When we talk about sorority membership, we often talk about
sisterhood — but what does sisterhood really mean? Sorority women are connected
by their rituals, their philanthropic causes, their values and sometimes their
living arrangements. At some point along the way, they become sisters.
Sisterhood is not a bond that happens overnight; just like forming a friendship,
it takes time and effort. However, sisterhood is one of the most rewarding
aspects of sorority membership, so it is definitely worth it.
Says one sorority woman, “My sisters are unconditional
friends. Sure, we may get into arguments or rub each other the wrong way, but
at the end of the day everything falls back into place because we are sisters.
We share a bond that cannot be forged with just anyone.” Many chapters have
similar values and goals, but sisterhood bonds form when a group of sisters all
work together to accomplish goals.
Sharing a common ritual, or secret traditions and ceremonies
that are unique to each sorority, also forms sisterhood bonds. Another sorority woman says, “I love that my
sorority sisters have found a love and value for the same things that I strive
to live by in my life. When I participate in my sorority’s ritual, I feel that
the women with me — regardless of our differences — ultimately want the same
things I do.” Ritual events are important and almost sacred to sorority women. A
sorority may perform a ritual at certain chapter meetings, during Founders’ Day
celebrations and for new member initiation.
Sorority membership is for a lifetime, so you know that your
sorority sisters will stand by you way beyond the four years that you are in
college. Explains another sorority woman: “My sisters encourage me to be a
leader, and they support me in all of my endeavors. My sisters will bum around
with me, go to random campus events with me or take me out for a special
occasion. My sisters will share my joys and sorrows, and they will stand with
me on my wedding day.”
Many women express sisterhood by using this quote: “From the
outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out,
you can never describe it.” This may be true to an extent — it is hard to
understand what sisterhood is until you experience it yourself—but many woman
describe sisterhood as the feeling that their sorority sisters will always be
there for them through the good times and the bad. One sorority woman says that
her sisters mean more to her than she can describe, and she knows she is never
alone with her sorority sisters by her side. “They’ve gotten me through
sleepless nights and caused a few more along the way,” she says. “We’ve shared
everything in our lives, our highest hopes and deepest fears. They amaze and inspire
me each and every day.”
Sisterhood — it’s the reason for sorority. There are many
benefits to sorority membership, but few are greater than the unconditional and
lifetime bonds of friendship that we call sisterhood.