Sisterhood | noun | (1) a community or society of sisters; especially: a society of women in a religious order; (2) the solidarity of women based on shared conditions, experiences, or concerns.
Yep, I would say those words make sense. But now I want to tell you less about how they make sense via the dictionary, and more about how they make sense in my life. Growing up, I honestly was never really concerned about a "sorority." Tennis was my life. That was my group. Those were my sisters. So I never truly understood the hype to be honest.
Then I quit tennis and decided I wanted to be a regular kid at college. (I don't know that I have shared my full tennis story, but it is pretty crazy. We will come back to that in a another blog post.) Anyways, I wanted to go to a big school. Find friends. Live in a dorm. You know...do the deal. So I decided to go through RUSH.
Now for those of you who are not familiar with the term (because I was clueless), RUSH is when the new freshman, and some returners, take their time to evaluate the sororities on campus to determine where they fit. It is a lot of smiles and mingling and shaking hands. Just trying to figure out where you fit in. It can definitely be overwhelming, but I will say it is a great way to meet people. So fast forward...my very first week at Auburn, I spent it going through RUSH. At at the end of it all, I pledged Delta Gamma...where all my DEE GEEs at?!?
So anyways, I went DG. Was it expected? No. Did I know what all I was getting in to? Nope. But did I enjoy it? You bet I did. So today, in honor of bid day happening all across the south this weekend, I want to take a second to talk about this "sisterhood" that I adopted in college. Because it was just that. A sisterhood of girls that I could depend on, talk to, encourage and grow with. And that is what we did.
So let me start by saying, I do not want you to think that by me writing this, I am saying that you have to rush a sorority in college. Because that is not what I am saying at all. I had friends all over, some in other sororities, some not in sororities and some athletes. All people that I loved, to say the least. But what I do want to talk about is some things I learned from my time in Delta Gamma: 1) how to serve my community; 2) how to be a friend; and 3) how to love myself for who I was.
First, lets talk about service. If you don't already know this, each sorority has a philanthropy that they dedicate their service to. Delta Gamma's happens to be "Service for Sight." Throughout our philanthropy efforts, I learned how to set my issues aside to help others. I learned that I am not always the most important and that they are other people who might need love/to be cared for also. And I absolutely loved learning this. To be able to leave my minor issues and take a minute to care for someone else, taught me just how important my acts of service were.
Second, friendships are obviously big in a sorority. But I will tell you...when you spend so much time with one group of girls, you are become prepared to go to battle for them. I made some of my closest friendships through my sorority because we helped each other through all the college nonsense, but also through the toughest of times. That act of service I learned while serving our philanthropy, quickly carried over into my daily life because I wanted to do everything I could to serve my friends.
Finally, my time in DG really helped me learn how to love myself for who I was. I developed a sense of community with my girls who love me...messy hair, freshman fifteen and all. When I came into the chapter room feeling week and worthless, there were 65 girls who were willing to life me up in so much love. It was kind of unreal. I never had to pretend to be something else, because they would see right through it and tell me to take the mess off.
So, to the girls who are going through RUSH right now, I want to tell you to enjoy it. I want to be the person who says that no matter what happens, you will be okay. There is not ONE sorority that will make it any better or any worse, because what is supposed to happen will happen. And at the end of the day, 100 something girls are going to welcome you with open arms. And it feels really good.
To the girls who are on the backside and already in the house, remember that time when you were walking through the doors for the first time. Remember the nerves you had, and the fears in your mind. But remember that there was a sister who told you that you were great. And take this time to be that for someone else.
And to the entire group...remember that these letters do not define who you are. Take this opportunity to love and to learn. To serve and to grow. This is your time to enjoy life. Not to feel stressed about it. This is your time to love who you are and what you stand for, so find that group that will support you in that. Theses are supposed to be some of the best years of your life...so enjoy them with whatever you choose to do. Much love babes...
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography