There is nothing like hanging out with your girlfriends. It is always nice to spend time with friends and laugh, cry, talk and enjoy each other’s company. It is through these precious moments that we often allow ourselves to be most vulnerable and that we also experience growth. We dive into deep, intimate conversations about our feelings, our thoughts, our lives and our fears. The beauty of these conversations is that they are kept between the individuals present, and the outside world will never know. These women know you, and they love you despite all of your faults. They have invested in you and have put time and effort into being a beneficiary in your life. Friendship and having girlfriends is truly a beautiful and gratifying part of life.

Over spring break I went to Atlanta to see my best friend. It was really nice because we are both busy, so we don’t get to see each other a lot. I had such a great time! We talked, we went out, we cooked, watched television and talked some more! Throughout the trip I kept wishing that I could just pause time because it felt so good to relax and just be with someone who I can trust and who knows me. We’ve been friends since the third grade, and now I consider her to be my sister. Friendships like that, bonds like that, don’t come around often and are very rare. Knowing this, I have always tried to hold my girlfriends dear to me because sexual/intimate relationships come and go, but friends are here to stay. I guess you could say that I have always cherished sisterhood. My best friends and I created a group called the “S.I.S.T.E.R.H.O.O.D” when we were in high school, and when I came to college, I joined a national sisterhood.

It is important to have strong women in your life who love you and provide you with sisterhood. I have found that it is through my relationships with women that I find reassurance, empowerment and enlightenment in my insecurities. The relationships that women have with women and that men have with women are different, and not that either one is more important or more gratifying than the other, but it is important to recognize the differences. There are things you can get out of a relationship with a woman that you cannot get with a man and vice versa.

Sometimes, as women, we understand each other more, on a different level than a man would. This is not to say that this level of understanding and engagement cannot happen with men, but it is more common between women. As women we not only have physical aspects that unify us, but we sometimes also share common experiences, thoughts and feelings. We are all connected as women through our sex by default, but we also share a history of fighting for gender and racial equality. Although we do differ in race, class and sexual orientation, we can find strength in these differences and build off of them. It is not about how many you have because true sisterhood is rare and friendship can often be fickle, but we should cherish relationships with women.

To be a sister to another woman, you must carry a selfless spirit, a caring heart and always be willing to extend a helping hand. A sister seeks understanding, identification, and her love is one that does not harp on difference, but looks for common ground. Showing sisterhood is doing a service to society; it’s making the world a more unified, peaceful place. You will be amazed with the transformations you see within yourself in your attempts to love another and how you become a better person through just showing love.

Now, as I know you all know, we may not be able to bridge life-standing relationships with all women, but we can carry this sisterly spirit in our everyday interactions. You can start extending a sisterly spirit out to women today right here on West Chester’s campus. You do this by showing love, being honest, having compassion and, patience, and being understanding. Sisterhood is not only important to have within intimate relationships or friendships you already have with women, but it’s important to carry this same spirit with all women you come in contact with.

Yes, ladies, we must step outside of ourselves and reach out to women because we are all different, yet connected.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is a sisterhood committed to public service on West Chester University’s campus. In discussion with some of these ladies, they have provided me with advice on how women on campus can show a sense of sisterhood to other women.

“We can show a sense of sisterhood through opening up the lines of communication between one another, whether it be within organizations or even between circles of friends. There are so many different things we can learn from one another, and communicating effectively with each other will give each of us a different understanding of the next person.”- Yashona Robinson.

“I honestly think we can start showing sisterhood on the campus by simply speaking to one another . just a simple smile can help break down barriers and build bonds.”- Marcia Keeys.

Women of West Chester, we are connected, we have crossed paths on this campus, and part of our lives unify in that we attended the same university. Reach out and speak the next time you are walking to class and you see that girl you do not know but who you always see at the same time every day. Speak or smile at the girl across the room who never talks in class. Engage yourself in activities that are related to you as a woman. You never know, maybe you’ll become enlightened to things about yourself or become aware of things you never noticed before in society.

Engage yourself in different activities and organizations with women who are different from you. Seek out women mentors, professors, or other females who are in your career or field of study. Through hearing and learning about their experiences and perspectives, it could possibly help you understand life’s complexities and challenges as a woman so you can avoid them, and become inspired and proactive. Lastly, ladies, just show love. If you see a woman in need, help her.

Honor the relationships you do have with strong women in your life. Make it a point to build women up constantly and hesitate to impart negative feelings, vibes, or sentiments towards them. Instead, practice giving compliments, watch the language you use with women by not using any language that imposes or exhibits degradation – only use affirming words of endearment.

Sisterhood is priceless, and from it you gain so much knowledge, strength and happiness. To be a sister and to spread the sisterly spirit takes practice and discipline. It is something that we all, I am sure, fall short of sometimes, but it is something we can all work towards. I believe it is crucial to have relationships with women and know how to love other women. Love women dearly, cherish them always and seek more sisters in your life!

Danae Irvis is a student at West Chester University. She can be reached at DI652427@wcupa.edu.

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