Thoughts of monograms, Lilly Pulitzer, frat boys and wild parties were all that occupied my mind, and all of the characteristics and traits that were associated with the stereotypical sorority girl had convinced me that Greek life was not for me. I did not spend my free time painting DIY canvas art, and making other types of crafty dorm décor. I did not feel at all prepared to live in a house filled with that much estrogen, and I did not feel it was necessary to design one of these previously mentioned, overly large T-shirts for every occasion, special event or long-planned social. However, with all of these things in mind, I still found myself sitting in the room 3408 on the Student Union for Phi Beta Chi’s Pre-Recruitment night in support of my suitemate who had long-planned on being a part of the Rush process at Carolina.
Although I had no real interest in actually joining Phi Beta Chi that night, I still managed to chat with a few of the active sisters who were going around to meet the all of the girls going through recruitment. This is what brought me to realize the first flaw in my previous assumption about sorority girls: Phi Beta Chi girls are all different and unique, not all conformists. After speaking with several of the sisters that night, I had met so many different people who had come with different stories from different places. Not everyone was an over-obsessive Lilly Pulitzer fan who adopted the same ideas, principles and fashion styles as their fellow sisters.
Next came Philanthropy night at the house, where we gathered to hear about the different types of volunteer work and charitable organizations that we donated our time to. That night we listened to heartwarming stories about coming together as a sisterhood to give back to organizations and charities such as the Ronald McDonald House, UNC Hospitals Pediatric Playroom and the YMCA. That afternoon, we were also given the privilege to hear a Phi Beta Chi alum speak about her work with Beloved, a ministry where she was involved in helping women who work at strip clubs, giving them love and a resource if they did want to get out of the business. As we ended the night in prayer, I knew that Phi Beta Chi was my place at UNC. It was plain to see that this group of girls was far from shallow. When speaking with each and every sister, I felt a true sense of genuine sincerity. Before me was a group of women that were incredibly involved in reaching out and helping others in their community while working to strengthen their relationship with God. I could see that Phi Beta Chi was not just about designing special event T-shirts and browsing Pinterest for the latest DIY crafts; these were girls who wanted to help other people and give back to their community.
When Preference Night came, I was given the opportunity to speak with more of the sisters about Sisterhood, our spiritual journeys and how we felt about becoming a part of their organization. As we moved through the house, in and out of bedrooms, back and forth from the parlor and the great room, all of the wonderful aspects of being in a Sisterhood became apparent. With all of the active sisters so close to one another, I couldn’t help but want that for myself. Joining Phi Beta Chi would give me all of the amazing opportunities that I could ever want out of my college experience. Living in a house with 30 other girls began to no longer seem frightening. Instead, it would give me a chance to build and foster life-long friendships.
Today I am an Associate Member of Phi Beta Chi, UNC’s Christian sorority. And yes, although some of us do just happen to like monograms, Lilly prints and an abundance of overly large T-shirts, we stand for so much more than that. Together, we will make it through the ups and downs of college life as we strengthen and enrich our lives academically and spiritually. I know that despite all of the assumptions and generalizations made about the typical sorority girl, I am proud to be part of this amazing group of women. Amor Via Vitae In Christo!