those connections started forming, I knew that I was paying for much more than my friends. I was paying for t-shirts, formals, mixers, and supporting philanthropic events. I was paying for food at events and speakers and guests to share their knowledge with us. I was paying for fees that would help keep me safe at events and paying to have a space that my sisters and I could use to study, hang out, and even have the opportunity to live in. I was paying for leadership initiatives and conferences and for retreats to get to know my sisters better in very intentional settings.
The relationships I have created with my sisters are those lifelong connections and the women I have met will be at my wedding and I’ll be at theirs. We laugh and cry together. We study and go on road trips. We have long phone calls about our days and Wednesday night drinks talking about relationships.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be involved with a group of women who all want to create meaningful friendships that last a lifetime. It may be perceived by many as paying for my friends, but it’s so much more than that. We have built relationships that run so much deeper than money could ever buy.