I do not have biological sisters. As life would have it, I am the only granddaughter of seven grandchildren on my mother’s side of the family. Yet, I was introduced to the concept of sisterhood at a young age.
Because I grew up surrounded by all boys—a younger brother and five male cousins—I was always intrigued by the intimacy that my mom shared with her two sisters, best friends and sorority sisters, hoping that I, too, would one day share that same bond.
After attending multiple social events with my mom as a child, and once again seeing the bond she shared with her sorority sisters, 6-year-old Danaé knew that a sorority was something that she desired to become a part of someday.
To this very day, I remember the first time that I told my mom that I wanted to be a “Delta like her,” and no matter how much I’ve changed and grown since then, I’ve never lost sight of that goal. Growing up, I had an abundance of female friends, many of whom I’d considered close enough to be my sisters. Unfortunately, most of those ties faded with time as we began discovering different interests, values and opportunities. However, I remain focused on the possibility of sisterhood in my own life by continuing to observe my mom’s sisterly relationships with the women in her life. I really appreciated the union she had with her sisters, my godmother and the rest of my “aunties.”
As stated previously, most of the relationships I developed during my childhood faded over time, but I didn’t mind much because college was in my future, which is where most of my “aunties” met my mom. However, making friends in college didn’t happen as immediately as I’d figured it would. I began to worry if I would ever meet my sisters, and the thought of that became increasingly discouraging.
At that time in my life, I became a sort of walking paradox. Because I was frustrated with my lack of close female friends, I’d somehow developed this attitude that I didn’t need anyone that was not family or my boyfriend, while simultaneously craving a genuine bond.
My feelings of disdain for sisterhood faded quickly; the resentment I felt about it turned into sadness. I felt lonely and anxious about the topic, and begrudged anyone who would ask me about all the friends I’d made in college. The issue with me was never in making friends; I had, I just didn’t have any who I felt would be lifelong.
In the spring of 2016, that feeling changed. After being granted the opportunity to become a life-long member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the organization that my mom and so many of her closest friends belonged to, I was blessed with line sisters!
My sisters and I are very different from one another, but I love them to no end, and they love me back. I finally found young women whom I genuinely cared about and wanted to keep for a lifetime. These women have seen me at my best and have certainly seen me at my worst.
They know me as well as I know myself, and they’re always there when I need them. They’ve also allowed me to be myself and accept me for who I am, as I do them. I don’t know if they’re aware of how much they’ve done for me, how much they mean to me and how much I value them, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my line sisters for making my college experience much greater than anything I could have imagined.
A common stereotype about sororities is that you’re paying for friends, when in reality it’s so much more than that. We’re a group of educated women with a common goal paying to uphold a highly respected organization and to do service that we love, together.
Sisterhood is not inherent, as not all people on the same line or in the same sorority get along. Sisterhood is a choice and cannot be forced. Like any other relationship, sisterhood requires work and commitment.
It requires helping when you don’t feel like it, being supportive when it is difficult, sharing in both the good times and challenges and standing together, knowing that you have her back and she has yours.
Before joining my sorority, I had numerous perceptions about sisterhood that were flawed. I thought sisterhood was always sisterly, always loving, always in accord and so on. However, that’s not the case.
Because I’d never seen my mom and her biological sisters or sorority sisters argue, I thought arguing multiple times within the span of a relationship was unnatural, only to find out later that they did and do have spats, just not when I was present.
But now that I have my own set of sisters, I have learned that having disagreements does not denote the end of a relationship and is sometimes necessary for growth. No relationship is perfect but with love at its foundation, it is definitely worth it!
Where you find your sisters may be different from where I found mine. Maybe sorority life isn’t for you; only you can be the judge of that. However, I do encourage joining a group or organization that has a cause bigger than you.
We may argue, get on each other’s nerves and disagree sometimes, but that’s what sisters do, and I’d never trade them for the world.
I am thankful for all the things that sisterhood has taught me, and I love Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. all the more for bringing so many beautiful relationships into my life. Friends may come and go, but sisters are forever!
Danaé Reid is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in African American studies. ✉ DR822867@wcupa.edu.