Sorority Life: What Sisterhood Isn’t

Sisters Picture

I’ve been a sorority woman for 20 years and I just started my fourth year as a collegiate sorority adviser.  And one of the things that any collegiate or alumna sorority woman is used to hearing talked about until the cows come home is the concept of “Sisterhood”.  This makes complete sense, because most of us made a lifelong commitment to an organization specifically because we wanted to “experience sisterhood.”

And yet…..too many sorority members have completely messed up ideas about what sisterhood is, and those messed up ideas give sorority members messed up expectations and when those messed up expectations aren’t met, you find folks throwing away something really valuable because they feel “there is no sisterhood in my sorority”.

To counteract that, here is the Official Sincerely, Diana guide to What Sisterhood Isn’t.

  • Sisterhood is not all unicorns and rainbows and perfect happy feelings about everyone who shares your letters all the time. Think about the siblings in your nuclear family.  Sure, you love and care for them, but there are also plenty of times where if there was a unicorn handy, you’d rather impale your sister or brother on that handy-dandy unicorn horn than anything else.
  • Sisterhood is not pressuring people to attend contrived chapter events that would be sarcastically termed “Mandatory Fun” if they took place anywhere else – like Corporate America, for example.
Who wants to spend their day off at the company picnic? NOBODY, that's who.

Who wants to spend their day off at the company picnic? NOBODY, that’s who.

  • Sisterhood is not being best friends with every single person in your organization. There also over 80 members of the chapter I advise, over of 40 of which live in the house. Heck, there are over 200,000 initiated Kappa Deltas. You can’t know all of them, let alone be best friends. You CAN respect them, show kindness to them, and help them out when they need it and you have the ability to come their aid. Even the ones you don’t like particularly well.
  • Sisterhood is not about liking everyone in your organization. Out of all the hundreds of Kappa Deltas I’ve known in 20 years, there are some I never did really like. And there are some that I started out liking but later our relationship changed and we weren’t friends anymore. This is OK. That said, talking bad about sisters you don’t much care for to anyone who will listen is not OK. But you knew that already.
  • Finally, sisterhood is not agreeing everything that everyone in your group says or believes.  Groupthink never helped make anyone better. Respectfully disagreeing or challenging someone to think and grow? That’s a whole different ballgame!

So the next time you find yourself wanting to increase sisterhood by throwing yet another cupcake decorating party and bullying fellow chapter members to attend, or by pressuring sisters to act like someone who they don’t really know well yet is their BFF, consider whether you are engaging in What Sisterhood Isn’t first. You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Diana

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