The Truth About Sororities

Sooo…there’s something you don’t know about me. Something that….mayyy come as a bit of a surprise.

Which, at this point…given all the highly invasive intel you have on my personal life, really, nothing can come as a shock anymore. AmIright or amIright?

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#NoRegrets

I was the president of my sorority in college.

Not like a coed business/service fraternity. And not a “faith house sisterhood” like they have at many christian colleges.

No. We’re talking a Lilly Pulitzer-obsessed, Sperry-wearing, Starbucks-drinking, toga-party-attending sorority. At a public university.

And I haven’t talked about it much on here because, well, it was not a great experience. And I’m putting that as mildly as possible.

This past weekend, my mom and sister-in-law were visiting me in NYC, and one night, at 1 am, over a bottle of wine in front of my fireplace in my apartment, the topic turned to my experience in Greek life. And specifically, would I do it again?


In order to answer that question, I’m afraid I’m going to have to rewind.

If you know anything about me, then you may be scratching your head, thinking that I don’t really fit the “sorority mold”…at least from what you’d deduce from my writing.

But you’ve got to realize, growing up, I was all about sisterhood. I was part of a singing group of 8 of my best girlfriends, and we sang together – every Monday – from second grade to senior year of high school. Two of which live in NYC with me now… This group was my rock, and I was so looking for a similar foundation at my out-of-state, far-away-by-plane university. So coming from the suburbs of Ohio, you’d better believe that come orientation weekend, little Caralyn heard “sorority sisterhood rush weekend,” and had to sign up! That and roughly 85% of the campus participated in Greek life…

But I loved that this sorority was founded on biblical principles in its “creed,” and I loved  the sisterhood aspect. So much so, that I developed a book club that met once a week and went through the book “Captivating,” and broke down the “creed” line-by-line and linked it to the bible passage it was based on.

So when officer elections came up, the national president said that she wanted to use the materials I had developed as organization-wide “recruitment material,” and that she wanted me to be president…even though I didn’t run.

Anyway…long story short…the behind the scenes process was just…soulless.

The recruitment process…let’s just say that after the “rush open house parties,” the entire chapter would sit in a room where, on a big projection screen, a photo of each potential new member would be projected, and the national president — a 45 year old woman, mind you — would say things like, “Oh this girl’s looks would be a liability for your chapter. NEXT!” Or, “Not thin enough.” Or, “She didn’t dress well.” And just like that, this sweet little incoming freshman girl would get a letter telling her not to come back to the next day’s “round” of recruitment parties.

I could go on and on with other examples, -including that same wonderful national president assigning certain members to “work the kitchen” behind the scenes during the recruitment parties because they would “project a negative chapter image.”

It turned out that my desire to promote the ideals the sorority was founded on, and to serve my chapter by creating an environment that embodied sisterhood, seemed to be falling on deaf and even hostile ears. My time as president rocked the boat for many of the girls who were looking for…say…an experience that mirrored MTV Spring Break. Not all — there were a handful of likeminded girls.

But, looking back now, I can see the valuable lessons I learned from that poisonous environment. I have seen the directional shift my life took as a result, and the relationships (with true friends) it strengthened in its wake.

For you see, after that year, I didn’t return to that university. I moved to New York and finished my degree here. I “dusted off my sandals” and left that toxic environment behind, never looking back.

This experience has so deeply impacted who I am. How I see others – especially girls – and truly, how I approach beauty.

That afternoon during recruitment, watching a grown woman literally pick apart girls behind their back, based on their appearance, clothing, race, intellect, and “slut factor” — I was disgusted.

The outside is merely a shell of the beauty and dignity we have on the inside. Our hearts … that are capable of love, forgiveness, compassion, joy, courage, strength, empathy — that’s what is beautiful. And what’s more, is Who lives inside our hearts.

We have a beauty beyond bones. We have beauty that comes from Christ. And no hair extensions or spray tan can rival that.

Reflecting back, perhaps this blog is an extension of the “sister(-and-brother)hood” that I was so yearning for when I joined that sorority as a wide-eyed college freshman, looking for love and family, so many miles from home.

Because, really, no matter where we are in life, aren’t we all looking for that? Don’t we all need acceptance?

I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to be found at jungle juice ragers and all night toga parties.

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It’s found in relationships where people know the real you, and love you all the same.

So, would I do it again?

That’s a tough question. Because, as a firm believer that God uses every experience – good and bad – to shape and teach us, and to prepare us for His will and His plan for our lives, I know that I endured that for a reason. I know that it has gotten me to where I am today. Learned things. Seen things. Grown to value honestly, loyalty, and authenticity.

But mainly, it has been a solidifying factor in teaching me where to find my self worth. Where to find my value as a human. It’s not in a senior picture projected on a pull-down projector screen. It’s not in my “recruitment score” that only factors in your looks, conversation skills and legacy eligibility.

My worth lies in Him. Just like yours.

So would I do it again? Sure. Only because I’m not going to second guess God. He allowed me to go though it. So I’m not going to doubt His process.

What about you? Did you participate in Greek life? Would you do it again?

**Disclaimer** (( I know not all Greek life experiences are like mine. I have many friends that loved their experience, and that’s awesome! I am not anti-Greek. This was just my sorority. So, please…take this with a grain of salt ๐Ÿ™‚ ))

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190 thoughts on “The Truth About Sororities

  1. The concept of fraternal/sorority connectivity is actually a monumental relationship building platform. Those experiences during that formidable phase of human development are lasting impressions. The people we share our emotional lives with during this period are the ones we never forget…๐Ÿ˜

    1. Thanks for this! Yeah, relationships are so incredibly important. Especially during the college years when you’re growing and becoming the “adult version of you.” But you’re right…it’s important to surround yourself with strong and valuable relationship! thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  2. All of the experiences you have gone through have helped you be the wonderful person you are today! You look back and use discernment to take the best lesson from each and move forward! Proud of you!

  3. Wait. What? I’m the first one to comment? I don’t believe it.

    Anyway, it’s hard for me to relate to any of this because I’m not much of a joiner and I certainly don’t relate to a “brotherhood”. Truth be told, for a lot of my life, I got along with women better than men. Reason? I didn’t have to compete with women.

    If you’re a college age guy (and probably older), you’re competing in terms of your looks, the looks of your girlfriend (assuming you have one – if not…loser), your car, your income, your general popularity, and so on. Oh, and there’s how well you play sports, which I never have.

    To me, a male fraternity was (and most of the time still is) toxic. I kind of envy people who find their own tribe because I never have. A few times, I thought I had, but in the end, it didn’t pan out. Even now, I just have a few select friends and a ton of acquaintances.

    I can’t imagine the sort of life you describe, but back then, even if given a chance to join, I probably would have passed it up.

    1. Hi James! haha you’re funny! Yeah, competition in relationships definitely adds complexity. Believe me, living in a house with 65 girls, I KNOW!! haha but seriously, thanks for this powerful reflection. Quality over quantity. That’s what I always say ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs to you friend. have a great night. xox

  4. Thank you for sharing, yes even bad experiences can shape us. God uses all aspects good and bad to mold us into what he wants us to become. I am sorry your time in a Sorority was like that. I joined a Fraternity in College but it was nothing like the Fraternity I joined in the military. Luckily this one was both men and women. God Bless you for giving so much of yourself in your writings.

    1. Thanks for this reflection! First of all, thank you for your service to our country. That is such a gift, and I am very grateful. You’re right – everything in life, God will use to teach and shape us. We just have to trust the process…which is much easier said than done! haha thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  5. Sounds like a valuable experience in that it showed how negative an extended mean-girls clique can be–as opposed to a truly supportive community. It’s a shame this sorority chose to be the former rather than the latter. ๐Ÿ˜“

    1. Hi Jenn! Thanks for this reflection. You’re right — supportive and loving communities are so important. especially during those formative years when you’re away from home for the first time. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m so grateful for all the wonderful friends like you I’ve met through this blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ hope your week is off to a great start! hugs xo

  6. A wonderful look into a snapshot of your life back then. I love how you learn all these lessons, and then so eloquently share them with us! Wonderful share, as always.

    1. Aw, thanks Rob. Yeah…life is one big learning opportunity. Some more pleasant than others! haha jk jk but truly, there is something to be learned from every person and every situation. So glad you stopped by! hope you’re having a great night! hugs xox

  7. Thanks for sharing this. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m really glad you added the disclaimer at the end because as a girl who was in a sorority as well, I can definitely say that we did try to make the recruitment process in my chapter as positive as possible, with a lot more emphasis on personality/achievements rather than looks. While I can’t say for sure whether or not I would have joined again if I could do it all over again (in the end, it just wasn’t for me…), I did meet one of my best friends there and know a lot of girls who do love the whole experience.

    1. Thanks for this Sandra! Yeah, I am definitely not *anti-sorority. I know this was just my particular experience and there are a lot of truly great ones out there with real, lasting relationships! I am still in touch with several great friendships i formed there too. ๐Ÿ™‚ so yeah-it really is a case by case:) I’m glad you met your best friend through Greek life! That’s awesome! Hope you week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

  8. A great post my friend. I love how you bring out the humanity we all so desperately need to hear about. And beauty is soooo beyond what we look like. Peace to you.

  9. I was the girl that was too chubby and too weird for sororities. Thankfully, I had already found my tribe of weirdos n the theatre. Then I felt heartbroken and rejected, now I feel grateful that I wasn’t “accepted”… I am actually a little afraid of the “monster” that a SoCal sorority would have unleashed in me.

    1. Hi Maureen! Yeah, it’s funny how a little time and distance gives us a powerful perspective. I’m glad you found your tribe. At the end of the day, I think we’re ALL a big tribe of weirdos haha ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by:) big big hugs xox

  10. Gosh this doesn’t surprise me too much honestly. I’ve read a few too many horror stories about sororities and fraternities. Luckily, at my university, Greek life isn’t officially supported by the university period and isn’t a big part of the culture at all. It’s basically there if you want it, but not partaking in it doesn’t make you lose out on anything. I wouldn’t join even if I did live on campus. I have no interest.

    1. Hey! Thanks for this–yeah college is such a great time to explore new things-for some that’s Greek life, others something different! But an interesting time nonetheless:) hope you’re having a great week so far! Hugs and love xox

      1. I’m, admittedly, really stressed over finals!!! I’ve been studying so much but I can’t relax…I need to find a way to still my mind before tomorrow afternoon when I actually take my Psych final ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. Saw the title and knew I couldn’t wait to read. I contemplated transferring my junior year from a Christian college to a state university, where Greek life is a much bigger deal. I even tried growing my bangs out as ‘prep’, just to realize that I was looking for acceptance outside of myself. I’ve never been accepted in any clique, and though I sometimes wish it would work out, I’m learning to realize how shallow those kind of friendships can be.
    Someday, I hope you write a book that pulls all your blog posts together. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much for your reflection. I can definitely relate. I spent a lot of years seek acceptance from others as well. Real friendships are truly invaluable and worth their weight in gold. Thanks again for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  12. Interesting topic. Ive always wanted to know how certain people felt about a sorority or fraternity experience. I have no interest in either. In fact, during my previous college years, I never paid any attention to that. I never had time to, I was too immersed in my own weirdness alone, as all of my friends graduated college before me or attended classes during the day while I was working. For me college was a very lonely experience.

    1. Thanks so much for this response. I’m sorry to hear that ๐Ÿ™ yeah, I think everyone’s college experience includes a few trials, after all, that’s how we’re shaped. Thanks for sharing part of your story. Hugs and love xox

  13. This is quite fascinating. My school didn’t have Greek life except for one service fraternity, so I’m kind of out of the loop. Definitely sounds like there were some unhealthy things going on in yoursโ€”glad you are in a better place now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Thank goodness there are wonderful females like you. It makes me so sad when females pick others apart, we need to all stand together and support each other. They didn’t have sororities here at my uni but I probably would have joined one as I have always wanted a close group of sisters. At nearly 40 I have found a wonderful group through my church, mainly of ladies who are in their 70s and offer the support and friendship I’ve always wanted. I’m so thankful God brought them into my life and thankful he found me your blog as you are such a Godly lady xx

    1. Aw thanks Sam:) you’re so kind to say that! Yeah, me too. You’re right. Women should build each other up. I’m so glad you’ve found that great group of friends! That’s so wonderful. God is good:) hugs to you friend xox

  15. Wow. Just wow.

    I was not in a fraternity myself (unless you count honor societies, in which case I was in three, but mostly just in name), and I don’t really know the details of what goes on in fraternity and sorority life. Growing up, all I knew about fraternities and sororities were that they were associated with big drunken parties, and I wasn’t into that. It’s really unfortunate that you had to go through that.

    It’s even more unfortunate that some adults never outgrow the Mean Girls mentality. I’ve heard so many stories of adults acting immature in that way from extended family and other people’s workplace experience. There was a cartoonist for my university’s newspaper who had this brilliant ability to capture all the quirks of student life. She was a year older than me (I didn’t know her, except I did meet her once briefly), and after she graduated they never had another good comic strip in the school paper again… but I digress. A couple years after she graduated, she did a cartoon for the alumni magazine where her character was reminiscing in her head about how high school was a time for building friendships and discovering what you like to do, and college was a time for experiencing new things… and now she came this far only to get a job where everyone acts like middle schoolers. A coworker then says to her, “Oh my gosh! Your outfit is so cute!”

    Anyway, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for this, Pi. yeah, i agree. It’s the friendships that build each other up and are real and honest that are so rare and valuable. Gosh, I would have loved to read that comic! Life imitates art which imitates life…or something like that haha thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  16. Sororities seem to be a U.S. phenomena which I think is found no where else, at least not in the same pervasive form. I admit I know little about it but have found what little I do know to be quite disagreeable. Glad that you did not cross over to the dark side.

    1. Thanks for this! Yeah, and movies and tv shows definitely tend to perpetuate the stereotype about them. Yeah, they’re not all bad, but this was definitely a pretty trying experience. Me too! Haha have a great night xox

  17. Is it not awesome to take the journey home and gain such wisdom and insight? I can really appreciate you sharing your experience with any younger folks coming up right now. Beauty is beyond bones as you say. It is good for all of us to seek Jesus with all our hearts, instead of acceptance from others. When we are like Christ then other folks that love us for who we really are naturally accept us. As a senior man now, I simply trust in God to guide me and don’t spend to much effort trying to get in a click. Even at my age and in christian circles as well, sadly many are looking for acceptance in the wrong place. I have many genuine relationships now. Based on serving them and how I can help them become all they can. The rewards are endless. In closing I would say it again, you have gained great wisdom on your journey towards home.

    Much love Tom

    1. Thank you so much for this kind reflection, Tom. You’re right, seeking acceptance from Christ is the way to go…becuase all He wants to do is love us, and He proved that on the cross. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thats so great that you have such meaningful relationships in your life. That makes my heart so happy to hear ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words. means a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xox

  18. I love the quote… You are not a tree.:) I call that jumping out. My little daughter tells me to jump out of things now..even a stressful mood. ๐Ÿ™‚
    All my college roommates were in sororities. Funny how not fitting in doesn’t seem so tragic these days.My daughter is 8 and already learning about real friends.

    1. Thanks Laurie! Yeah, I loved that quote so much when I heard it that I had to turn it into a quote art! Yeah, real friends are definitely a blessing and worth their weight in gold! Yeah, quality over quantity is my new motto:) thanks for stopping by! Big hugs xox

  19. I’m so sorry you had that kind of experience. As a member of a sorority, I had an amazing experience where I built many relationships that have lasted since I was 17. These are women who’ve helped me through some of the roughest portions of my life, and I’ve been able to be there for several of them through horrible times in their lives. While I’m remotely familiar with some of the instances you mention – like the regional president – these women were the ones whom we ousted. We definitely didn’t fit the ‘television’ sorority girl mold, but we had the core of what mattered – what you were looking for… honest, real friendship. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  20. Thank you so much for sharing. A friend of mine said to me today how he used to judge people and is so much more open and accepting now, and that people are inspired to talk with him out of the blue. It’s a blessing. Good on you. <3

  21. It’s so great you wrote a post about this! I immediately clicked because I was also the president of my sorority and figured you had a similar experience. I however, loved my sorority to death. Being president taught me so much about myself. I went from being the last girl partying in the frat basement to the girl at the door making sure everyone got home okay. It is a shame that your sorority (and the adult counsellor — eek!) judged so harshly during the recruitment process! From my experience in my own sorority and with those in others at other schools that I know, I’d say it’s *typically* more like a job interview. You have to make sure the newest addition to the team is going to fit well with the group but also be their own person and have their own uniqueness/personality to offer. People always seem grossed out after learning many sororities pull up projectors, etc. to review the girls. After job interviews, the employer looks at all the resumes again, right?, and even LinkedIn profiles to put a name to the face. Imagine trying to remember 300+ girls just from a resume alone! Being president was incredibly challenging and at times I thought WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?! but overall, I would do it again in a heartbeat… since it helped shape who I am today. Interesting that all though we had such different experiences in our sororities, we both came to the same conclusion โ€“ the college years are super valuable for shaping yourself and your future (both the good and bad experiences) ๐Ÿ™‚

    All the best —
    Erin

    1. This really inspires me because I’m about to go through recruitment at the end of January, and I really feel God leading me to be in a sorority. Whether it’s a good experience or bad (crossing my fingers it’s good!) I know I just have to trust God in the process. Thanks for sharing your great experience w it!

      1. Hi Grace! Good luck with recruitment!! Yeah, I definitely was right there with you when I rushed! i was like…ohhh sisterhood! This is what God wants me to do, and it’s based on Christian principles of service and love! I will definitely keep you in my prayers for a good experience ๐Ÿ™‚ not all experiences were like mine, and there are some really wonderful girls you’ll get to call sister ๐Ÿ™‚ ((Erin being an example one of them!!)) ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xox

    2. Hi Erin! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m so glad that you had such a positive experience! It’s true — NOT all sororities were like mine. Honestly, I think a lot of the negativity came from the top down, unfortunately, from the example that national leader was showing. I hate to say that, but there was really a culture of judgment. Glad it wasn’t like that in every house!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And you’re right-it wasn’t really the face to a name thing that rubbed me the wrong way, it was the rating system that went along with it…I’m so glad that you had a different experience. So true – it was a growing and learning experience in many ways ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for offering this other testimony! I think many people will appreciate another perspective! Big hugs to you, Erin! hugs xox

  22. I agree with you 100% in the importance of acceptance of people, and believing that every trial we face is to strengthen us. I can gather from my own experiences that treating people as if they aren’t cut out for anything useful is so very damaging. You have written a beautiful and meaningful post, Caralyn. ๐Ÿ™‚
    (I also love your curly hair in the pic. So gorgeous! <3 <3 <3)

    1. Aw, thank you so much! haha yeah, that was back when my hair was crazy curly! I called it my mane ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe so true — everything is a learning and growing experience. thanks for your encouraging words! hugs xox

  23. When I first read this post, I completely glazed over the fact that a 45 year old woman was the one choosing which girls could join the sorority based on her perception of their hotness. That’s just so messed up on every possible level. ๐Ÿ™ Just oh my gosh
    ๐Ÿ™

    But, like you said, it was a good experience in that it opened your eyes to the kind of person you didn’t want to be. Perhaps it was even God’s way of telling you there’s more to life than the superficial stuff.

    And just so you know, the Urkel in the toga clip just cracks me up. Everyone in the background is all like “Nope. Nope. Nope.” ๐Ÿ˜† Especially the poor guy in the striped shirt. He just wants to escape.

    1. Thank you so much for this reflection! You’re right, that was so sad to me to see that that woman never really grew out of those hurtful behaviors. And what’s more is that it was under the verbiage of “empowering young women.” Ugh. I don’t like to think about it. Yeah. Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, God can and will use everything to teach us help us grow. haha yeah, gotta love Urkel:) hehe hugs to you xox

  24. I was a bit surprised that you were part of a sorority that came as a shock, my father told me never to join and tbh I don’t think I would have fit in anyway’s they might have looked at me and thought I was “too fat” but it’s all good! you look so young and happy in that pic though!

    1. Thanks so much, yeah, it kind of surprises me that I joined as well, tbcompletely honest! haha I think I was just really yearning for that sisterhood aspect I had growing up. I never drank in high school, so I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into. My favorite quote I ever heard was, if you judge someone, you have no time to love them ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

      1. Oh my gosh you are so sweet!! Thank you!! I can’t begin to express how much that means to me:) โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธhugs to the moon xx

  25. Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found (Chodron) I owned a cab business that worked frat row. It was, interesting like watching Amazon tribes on national geographic.

      1. Yes. Beautiful women would call and then pass out on curbs, in restaurants, or at parties. Or, call in the morning to avoid walking home. It was rare for a guy so it seemed like Greek life created a male dominated atmosphere. Like, whatever they wanted. Do you think Greek life insulated you from a college experience? I rarely saw women doing anything else other than party with the same guys.

      2. Oh gosh, that’s terrible. You know, it didn’t, because I was simultaneously heavily involved in our on-campus ministry at church. My best friends were not in the sorority, and deeply engaged in the church community on campus. And the reason I chose that school was because the on-campus “youth” minister was like my adopted older brother (I’ve written posts about him in the past…he was the one that got through to me and got me to go to inpatient) – he and his family of seven were out there, and I spent a lot of time at his house — like at least 3x a week I’d be over there. so, no i was not the only thing I did. But I think if it’s ALL you do, it can be pretty influential…

      3. That is wonderful. Maybe it was there that made the emptiness you felt and wrote about before? I know, in the military there was a bravado that didn’t allow a person to feel for anyone. I would, go to the Anglican church and their leader would engage us in conversation. How to keep your religious identity under so much I could not comprehend. It helped because at one point, I was captured and imprisoned for a while. That’s good that you had the bond of the church to help you while exploring Greek life.

      4. Kenzie, my goodness, what a story you have. Thank you for sharing that. My heart is breaking to think that you were captured and imprisoned. I’m am just so sorry that you had to endure such tragic and dire situations. You have lived a lot of life, and I’m so glad you’re here to tell about it. Massive hugs xox

  26. No Greek life for me. I don’t think we had Greek clubs in Australia.

    We had student societies and co-ed residential colleges. I worked at a residential college in my final year, with strong leadership. It used to be a female-only college.

    Yes, for the college…

    1. Hi David! Wow! That’s fascinating that it was female-only! How times have changed I guess! Haha I would love to experience Australian university life for a day. How interesting the different campus life experiences are. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  27. We didn’t have anything like this in South Africa so it’s hard to relate but I guess you can only really be real salt and light in the world if you are in places that are dark and needing cleaning up! The more i learn about God, the more I realise how little we understand how he uses us and others in the world for His glory. As Christians I think we often have preconceived notions and an unwritten code of what we believe is culturally correct but God is so much bigger than that and well able to stand up for Himself in every arena. Just thinking of the frst two verses of Psalm 24 where it says that absolutely everything in the world belongs to Him and there’s so much freedom in embracing that.

    1. Hi friend! Thank you so much for this powerful reflection. You’re right, He calls us to go to all ends of the earth, so why not into a sorority house! Haha but it’s so true, there is freedom in embracing that truth. Thanks for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  28. Amen 1,000% to this. The Greek life these days (more often that not) is really twisted! It’s interesting to know you were right in the midst of it…thank you for sharing this important message because it’s exactly what I stand by…knowing our true worth! So so good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Shelby! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yeah, sadly the media , with its tv shows like Scream Queens and Greek and Bad Neighbors- is perpetuating these images of what a “cool” sorority “should” be. Yeah, not all are like this, and a lot of people have great experiences. But it was just on my heart to share. Thanks for being so kind! Hugs and love xox

  29. Great read! I went to a small public 4 year college and my wife and I were both apart of Greek Life. Every organization is different and I’m sorry yours wasn’t what you expected. :/ I know that we had some like how you describe but we also had some that were full of morals, values, and virtue. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for this perspective! Yeah, I know not all greek experiences were like this – I am definitely not anti-Greek. A lot of my friends had really positive experiences at their schools. I’m glad that you and your husband enjoyed your involvement and had a good time! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ hope your week is off to a great start! hugs to you xox

  30. My roommate freshman year belonged to a sorority. When she told me how – when they had to go from house to house to basically audition for each sorority – the older girls wouldn’t allow the freshmen to sit down all night and threatened low scores if they didn’t socialize properly, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. As you said, I know not everyone’s Greek experience is negative, but when I saw how the sororities at my college seemed to acquire girls by treating them like second-class citizens, that further confirmed for me that I wanted no part of it.

    1. Hi Monica, thanks for sharing this. Yeah, that makes sad to hear that your roommate was treated like that. Yeah, sometimes “tradition” can gloss over a lot of behaviors we wouldn’t usually put up with. thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts! hugs xox

  31. I didn’t do Greek-life (did a different “brotherhood” and then my college life was later and via the school’s offered online degrees), but I was also asked recently if I would change anything about the path my life had taken. It’s a hard question, but like you, I see now how God has used it to shape me into who I am. So, would I change things? Sometimes I think I would like to, but no – I wouldn’t. To God be the glory.

  32. It’s interesting that you post this. I am a transfer student in California so I definately feel super out of place. This first semester has been really hard to acclimate because I moved in with my boyfriend as well so I am not in the dorms. I have looked into Greek life and really wanted to join a sorority because of the sisterhood as well. The one I was looking into was great! A lot of volunteering within the community and hosting cultural nights to educate the other students about different cultures. The only reason that I wasn’t able to go in was my transfer GPA was too low. I actually find this awesome because it shows what a high standard they hold their sisters in. It means that I will be pushed to my limits academically or I’m out.

    1. Thank you so much for this reflection! Oh I’m sorry the transition is a little tougher than expected. Moving schools always takes an adjustment period. I’ll definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers:) it’s true though-there was a pretty strict academic chairwoman who made sure our grades were up, or we couldn’t go to the social events! So glad you stopped by. Hang in there! I hope this semester gets better!! Big hugs xox

  33. Nope; didn’t see that one coming ๐Ÿ˜‰ It does make sense, though, and I’ve mentioned before I relate well to that ‘-hood’ desire, as I think a lot of people do because we were made for that, and there are so many facade offers out there.

    I watched Tomorrowland last night for the first time and what immediately got my attention was this fast-track scene where Casey is sitting in class with her hand up, listening to all her teachers going on about the hopelessness of the end of the world and finally the last teacher lets her ask her question and she says, “…But what can we do to fix it?” and the teacher just stands there dumbfounded because nobody really wants to actually answer that question, and the bell rings. So now I have to wonder. What can we do to fix this? How can we create sisterhoods, and brotherhoods, and familyhoods, where grace and truth and love take precedence, where anybody could walk in and look around and say “Yes, I’ve found it: this is home.” Because our generation isn’t okay with what isn’t genuine.

    *shrug* so there’s my musings for the day (:

    1. Hey Carson, thanks for this. you’re right, we were made for relationship. I mean, goodness gracious, God send Jesus to earth to live in relationship with His children! It’s in our very nature! But you’re right, we’re all on the hunt for genuine authenticity. And sadly, its harder and harder to find these days. Never seen Tommorland. Sounds like an interesting show. Thanks for the food for thought ๐Ÿ™‚ hope your week is off to a great start. hugs xo

      1. I just love the picture in Genesis when God says, ‘let us make man in our image,’ and Adam was formed by the collective community of Father Son and Holy Spirit, he didn’t just wake up to a Father, he woke up to a family.
        I was apprehensive at first (about Tomorrowland) but actually quite enjoyed it, it gave a really interesting perspective on earth’s decay.

        You’re welcome as always! (And thankYOU, I’m sure you’ve given me much more to think about than I have you ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) And let’s see…Happy pre-pre-pre-weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a restful week (:

  34. Hits a little too close to home thinking about a 45 year old woman screening recruits based on appearance. I’m disgusted too. I have no personal experience and I’m not sure I would’ve even tried to join a sorority. My fear of rejection has always been overwhelming and a factor in every life decision I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi JDub, thank you so much for this reflection. Yeah, it was so disheartening to see this grown woman -who should know better- tear down these young women on such superficial things. I can definitely relate — I too have a fear of rejection and failure. I just have to remember to do the next right thing, and consider the worst case scenario and realize that, it’ll be okay ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by:) big hugs xox

  35. Enjoyed your post. I was in a sorority and so was my sister (but in a different one). We both had great experiences, but it all depends on your chapter and who is in it at the time you pledge. It can go so very wrong if you don’t pick the right one for you.

    1. Thank you so much for this this rest perspective. I’m so glad you and your sister had a great experience! That’s awesome! You’re right – not all chapters were like mine and there really are some terrific houses and relationships to be had:) thanks for stopping by! Big hugs xox

  36. I’m definitely soaked in Greek DNA, Greek Fraternity, Greek philosophy and all that. Hyperion is the name of a Greek Titan. My experience in a Greek Fraternity was positive because I was the right age and mindset for it. I had ‘Brothers’ that helped me when I needed it most and I returned the favor. There were naughty distractions but young males attract naughty sometimes. Later, it was my fraternal experience that also helped cement a stronger brotherhood in the Army. What I will say is that poisonous leadership pollutes the members and encourages behaviors out of sync with positive values, morals, and in some cases creates an egoistic elitism that does nothing but corrupt. The greatest injustice is those corrupted individuals often think they are having the time of their lives but, at what cost to humanity.

  37. My fraternity was such a big part of my college experience, which had such a big impact on who I am now. I remember it mostly as a positive experience. I won’t say we were perfect. We did reject some names that came up for pledging. I think we accepted most who were interested, but looking back, I wonder if maybe we were too harsh at times. There was the typical fraternity “party life,” but I remember it mostly for the friendships and sense of brotherhood.
    Despite a few regrets, it’s easy to say I would do it again because it was a positive experience for me. If, however, there was someone from the Headquarters telling us who we could let in, I think there would have been an open revolt. But what if it were a bad experience?
    I think once again you’ve shown you gained great perspective from your bad experiences. And that’s what makes the bad experiences valuable, it’s what God does with them when we surrender our lives to God. It’s not that I believe God made the bad things happen. They were my choices, after all. It’s that God used those experiences to give me perspective, to form my character, to make me who I am and put me where I am, and the greatest blessing God gives us in this life is when we are grateful for who we are and the sense of purpose that comes from that.

  38. Yes to all of this! I love your message, beauty beyond bones! I’m a similar-ish environment – I live in a residential college in Australia and love the fellowship that comes with it, but sometimes it can be a bit soul-destroying! Thanks for the reminder to remember what is most important!

    1. Thanks so much! I’m so glad this resonated with you. Yeah, I hear ya there! And wow! Australia! How awesome!! ๐Ÿ™‚ relationships are so important and life giving. One of the things I took away from all of this is that when all is said and done, it’s quality over quantity. just some food for thought ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you’re having a great day! hugs xox

  39. I love your writing. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with my own stories of late, so I haven’t been as faithful following you late!y. But thank you for sharing your work. You are something special

  40. All of your posts really resonate with me; I feel as though I can relate to the issues you write about on such a personal level.
    I was literally in tears reading this, because it is an issue that not many women (or men) are willing to speak against. To do so would mean speaking out against such a sacred and popular college tradition. But, like you, I did not particularly like what my sorority stood for.
    You see, there were 3 sororities at my college (it was a small school) and each had its own label; the “smart” sorority, the “pretty girl” sorority, and the “nerd/gamer” sorority. I became close with the girls of the “smart” sorority and that’s the one I decided to rush for Sophomore year. Unfortunately, and to my complete and utter surprise, I was not invited back to the 3rd party. I was devastated, but still felt fortunate enough to be invited back, and eventually recruited, to the “pretty girl” sorority.
    I wholeheartedly believed that I would be accepted into this sorority with open and loving arms– I thought I was going to make new & lifelong friends, become more confident in my own skin, and just overall become a stronger woman. When I left that sorority a year later, I did not leave with any “sisters;” I fell even deeper into my depression and ED; and I felt like I had just spent the past year of my life paying strangers to be my “friends.” To this day, I still get emotional when I think of the negative feelings associated with my time in Greek Life.
    I do not believe all sorority experiences are bad. In fact, I’ve had several friends who had fantastic experiences with Greek Life. It is unfortunate, however, that some are still stuck in their judgmental and unwelcoming ways.

    1. Hi there, thank you so much for sharing this. Gosh, I’m giving you such a big hug through the computer right now. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. You’re right-not all Greek life experiences are negative, but sadly, many are, and I’m sorry that you know what to be true. Yeah, I think that through it all, i learned the value of true friendship and made me even more grateful for those genuine relationships I have in my life:) glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  41. I had no idea what I was getting into when my mom talked me into going through Rush in the mid 1980’s. Her recommendation came with the best of intentions; she thought we’d spend our time going to teas, the ballet and an occasional formal dance. Without going into a lot of detail, it was hardly that. I think the worst part of the whole experience was the racism that permeated in the system, which probably impacted me more than others because I had an African American roommate by choice. Girls and guys would not come to my dorm because of this, and nasty comments were whispered within ear shot of me.

    I had worked my tail off that summer at my parent’s business, and it seemed like all the money I earned was funneled into the sorority via dues, fees, fines, t-shirts, accessories and party pics. Even though I spent much of my time attending meetings and parties, I was forming close friendships with many of my neighbors in the dorm – for free!

    And speaking of money, the Greek System is big business. This fact hit me like a lead pipe a few years later. My friend and I were conversing about sororities and fraternities. She told me that her husband decided to go through Rush as a joke. He complete the application, including a question about parental income, which he stated was one million/year. Those Greeks were falling over themselves in an attempt to woo him to their way.

    Upon hearing this, I realized that, I too, completed the same form. My dad didn’t like to talk about how much he made, so I just made up a number, which, now I realize, was on the low side. So, in spite of my grades, and accolades which earned me a full scholarship, I was immediately cut by the top four sororities, which was devastating, to say the least.

    The liquor flowed freely, even though most of us were underage (the legal drinking age in Arkansas is 21). There were girls who bragged about having black outs, and boys who bragged about taking advantage of said girls. It was horrible.

    So after that first year, I decided to get out. Of course, I didn’t hear a peep from my “sisters”, well, with one exception. I had a sticker on my car, and had literally forgotten all about it. I was told sometime during that fall semester that I needed to remove it.

    My son just entered college, and my daughter is not far behind. They know not to even ask to join one of these groups, which, I definitely agree with you, are extremely toxic.

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for sharing this reflection. I’m sorry you also had a negative experience. Though not all sororities are toxic environments, sadly, many are, and I’m sorry that you had to find that out first hand. Yeah, I was really discouraged by the disrespect that many of the fraternities showed towards their female coeds as well. Again, not all-but that was definitely there if you looked hard enough. And that just makes me sad about the whole treatment you and your roommate received. That is truly horrible. ๐Ÿ™ thanks again for stopping by and joining the dialogue. Big hugs to you xox

  42. I wasn’t involved in the Greek Life when I was in college, but I had friends that were. Their experience was not positive and they left the sorrorities they were in complaining of how they partied too much and were too superficial. One of my roommates was in a sorrority and really liked it, because they were more about academics.

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for this reflection! Yeah, not all Greek life experiences are the same. I’m definitely not anti-Greek. I’m glad your roommate enjoys her time:) big hugs xox

  43. Thanks for sharing! I didn’t do sorority, but there are times in my life when I’ve been a part of groups that didn’t really use their moral compass…we live, we learn, and most of us try to be better people as we grow!

    1. Thanks Jeanie! I appreciate your kind words. Yeah, life is a growing process and there’s something to be learned from every situation! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  44. Hi Beautybeyondbones! So you not only had me at Trump and I just had not commented on that post yet, but now you have me at this post! I too voted for Trump and actually used to love watching his show WAY BEFORE he was even eyeballed for politics. I have been in real estate all my life and licensed for 15 years, so I completely get his business ethics in real estate investing! I look at someones heart. I could care less if someone is gay, straight, orange, yellow, atheist, etc… it is their heart I see. If the heart is not pretty and mean, I could care less what the appearance is, where they are from, who they choose to shack up with, or even if they use foul words… I choose to stay away. And in regards to being an old sorority girl… those were some of the best years ever!! To this day…. i still love my cardinal, straw, and pearls! Have a blessed Christmas and thank you for the like of my post.

    1. Hi Susie! Oh thank you so much! That’s so beautiful-looking at the heart is the way to go! And that’s so awesome. I’m glad you had a such a great sorority experience! Yeah, I’m def not anti sorority-I know that my experience was abnormal and that lots of people had really great times. So I’m glad you did:) hugs and thanks for stopping by! Xox

  45. I tried it, I lasted for 2 weeks and decided it wasn’t for me! I don’t do well if I have to fit into a mold. They didn’t appreciate that I could stand by myself, so, it didn’t work out and the parting of ways was mutual. Gosh, that was 19 years ago! Haven’t even thought about it in a long time. Enjoyed your post.

    1. Hi Candice! Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad you figured out quickly that it wasn’t for you and could move forward! Yeah, I think being able to stand by yourself is a great and admirable trait to have ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  46. I was president of my fraternity and some of my closest friends to this day (25 years later) are still fraternity brothers.

    My experience was exceptional. We were an extremely small house at a large Land Grant University. We were not exclusive, just small — We were a diverse group of guys (White, African-American, Asian Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc..). Whereas many of the other houses had in excess of 100 brothers, my house only had 20 members. Our size became our downfall when our numbers couldn’t sustain the rent.

    The rush process in the fraternities was far different from the sororities at my school — I’ve heard stories like you’ve described from sorority women who went to my school. I also have not doubts that if I’d joined a larger house, my experience would be different.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the seeds of my problems with alcohol were sewn in the fraternity, and for that one might think I’d regret it, but I have had far more good come out of it. I learned a lot about life in that house. I learned how to fix things like toilets and windows in that house. I learned a lot about how to keep things going in lean times in that house. I learned a lot about organizational leadership in that house. All of those lessons have come in handy in my personal and professional life after college.

    And, as I said, I have many great friends from that time in my life. Nope, I wouldn’t change it, but I might do some things differently.

    1. Hi Damien, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so glad you had a great experience with Greek Life. You’re right-not all Greek experiences are the same and there are a lot of terrific houses, like yours, out there! I appreciate you offering this perspective. Hugs and love xox

  47. It’ s great to see how you’ve risen above all that, it has allowed you to grow but some people with little support or faith, might not be in the same headspace as you are in right now. I think more people like you should speak up, shake and rattle some people in leadership roles. That’s what Jesus did, He was no meek and mild leader, He was the raging tempest who shook the pharisees to their very core. God bless <3

    1. Oh my gosh what a kind note of encouragement. Thank you so much. Jesus is definitely the #1 example of how we should live our lives! I’m so glad that we have His footsteps to guide us. Hugs and love xox

  48. I was also in a sorority in college… and it was also very poisonous. But… it got me where I am today – married with a beautiful baby girl – living & loving in a small little town in my sweet Louisiana. I, too, am not anti-Greek now, just not so sure I would do it all over again, or maybe just a few things a tad differently. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hi friend, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry it was a less than lovely experience but that’s so great that you’ve got such a beautiful and fulfilling life now! So happy for you! Big hugs xox

      1. Well, everything wasn’t less than lovely. I guess I should’ve clarified. But looking back now, I should’ve just looked past Rush. I probably would’ve made better grades & not partied quite as hard, but hey, ya live & ya learn, right? I was a little Catholic school girl getting her much-needed taste of freedom. I just needed to live a little. โ˜บ๏ธ

  49. Another great post! Keep shining girl! I enjoy your authenticity. You are in my sisterhood. Daughters of the King. Royalty. I just wanted to stop in and encourage you to keep writing. Your wit & grit in telling your story is making a difference in the lives of others. Keep on!

    1. Thanks friend! Aw, I so appreciate the encouragement. truly! Yes! that is the best sisterhood to be in ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by and making me smile ๐Ÿ™‚ ((Truth be told, I’m sick in bed with a fever of 102, so I’m just feeling so uplifted by your kindness.)) big big hugs xox

  50. The more light you carry within your own Soul, the more you can see the light within others. The essence of the Way of Christ is for me: to see the Light of Jesus in everyone and everything. Seeing Christ in the Eucharist enables us to see him in the streets. Everything is the Body of Christ. When we live with the vision of Christ, every day is like Christmas.

    Christ is risen! Truly he is risen… here and now within us ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mark

    1. Hi Mark, thanks again for all of your thoughtful responses tonight. it really really means a lot. Amen to that, He is alive in our hearts, and we’ve got to look to see that ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xox

  51. Such a great reflection! I’ve been amazed at the body shaming that occurs by grown adults as well as late teens and young adults. I’m glad to see an honest reflection on GL. I see so many people pull the “oh mine was just perfect” card and being a child of God, I know perfect isn’t attainable for us.

    1. Thanks Grace! So glad this struck a chord with you! You’re right- there’s no such thing as perfection and he sooner we can embrace that, I think the happier we’ll be! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  52. You described my exact experience with Greek life. I’m repulsed as I look back and would never encourage young women to pledge a sorority. I have friends who speak of very different (and certainly more positive) experiences, but Greek life was not for me.

  53. The blog post is so good. I have no words as a Canadian, that’s almost uncommon and as an Italian I have no desire to talk with my hands at a rapid pace much like an angry monkey who doesn’t get his bananas. Job well done…

  54. I really liked reading this (wayyy after you posted it haha). I was president of my sorority and I didn’t enjoy it most of the time either. I can’t believe the kind of things you had to go through. My frustraton was not due to our nationals at all. They were (are) so great! But you’re so right, there are so many good things that can come out of not so great situations.

  55. I had some similar experiences as you when I become my sorority’s president! Us sorority presidents have been put through the most testing of situations. Good to know it wasn’t just me! Thanks for sharing! Xoxo

  56. I totally would, even though there was soooo much pain and heartache. I loved the ideals. I loved the history. I loved many of my brothers. I loved my fraternity. But I didn’t love the insane libertinism, the fact that the virtue that was most appreciated was the ability to commit raging vice, and that the virtues extolled in The True Gentleman and the ritual were so often a dead letter. (I am an SAE, having pledged 32 years ago this fall).ย  To this day, my best friends are the guys I met as a pledge. I still love and have good relationships with several of the guys. But the guys who were jerks to me, that pain is so deep set. I’m just now — this year — getting to the point where I’m getting over it. That’s a lot of baggage to carry around for a long time. But I came to a lot of the realizations you came to in this piece. My worth is as a son of God and a brother in Christ, not in how some people who were supposed to be my brothers mistreated me.ย  In Him, Brian O’Neel

    From: BeautyBeyondBones To: oneelbk@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, 5 December 2016, 19:00 Subject: [New post] The Truth About Sororities #yiv2504495818 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2504495818 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2504495818 a.yiv2504495818primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2504495818 a.yiv2504495818primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2504495818 a.yiv2504495818primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2504495818 a.yiv2504495818primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2504495818 WordPress.com | beautybeyondbones posted: “Sooo…there’s something you don’t know about me. Something that….mayyy come as a bit of a surprise.Which, at this point…given all the highly invasive intel you have on my personal life, really, nothing can come as a shock anymore. AmIright or amIri” | |

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