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, 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 highs and lows of my college rollercoaster 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. 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.