I really like to be liked.

It may seem like something of a ridiculous or sell-out statement, but the truth is we can all identify with this. Not many would opt for isolation over friendship. In fact, there is something in the heart of every one of us that desires so badly to be liked, accepted, and desired that we often find ourselves conforming according to our surroundings… or perhaps struggling with knowing who we are and what’s best for us.

Which brings me to my story.

Through most of high school I, like many others due to Hollywood’s typical depiction, believed sororities were for materialistic dim-witted party girls. (For those of you who want to stop reading because I’m talking about sororities or because I’ve offended you…bear with me. It’s not over yet.) However, once I arrived on my small private college campus (in Pennsylvania) my preconceived ideas began to change.

There were really NICE girl in sororities. Smart girls. Some girls who didn’t even drink or party (like me). Girls who became my friends. And so, when formal recruitment began I, like the rest of the 240 girls in my dorm, decided to see what it was all about. I never thought I would want to, and right up to the week of signups I still thought I wouldn’t… but I gave it a shot.

Long story short, at the end of my freshman year I ended up pledging. Mind you, I cannot speak for every other sorority or Greek system on any other campus other than the my own, so please keep that in mind. But at my school, there was no hazing allowed. Literally. My sorority sisters welcomed the new pledges, buying them gifts, having hangout nights with the older girls, etc. I got to participate in some fun (non-partying) activities like philanthropy events, formals, and laser-tag nights. I found out that sororities do a lot of really GREAT things and I also made amazing friends I still keep in contact with.

But in the end, I didn’t stick with it. After a little over 2 semesters of being an active member I decided I couldn’t do it anymore and I deactivated.

Let me explain why. In addition to not having much free time for the mandatory events and being strapped for cash, I watched as one of my best friends did not receive a bid when she was hoping to. I was struck with the reality that not everyone gets in. I don’t know why I had never noticed it before, maybe because my freshman year everyone I knew that wanted in got in. It broke my heart and I realized with finality that I did not want to be a part of something that was so exclusive when as Christ followers we are called to be positively inclusive.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to sway your opinions one way or another about sororities. I am not giving you advice about whether or not you should be in one. I am not saying they are good OR bad, as there are pros and cons. My purpose is to hopefully encourage you to think and examine yourself and heart before making your own decision. It’s not for me to tell you what’s right for you in this area. I can only relate my own personal experiences.

So what does that mean then?

First, if you are considering a sorority you need to understand that the most important “family” you belong to is in Christ. That label is what transcends all the rest, and it’s HIS guidelines that should direct you, regardless of what everyone else is doing or what may be acceptable to others. Just because you have joined (or are thinking of joining) a sorority does not mean that changes, even if the temptation for certain activities has heightened. Stay true to His values and calling for your life regardless.

Speaking of family, I know you get all these new sorority “sisters” but don’t forget that you also have sisters on the outside as well. I know how amazing it is to feel wanted and chosen by others. It’s an addictive feeling…but don’t become so consumed with chasing after it that you forget your other sisters (the ones you have in Christ) just because they aren’t wearing the same Greek letters as you. It’s true that sometimes people get left out of sororities…but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cross social lines anymore. Clubs will always be exclusive to some degree, but you have the power to be inclusive with your life and your decisions. Sorority or not, you are called to be the light of the world.

Girls who are already in a sorority: I know how fun it is to belong and to have your own secret stuff. I’ve been there! I also know there are only certain numbers allowed in at specific times. But remember that Christ died so that ALL could come and be accepted, regardless of how well they are dressed, how much money they have, or even their grades. We are called to be mirrors of His love and acceptance, so even if they AREN’T in your sorority (or are even in another), accept them and love them all the same. The Great Commission supersedes any sorority charter. Let your light shine to sisters IN and OUT of your sorority!

Whether you’re the President of your sorority, a die-hard independent, or you’re still trying to decide… keep in mind that Christ offered you a “bid” before anyone else and welcomed you into HIS family. Remember that as Christ-Followers we are ALL sisters and are all pulling toward the same purpose.  Love and accept one another unconditionally and unfalteringly.

Matthew 5:14-15– You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

 

-Coleen York

Coleen York

Coleen York is the founder and editor of She Has Worth. She works as a freelance copywriter and editor, so feel free to hire her so she has employment. Additionally, she enjoys being outside, traveling, dinosaurs, art, Oreos, slurpees, and coffee (but not all together, that would probably be gross). Read more about Coleen in the "Our Team" section of She Has Worth.

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