Many newly inducted sorority members find themselves at a social standstill once Big/Little relationships are established, friendships are formed, and the process of being a new pledge is over. Everyone seems to have established their ‘group’ of best friends for the rest of their four-year journey at college. Sisterhood is an important part of being in a sorority and many want to have strong bonds, whether with the chapter as a whole or individually. I want to share with you five tips for acquiring new friendships and sustaining sisterhood.
Many social standstills happen when everyone has a busy schedule, whether it’s classes or participating in too many clubs. The best way to start new friendships and sustain sisterhood is by reaching out to others first. Take the initiative and invite a sister to lunch or dinner. Text, call, facebook message a sister, or post on your chapter’s facebook page asking sisters to hang out. Don’t be afraid to take the first step because many girls may feel the same way you do. Lots of other sisters probably think, “What happened to last semester when everyone was trying to connect with each other?” or “What happened to the weekly hang-outs?” Don’t wait for this to happen to you because in all likelihood, though friends and sorority sisters get busy with life, everyone wants to find those lasting friendships and form new connections. Take initiative and reach out!
When seeing a sister on campus smile, wave, or say ‘hello.’ Everyone wants to be acknowledged and feel that they are a part of a group. By simply saying, “hello” to a sister you could brighten her day. I always feel awkward when a sister doesn’t see me wave, or doesn’t acknowledge me because as a sorority sister, I feel the bond of sisterhood is stronger than being ‘cool’ in front of a group of friends. Isn’t that why you joined a sorority in the first place? To make lasting friendships and feel like you are a part of group? Even if it is someone you don’t get along with or a sister who isn’t wearing her letter shirt, giving a sorority sister a smile or a wave could cheer her up. Smiling, waving, and saying, ‘hello’ to everyone, sisters or not, on campus can bring positivity to the campus and boost your sorority’s image. So smile and wave girls!
Now, I know this is hard, girls, but when going out to lunch with a sister or just hanging out with them put the phone down. Being able to talk and communicate in person is the whole purpose of friendships. When you are trying to create those ‘best friend’ relationships, get to know the other person face-to-face. It can be hard. Believe me, I know I struggle with this too but asking a sister about her day or what’s going on in her life helps you start forming a bond toward your friendship goals—best friend status. Also, I recommend walking around campus without looking at your phone or listening to music because it can greatly impact the type of person people see you as and boost your confidence! It is definitely awkward at first because let’s be honest, you don’t know if people will smile or wave back but asking how someone is or saying hello puts a smile on people’s faces. I know I love it when people say “hi” to me or respond when I wave or smile at them.
Everyone older than me has told me, “Those were the best four years of my life” when I tell them I am a sophomore in college. I always wondered why because I feel I have made a lot of decent memories already, but I hope to make even better ones with lasting friendships. So my advice is, do things for the memories! Do things that make you purely happy and don’t think about the future. The future will come but when we think too much on what is to come, we often forget what is happening right in front of us. I struggle with this a lot because I love to plan things. However, I am learning to ‘go with the flow’ and be a more spontaneous. So, come up with spontaneous ideas, whether inviting sisters for a random crafting night or driving to the mall together on a weekend. When I am a senior in college, I want to look back at those four years of my life and remember all the crazy, fun times I had with my sorority sisters. It is amazing how fast time flies by, don’t wait around for friendships to come to you, take initiative and make them.
I know this is cliché and said so often that you might ignore this but it is true—Be yourself! No one likes someone that is ‘fake’ because it can be hard to maintain a relationship based on falsities. Show your true colors and shine! At the end of your college career, stereotypes, judgments, and looks will not matter. Being able to present yourself, as a professional, showing strong character, and your unique personality will get you where you want to go. Creating lasting friendships is founded on trust, so be yourself and not someone you’re not. As the saying goes, “be yourself because everyone else is already taken”.
Reaching out, smiling, limiting social media, doing things for the memories, and being yourself can help maintain sisterhood and create those bonds so many of us look for. I hope these tips can help you think more about the sisterhood bond and how much you can get from these friendships.