Earlier this week I was talking with my new "Mr. Right" (who will eventually get his own post if things get serious but right now everything is still a mystery to me) and he asked me what I was doing this weekend while he's out of town. I went through all my weekend plans and then ended it with "Sunday afternoon, I meet with the Delta Zeta Executive Board because school starts on Monday." He then made a casual comment about how he doesn't understand how I can like all that drama and he thinks I still want to be in college.
Ummm... excuse me. Did he just insult me and attack something that means so much to. I'm sure you can imagine that this did not sit well with me at all. In my nicest, most non-angry defensive (and not wanting to scare him off) voice , I tried to explain to him why I volunteer as an advisor for the chapter. I'm pretty sure everything just went in one ear and out the other though because let's be real. He's a guy. And he just doesn't get it. He wasn't in the Greek system during college but he did go to A&M so that's sort of similar (I'd think). And again, he's a guy.
Then I got to thinking. Maybe he didn't get it or that the impression that he's gotten from it all is because I'm not doing a good enough job of explaining it to him. People have so many misconceptions about sororities. I hear it quite often and even some of my close friends question why I do what I do occasionally.
And I started thinking about why I do what I do. Why I spend countless hours working on things for a chapter that I'm not even in anymore. And I found it really hard to put into words why I do what I do. I am a firm believer that God sets the paths for you. And this is just one path that, at times, has been a struggle but I couldn't imagine my life right now without the sorority in it.
So to clear up some misconceptions.
No, I do not want to be in college anymore. I was in some sort of post-secondary schooling for 8 years. I think that's enough for me right now.
No, I do not like all the drama. Although I secretly chuckle at the things the 18-22 year female thinks is a "big deal." But then I remember that just a few years ago (ok, well maybe 12 years ago), I was in their place and things that just seem insignificant now were a huge deal to me.
I do what I do because I like it. I committed to it and I don't back out of my commitments, even when things get rough. I like helping the girls. I love working with the chapter that gave me so much in the 2 1/2 years I was part of it. I know that I am the person I am today because of being in a sorority. I have grown and learned so much and it is because the chapter pushed me out of my introverted bubble.
I like spending Sunday and Monday nights with 60 college women- I keeps me young. It makes me proud when I see them graduate and go off and find jobs and become leaders in the community and I know that part of that was because of the experiences they have had in the chapter.
I also like that I still have friends that were in the chapter with me. Yesterday, when I had my minor meltdown, the first person I reached out to was one of my sorority sisters because I knew she would just get me and I knew she would know how to explain things in terms that I could relate to. While being an advisor means giving up a lot of myself and my time, I also get so much from it. And I wish people could understand that.
One of the girls recently posted this blog post on our chapter facebook page. Even though the author is a 20-something, she really hits the nail when it comes to so many of the misconceptions that people have about sororities.
I really like this quote of hers-
The real sorority woman is your average woman- complete with flaws, embarrassing stories, and aspirations for her future.
I think that about sums me up. Everyone has to find their "thing" that makes them who they are, gives them pleasure, and keeps them busy. And right now, this is it for me. Will it be my "thing" in 5 years? Who knows! But for now, I'll take it. So when someone says that they are in a sorority (or any group out there that gets a bad rap), know that they have their reasons. And while you may not agree with them, be respectful of it.
And now, to get the new "Mr. Right" to understand this... That may be a work in progress.