Mar 29, 2010  •  In Personal

How I’m Still Reaping the Benefits of Having Been in a Sorority in College

I have mentioned in the past that I was in a sorority during my college years. And while I did not particularly like my experience at JHU, being a part of that sorority was the best part of college life.

In fact, if it weren’t for alpha Kappa Delta Phi (aKDPhi), I’m pretty certain that I would’ve transferred to another school.

I know that many people place negative connotations with the college greek system. Hazing. Binge-drinking. Promiscuity. Bad grades. And although there are always stories to back up these claims, it is my belief that the college greek system is what you put into it. My experience with aKDPhi was such a positive influence on my life that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without it.

Being a member of aKDPhi taught me more about leadership, compromise, and loyalty than any classes combined. It more than prepared me for the corporate world — since I did not hold any official jobs/internships in college, all the leadership positions and the volunteer work I did through aKDPhi gave me the valuable experience I needed for post-grad life…and my employers were impressed! Every job interview I’ve attended has commended me for the leadership positions and projects I’ve commandeered under aKDPhi.

Were you part of the greek system in college?
What was your experience like?

J doesn’t mind that I was in a sorority; in fact, we probably wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for aKDPhi! He is close friends with many of the charter members of the JHU chapter, and have attended and helped out at many aKDPhi events over the years. Some even joked that he was an honorary member, and claimed that he officially became a part of the family when we got married.

In addition, J himself was a member of a fraternity — Phi Kappa Psi (PhiPsi) — in college. It is the same fraternity that Michael Bloomberg was in when he attended JHU in the 1960s…and when he visited campus for homecoming a few years back, J had the pleasure of meeting, and drinking beer with one of the most powerful men in the nation!

Although our greek experiences were vastly different, both J and I agree that joining PhiPsi and aKDPhi, respectively, was one of the best decisions of our lives. We have both forged incredible friendships and were given opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

And I always tell people that if I have a daughter, and she ends up attending a college with an aKDPhi chapter, I will strongly encourage her to rush. “Your mommy was chapter president for two consecutive semesters…will you at least check it out?”

Will you encourage/discourage your children from
joining a fraternity or sorority?

Why the sudden nostalgia for my sorority days? Because I wanted to shout a big THANK YOU to my aKDPhi sister Donna!

Having attended schools on opposite coasts, Donna and I have never met each other (perhaps in passing through the aKDPhi convention circuit many years ago?). However, she has been a loyal reader since my Weddingbee days, and reached out to me several times whenever I wrote of difficult life experiences.

Donna was especially happy to hear that I was pregnant again, and graciously offered to send me her gently-used maternity clothes!

And today, I received a big-ass box in the mail filled with these…

And, for the cherry on top…

The most adorable, gender-neutral baby outfit (onesie, pants, bib, and socks)! We haven’t bought anything for the baby yet, so this is our very first baby outfit which makes this gift that much more special.

Words can’t express the gratitude I feel toward Donna. I know that I always feel a kinship whenever I meet someone who is an aKDPhi sister, but Donna has gone above and beyond.

So thank you, Donna, for your generous gifts! And thank you, aKDPhi for giving me such incredible experiences and introducing me to such amazing women!

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9 Responses to “How I’m Still Reaping the Benefits of Having Been in a Sorority in College”

  1. eileen says:

    Funny – I was just thinking today about the benefits of being in a sorority – I’m on the newly formed board of my condo association, and I think being in a sorority has helped me with getting through all the by-laws (that lay out meeting protocols, etc ~ the same way our sorority ones did). I also loved being in a sorority in undergrad. It very much helped me with getting out of my shell, building leadership skills, and I made amazing friends. Also like you, I may not have met my husband (who was in a fraternity) without being in the sorority! I had a great experience, and would recommend it to others.

  2. I was a Pi Phi and absolutely loved it. I met some of my best friends in my sorority!

  3. Jisoo says:

    I have never been jealous of anyone in the sorority before, but now I am. Oh how I envy your connections!

  4. Jackie says:

    Aww, Jenny, I was so happy to see this! (I kinda stalk your site and revel at how accomplished you and all the alums are.) I’m glad that you still hold KDPhi so dearly in your heart. And btw, you should come to 20 year convention in SF if you can.. we would all love to meet one of our first KDPhi babies, even if he/she is not born yet 😉

  5. Donna says:

    YAY! I’m so glad that everything got there and I’m flattered that I made it onto your blog as a post! I have this newfound respect for mothers and they’re not given as much credit as they should receive on carrying a baby to fruition! Btw, once you find out boy or girl, there will be another box headed your way!

  6. Trang says:

    Isn’t Donna awesome?

  7. Emily says:

    Oh, how sweet! You have such nice sorority sisters =]

    I, too, was in a sorority…it’s a shame they come with such negative stigmas because it was the BEST decision of my life. Hubs was in a fraternity, too…i always feel sorry for people who missed out! It was nothing (at least, for me…) like the stuff you see on TV, because it was SUCH a positive experience.

  8. Susy says:

    Hi! I just found your article and wanted to stop by! I had no idea you started wedding bee. I love that site! I too am a kdphi! 🙂

    • Sorry to disappoint, but I was a Weddingbee blogger, not the founder of Weddingbee (that would be Bee Kim). I do, know that there were two other KDPhi’s who were Weddingbee bloggers when I was still active there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there has been more since. 🙂

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