Here is a hint at which sorority I was in…
Oh, dear. I thought. Just keep your chin up and walk on like nothing is wrong. But, something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. I was crossing campus wearing an ankle length khaki skirt, a long cardigan with Greek letters, a brown belt over the cardigan at my waist, white ( WHITE!) tights and brown loafers. Swallow pride & keep walking. When I was pledging we had to wear this once a week. It was about the extent of hazing at my university. Well, the bad outfit and having to eat at Luby’s Cafeteria with the juniors on Thursday nights. The odd thing was, I got asked on so many dates when I was in that stupid outfit. No clue what that was about…
My college confession? I was in a sorority and I loved it. Honestly, I loved it. I never regretted it. I love those girls.
Yes, sometimes the stereotypes are true and sorority girls are ridiculous. Like this tattoo. Don’t get a tattoo of your sorority. That is regrettable.
But, that wasn’t my experience. They genuinely loved each other. We walked through some tough times together. No, not like their credit card got taken away. Genuinely hard times. Families having crisis, parents getting divorced, receiving serious health diagnosis. We lived life together.
I got such flack for being in a sorority from my other friends. I hung out very often with the a-typical academic crowd. We would have pun wars and salute all things nerdy. These weren’t the ‘cool’ kids on campus but they were some of my best friends. Talk about two worlds clashing…
A large number of my friends and roommates were really judgemental about my Greek friends. They would say things like “I can’t believe you are so fake.” , “You are just looking for acceptance.” or “Stop trying to be cool.”
It stung. It stabbed. It made me confused. I really felt like it was something that God initiated for me to do. I got to disciple girls, tell them about Jesus, pray for them AND it taught me a lot about church planting which I spent the 7 years after college doing. A few things my sorority days taught me that came in handy on the mission field:
I learned how to small talk. Sure, it sounds so shallow. But when you are trying to meet people and build relationship with them, it is a very very very valuable skill. You do a lot of small talk when you start a church.
I learned how to manage my time. I was an overseer of small groups at my church, I led a lifegroup, I worked, I went to school full time and I was in a sorority. I was VERY busy in college. I learned how to handle juggling.
I learned how to integrate my life. How to be the same person during rush week as I was ministering to people in our college service. I had no compartments. Just one blurred schedule that sometimes crossed boundaries most people were uncomfortable crossing.
I learned tons about leadership. How to facilitate large events like campus wide service projects and Easter egg hunts.
I learned that it isn’t just the people who ‘look’ like they are hurting who need Jesus. It’s easy to recognize someone who seems like their life is painful. But everyone deals with rejection and everyone needs to know they are valued. My peppy sorority circle, my dry-witted academic circle and all circles in between.
God taught me a lot of practical skills during those 4 years. Skills that seemed shallow but ended up having eternal purpose when I was in Seattle. Why am I telling you all this? Do I think you are supposed to join a sorority/fraternity? No. Just remember that whatever path people are on may be more significant than you think.
Don’t exalt something for appearing to be the more godly choice. And don’t hide behind your choices either. If God has placed you somewhere live the gospel loudly for all of them to see. Don’t sneak things in here and there. Be bold. Yield each season you are in to God & He will use it for His glory.
Plus, when I was a new mom, my baby was crying and it occurred to me that I didn’t know any fun kids songs to cheer them up. So I sang them my pledge songs. Worked like a charm. Wham, Bam…