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How Sorority Life Prepares Women for College

Updated on April 19, 2015

Sororities have been around as early as the 1870s, and many of the chapters have accomplished great social good with their fundraising and volunteer efforts. While the initial intent of forming a sorority was to create a sisterhood for members to network and interact with, today’s sororities help women prepare for the adult life and professional careers.

Depending on the region you live in, a sorority can have a positive or negative reputation. We’ve seen movies portray sorority members as strippers, mean girls, boob touting boy crazies, and alcoholics. Fraternities are portrayed as members of sexual assault and hazing. If you live in the East coast, these bad images tend to outweigh the benefits of what these members actually accomplish. In the Midwest and plains, both organizations are viewed in a favorable light, and membership is highly recommended.

Placing the few negative exposures aside, sororities can actually help a woman succeed. There is the obvious sisterhood, where mentorship is encouraged. Academic requirements such as GPA scores are strictly followed and honored. Every sorority also selects a not-for-profit to raise money for and volunteer its services. Women are held to high standards and are taught everything from community work, career readiness, coping with failure, and getting along with others.

My daughter and I at her latest Alpha Chi Omega event
My daughter and I at her latest Alpha Chi Omega event

Since 2012, there have been $2.9 million raised for philanthropic events by sororities alone. That required over 639,000 hours of community service. This is in addition to members keeping their grades up, making it to weekly obligatory meetings, and getting involved with on-campus events as well. A 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report found that students who belonged to a sorority had performed better in their careers and felt higher levels of satisfaction with their lives.

The bad news is that not every college women who applies for sorority membership is accepted, although a majority of those women make it in. Membership enrollment is open every year, so the chance of making it into a sorority the following years is there.

With more women graduating from college than men now, and with women making up half the workforce, it is important that they learn the skills they need to stay in the workplace early on in college. With three diverse generations now competing for the same jobs, having these skills will encourage women to stay in the workforce and become better leaders and business owners when they make it out into the safety of their sororities.


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