Once upon a time, I used to be a sorority girl. Back in 2002, I decided to return to University to complete a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. After one semester of hating my classes, I switched to Political Science. In that first month, I came across a booth at the University of Calgary’s Club Week where a few cheery faced girls greeted me with big smiles and invited me to their recruitment sessions. I was intrigued. In fact, I wanted to see what kind of bimbos would show up to this thing so I could make fun of them later with my friends.
I was a very jaded 20-something who believed everything she saw on tv about US sororities. The Canadian counterparts (especially in Calgary) are tame in comparison and a lot of stereotypes were shattered in my time at university.
Turns out the “bimbos” were all regular women in all sorts of degree programs that I would never have had a chance to meet if I wasn’t in the Panhellenic Room that week. The Panhellenic organization is the umbrella group that oversees the good relations among sororities (female fraternities) and ensures that recruitment is done fairly so that new members have a chance to make a well-informed decision without being biased by bells and whistles, better party room selection, or flashier decorations. The system is not perfect by any means, but they do their best.
I met with the ladies of Alpha Gamma Delta and Alpha Omicron Pi in the last week of September 2002, which is typically recruitment week. The ladies in both groups were welcoming. They were all so interested in learning about me and their networking strategies for meeting people within a large group are still skills I use today in the corporate world.
My first choice was Alpha Gamma Delta. I fell in love with the girls in the room and I really wanted to be a part of that group. When I got in my heart swelled with the knowledge they wanted me too.
Through Alpha Gam, I learned how to run a business. We had meetings where we dressed up in business casual attire and discussed all the operations of the organization, including events we were planning, doing reports, holding offices, and doing presentations relevant to the women. We had to deal with budgets, our international headquarters, and study halls. Our collective GPA had to remain above a certain level and those who worked the hardest in school were rewarded with scholarships through AGD and other awards. It was a good feeling to work hard and to also be acknowledged for your accomplishments.
Another thing that happens when you hang out with a bunch of women is that you become really close friends. My sisters were there for me through thick and thin. Every lunch hour, I had someone to sit with. Studying at the library was more fun because my friends were with me. We partied together, but we worked our butts off to keep those grades high. We consoled each other through break ups. We counselled each other when we had problems with our boyfriends, coworkers, friends or family.
In 2005, I convocated from my undergraduate program and became an alumna of AGD. I feel strongly that some of the friendships that are made in University end up becoming permanent. I’m not sure if my sisters feel the same way, but even though many of us are out of touch, we still know each other intimately and could pick up the phone and call anyone to help us in a bind. The bonds of sisterhood are unshakeable and I am grateful to have had such a strong female presence in my life over a decade ago. I reminisce about that time with great fondness. That’s not to say we didn’t have our catfights and gossip problems. I also learned how to deal with conflict resolution through those experiences. Haha!
Why am I bringing this experience up? I work a lot with goddess energy. I’m drawn to large groups of women all the time. Not just any women, but women who are passionate about what they do and fearlessly tackle the biggest problems anyone has had to face. They laugh, they cry, they disappear but then re-emerge stronger. These goddesses inspire me to keep working towards my own goals. Being a part of that powerful feminine energy is divinity on earth.
If you have not found that group that inspires you yet, I say keep looking. Reconnect with old friends. Make new friends. Go out and seek people who are like-minded. Stay away from people who are judgmental and don’t accept you. Toxic people drain your energy. Trust your gut and surround yourself with love.
Thanks for reading!