College is not necessarily for learning, but for networking or connecting with people in your chosen field.
Why do I say this: that college is not about learning? Because, in my experience, field-specific vocabulary or text-book procedures are often useless in real-world scenarios. Most companies and organizations offer their own processes which cannot be taught from a book, but must be learned through experience. Further elaboration on that is necessary, I think, but I believe I shall save this for a later post.
For now, I would like to focus on college as a way to network and connect with others. More specifically, on sororities and fraternities. And even more specifically, on my previous disdain for such organizations. I say “previous disdain” because, I believe that I now better-understand the purpose behind joining.
When I was an undergrad, I had absolutely no interest in joining a sorority. As far as I could see, sorority girls did not benefit anyone but themselves and their sisters: nothing but a group of “party girls,” a “flock of hoes.” Such a view, I now understand, is judgmental, cruel, and unfair.
I ask for forgiveness.
I was younger then, and I didn’t care for the reason behind people joining those organizations, but that does not make my mindset acceptable. I apologize.
Looking back, I do not regret my decision to not join a sorority. What I do regret is that I didn’t take the time to understand them: those men and women who found comfort and belonging in their chosen chapter – the same sensation that I now experience because of my DAR chapter.
Where did this come from? Why now do I suddenly feel the need to reevaluate my opinion on sororities? Because of a bathroom discussion I overheard.
The words were meaningless, the topics unimportant, but the passion behind the words and topics was so eerily similar to how I speak of my chapter that I was forced to reconsider my predisposition to dislike sororities, fraternities, and those who are members of them.
I began searching for information on sororities (and by default, fraternities) for why someone would want to join: the positives vs. the negatives. Through a postgraduate paper by EJ Wolber-Wood, I came to see that joining a sorority or fraternity involved a large time commitment, added financial obligation, and strict GPA requirements – much like my own DAR chapter.
I started comparing myself to his interviewees:
Where I became more involved in the community, they became more involved in school activities.
Where I found myself supporting patriotism, they found themselves supporting school spirit and morale.
Where I found myself – who I was, they found themselves – who they were.
Though different, we are the same.
I failed to see this before.
I failed to understand, and so, may have potentially failed my peers. Regardless, the past is the past. Going forward, I intend to look at these men and women as equals. Their choice is their own, and if they feel about their chapter in the same way that I feel about mine, then I say, “go do that voodoo that you do.” We are one, we are many, and we are free.