Blonde. Thin. Booze. Dumb. Loud. Glitter Everywhere. Backstabbing. Boy Crazy.
Words that come to mind when most people think of sororities. When I tell people; strangers, friends, and family alike, I immediately am given a look of disapproval. The aforementioned words become scribbled across my forehead with permanent marker, labeling me. Labeling me and countless other young women falsely.
Most of us have seen a movie that depicts sorority women in a negative light, not everyone knows just how wrong those accusations tend to be. People guilty of believing these negative stereotypes portrayed by the media are the ones staring at me like I grew a second head in the midst of our conversation. In previous conversations these friends and strangers alike have told me, “I just don’t understand how you like Greek life.”, “Having friends that are girls just isn’t my thing.”, or my favorite, “But you’re not *insert your favorite bolded word above.”
On top of these stigmas, there is the vocalized assumption that my job includes me sleeping until noon every day, lounging in my pajamas for the remainder of the day, having no responsibilities, and getting paid in monetary amounts, housing, and food.
There is always more than meets the eye.
The Chapter home I live in has recently undergone construction to update the first floor as well as a new sprinkler and fire alarm system. Thursday at 1am, while I was in the shower, our fire alarms went off. Luckily, there was no fire, just a phantom ghost alarm as per usual in that house, and all of the girls made it into our safe meeting location in a timely fashion. In that situation I served as the communicator, talking with the girls, contacting the 911 dispatcher, opening the doors and speaking with the firemen, calling my landlord to assure her everything was okay despite my 1am phone call, to buffer between the girl just getting home who did not know what was going on, and professional briber;cheeze-its go a long way. I was wide awake until well past two in the morning struggling to figure out the brand new alarm system in the dark mechanical room. I tossed and turned for the remainder of the night in fear of the alarm going off a second time only to be woken up early by the doorbell as the active members piled into the house for recruitment practice.
Hours after the fake fire, six men walked into my home within twenty minutes of each other. An electrician, sprinkler worker, laundry maintenance, the fridge fixer, a representative from the security system, and the fire marshal. I felt like the hostess with the mostess as I ran from worker to worker checking what they needed from me, gathering information regarding upkeep of the home, signing paperwork, and pointing out what I had called each person to come fix. As the last worker left, the relief washed over my body. Until my phone rang and I realized I had forgotten about the mattress deliveries. Five lucky girls had a thirty second warning to strip their beds before the two college-aged men from the mattress store dragged away the old, stained mattresses and replaced them with soft, new ones. Everything worked out that busy afternoon.
There are days where I am notified by a text message or a frantic knock on my opened door about some “major disaster.” Like when the garbage bags were missing and ended up being in the place I left them. The time that the internet was not working and I had to unscrew the ethernet port and shove my fingers and rubber kitchen tongs down into the tiny 2X3 hole in the wall to pull out the chord during a tornado watch. One of the best times being when the toilet tank would not stop over-flowing and I had to plunge my hands into the toilet, with the plumber on the phone, and one of my girls in the shower a foot away from me.
My job includes much more than meets the eye. A majority of the work I do is behind the scenes. Sometimes a girl will thank me for what I help them do which makes me smile knowing they noticed how many robots I had to talk to on the phone or that I had to physically sweat and get dusty to complete a job. My favorite part of my job would not include the facts that I get to live in my own small apartment and eat 10 meals a week for free. I love being able to come home to a house full of laughter. I love that if I look close enough in any given room I can find traces of glitter from sisterhood crafts. I love that I have old memories of living in this exact house while I was a junior in college. I love that at the end of a long day I can wrap myself in a blanket and watch a movie with seven other girls in the rec. I love that I am needed to keep the house from falling apart so other collegiates can enjoy this home for many years to come.
The next time you meet a sorority woman or House Mom these words should come to mind:
Multi-tasker. Handyman. Compassionate. Hardworking. Lover of Glitter. Hilarious. Communicator. Cheeze-it Fan.