I have a confession.
In college…I paid for my friends.
That’s right. I was in a sorority.
But you know what? To this day, they are some of the best friends I have. Joining my sorority was one of the best choices I ever made.
I remember before I rushed thinking that sorority girls were all the same. Vapid, shallow, fake, etc. I could go on. And then my roommate (who I was randomly paired with) and her sisters convinced me to rush. I agreed, mostly just to shut them up and get them to leave me alone! But somewhere during rush, I found myself having fun. So I pledged.
I found myself among quite the group of women – lacrosse players, cheerleaders, the student body president and vice president, a few homecoming queens, a beauty pageant girl or two, girls who never wore makeup, and some of the smartest girls at our school. I was very surprised. Even with such an assorted group of women, I still felt like I wasn’t going to fit in.
I was hesitant at first, going to events but staying to myself, only really talking to the few girls I already knew. But I kept going to things. Slowly, I realized I was talking to more girls each event. Suddenly, we were getting ready for rush and I was one of the sisters welcoming the new girls. I had become part of this amazing group.
And they were an amazing group. We cheered each other on at sports games, made sure we voted when the Student Government asked us to, came together to help fly a sister home when her grandfather suddenly passed away, and rallied when a sister had skin cancer – she had to have a cancerous mole on her face removed and the bandaging made her feel self conscious. So all 50 of us wore hot pink Barbie band aids on our faces too.
For me, I had sisters volunteering to come to the hospital with me when my grandma had a stroke. Then, years later, after we graduated, sisters offered to come to her funeral when she passed away. They also made a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in her name and sent my family a giant peace lily. I had sisters come to my bridal shower, then drive hours to come to my wedding. These girls danced with my daughter at the wedding, but only after making sure everything was taken care of. They mailed presents for my baby shower, and check on my newborn on a regular basis.
One of my sisters moved to Hawaii for six months for a job recently, and though we hadn’t talked in years, we picked up right where we left off. This girl was not mad that she wasn’t invited to my wedding, and came to my baby shower with tons of lion presents for my little girl. (The lion is our mascot.) She understands me in a way that my friends here just don’t – she knew me before I was wife and mom. And she loves reminding me of this.
I know friends who aren’t sisters do the same things, but for me, having that extra bond has made such a difference. So yes, I paid for my friends. But they are worth so much more than what I spent.
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