By Caroline Spadaro, Panhellenic President
Coming to a school over 700 miles from home and deciding to go through sorority recruitment, I knew that I wanted to find a sisterhood, and I thought that I knew what that meant and what that sisterhood would look and feel like. But in my three years as a Panhellenic woman, I have found that my expectations for my sisters and this community could not even hold a candle to the experience I would have and the sisterhood I would find.
You may be joining a sorority for a specific reason, whether thats philanthropy, a chance to meet new people, or even functions and t-shirts. But after 3 years as a member of one of our organizations I can promise you that the reasons you stay will be entirely different, and that is what sisterhood means to me. It is the people and the feelings that make sticking around the only thing you could ever imagine doing, in spite of everything else that goes on in the tumultuous four years that college brings us. Speaking for myself, the sisterhood that I stayed for is many many things: its being woken up in the house every Friday at 10:30 to make sure that you and all your friends get to laugh through brunch together. Its feeling a little bit more comfortable on the first day of class after bid day when you can find someone in a shirt that matches yours to sit next to. Its having your best friend fall in love with the same chapter that you did, and knowing then, without any reservation, that you found your home.
Your sisterhood will be the women you can turn to at your highest and your lowest, who push you to your full potential and reassure you when you’re questioning yourself. My sisterhood experience means walking into a room of women who constantly impress me with their dedication to their goals and their high level of achievement; yet in that same room that in any other situation may be intimidating, I have found the place where I can be my most real and vulnerable self.
The sisterhood I’ve come to recognize also goes so far beyond the doors of each individual chapter house. My version of sisterhood consists of women from so many chapters, many of whom are some of the best friends I have ever had. Our Panhellenic community is a sisterhood where you see unwavering support for one another, whether its at a philanthropy event, through hard times, or in celebrating achievement. Serving as Panhellenic President has done so much to add depth to my own perception of sisterhood, introducing me to women I cannot believe I made it over two years of college without knowing, and giving me a front row seat to each and every remarkable thing this community of women accomplish together and as individuals.
To me, the most important thing about sisterhood is that it does not have one definition for everyone, or even one definition for the same person. Sisterhood is not stagnant, it changes and grows just as you will during your experience, and when you find the sisterhood you were meant to find, it becomes exactly what you need, when you need it.