It’s Not Just Four Years- It’s a Lifetime

When sorority women typically reminisce about their college years, they usually say, “Oh, I was a sorority member.” But why? The oaths we take when we are initiated usually say that you and your sisters are bound for life, no matter where your different paths may take you. The authenticity of the sorority experience relies on the fact that these friendships are everlasting. So I’m here to debunk the term “I was in a sorority,” to “I am a sorority woman.”

Shifting the Mindset

This is why sorority alumnae need to switch the idea of “I was” in a sorority to “I am” in a sorority. While you are no longer a collegian, you were initiated into a lifelong organization. You didn’t commit yourself to live the ideals of your sorority for four years, you pledged yourself for life. That means if you are 2 years out of college or 50 years out of college, you will always be a sorority woman.

Now, it must be recognized that as women, our lives get hectic fast. We graduate, get jobs, care for family members, maybe get married, buy a house, maybe have kids and juggle all the other things that life throws at us. So being as active as you were in college is basically impossible. The point is, life happens and it’s unrealistic to expect alumnae to be as involved as they were in college. That isn’t the goal here. The goal is to get alumnae to see that sorority is still a part of their lives today. All sorority women are still present-tense sorority women. 

By making that mind shift you become an advocate for the sorority experience. By simply saying “I am a sorority woman,” you are owning your experience. You’re showing the world that your membership is something you’re proud of and would encourage other women to participate in. You can become an advocate and take a step in the right direction. Start by telling one person this week about your present-tense sorority membership.

By simply saying “I am a sorority woman,” you are owning your experience.

Staying connected

As technology advances and our ways of staying in touch with one another only continue to grow, the sorority experience gets better! For most alumnae, all of life’s moments and milestones can cause us to become busy or occupied with our new families, jobs, or living situations. But your chapter can bridge that gap by creating alumnae group chats, social media pages, or monthly newsletters that update graduates on chapter events or news. Even joining your city’s alumnae panhellenic chapter to mix, mingle, and network with other panhellenic women is a great way to make new friends and become quickly acclimated to your new town.

Volunteering For Your Chapter

Becoming a chapter volunteer is a great way to continue to lead your chapter with pride and continue to foster great relationships with your sisters. Many chapters have advisors who live close to the area close to your school and act as mentors and sometimes lesions between your national representatives and your executive board. Being a leader can take many shapes and forms throughout your sorority experience. But one thing is for sure, your oath or creed isn’t just for four collegiate years: it’s for life.

Liz Lamkin

Liz Lamkin is a Marketing Intern at the National Panhellenic Conference! She is currently a senior studying Marketing and Business Law at Butler University and is a part of Alpha Phi (Epsilon Beta) chapter there on campus.

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