If you talk to a sorority alumna and ask her about her sorority membership, it is likely that you will hear her say, “I was in XYZ sorority.” The keyword in that sentence is “was.” Past tense. But don’t we spend our collegiate years telling potential new members that sorority “isn’t for four years, it is for life?” How can we tell them that when alumnae view their membership as past tense?
Now, this is painting with a broad brush. Not all sorority women view their membership as past tense. If they did, sorority wouldn’t be what it is today. Alumnae help recruit, guide younger generations, drive the ideals of sorority and plan for the future of their organization. Without the guidance and dedication of sorority volunteers and staff, sorority simply wouldn’t be.
Shifting A 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 living 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 its 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 apart 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.