Sorority girls are superficial. Sorority girls are arrogant. Sorority girls are promiscuous. Sorority girls are bitchy. Sorority girls are dumb. Sorority girls are partiers. Sorority girls are slackers. Sorority girls are not the women that we would want our daughters to grow up to be.
This is what our television, our websites, and sometimes even our own universities tell us being a sorority girl is. We are not supposed to be ambitious. We are not supposed to be smart. We are not supposed to be brave. We are not supposed to be cool. We are not supposed to be interesting. We are not supposed to be leaders.
But we are.
This week, I was given the opportunity to take an all-expense paid trip to Indianapolis to represent my chapter at Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute. I was surrounded by forty-nine other collegiate sisters from California to Canada to Florida, representing just a small percentage of the women who are a part of Alpha Phi. Some of our chapters had been established for decades. Others, like mine, were freshly installed and still trying to get accustomed to their campus. For five days we learned, to put it simply, everything. We learned different approaches to leadership. We learned about ways to get involved as an alumnae. We learned about ritual and sisterhood and how we can strive to live out the Alpha Phi values in our daily lives.
The values that this fraternity strives to exemplify are leadership, loyalty, scholarship, sisterhood, service, and character development. Through this week, I can confidently say that all six of these values have been revealed and strengthened in my life. I never knew how much I valued sisterhood until I was thrown into a group of new girls, and bonded with them more quickly than I had ever done with a group of people. I never knew how much I valued scholarship, until I bonded with girls over feeling like the “weird smart girl” until I got to college. I never knew how much I valued service until I was told how much heart I seem to have for it. I never knew how much I valued character until I was around fifty women who showed theirs so openly. I never knew how much I valued loyalty until I couldn’t stop talking about my school and my chapter. I never knew how much I valued leadership, until someone told me I had a knack for it.
I may have just recently been initiated into Alpha Phi, but I can so clearly see how these values have been intertwined in my life for years and years. I am so happy to have met girls who, despite stereotypes, value these things as much as I do. I am so happy to have found a sorority that values these things as much as I do.
Sorority girls are deep thinkers. Sorority girls are kind. Sorority girls are compassionate. Sorority girls are ambitious. Sorority girls are intelligent. Sorority girls are independent. Sorority girls are the women that we should want our daughters to grow up to be.