Sometimes not being in a sorority can be tough. Being the unaffiliated friend in a group of sorority girls can include being out of the loop on inside jokes or references to sorority traditions and activities, spending less time with your sorority friends during busy times of the year, and of course, not understanding the appeal or importance of Greek Life. But like any tricky situation, the keys to maintaining a happy relationship with your group of friends are the basics: support and honesty.
I went to a small liberal arts school with an active Greek Life. I was unaffiliated, but I had enough friends in sororities and other Greek organizations to learn some key lessons in how to maneuver between their worlds and mine.
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Sororities and the women in them are oftentimes met with judgement and negative stereotypes, so it’s your place as a friend to avoid contributing to that.
Never give unwarranted criticism of sorority traditions or events. Sometimes your sorority friends will want to talk or vent to you about Greek Life. When this happens, address their problems from a place of support—not criticism or judgement.
SUPPORT THEIR PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES
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Whether it’s a party or a philanthropy event, support your sorority friends—they’ll want you there to take part in the events they worked so hard to organize.
An added bonus of doing this is that you support your friends and get to hang out with them at the same time! Who knows? There’s a solid chance that you’ll have a good time yourself.
If you really want to show your vinas how supportive you are, you can also donate to and learn more about their philanthropic initiatives. Go one step further and help them prepare for their annual events and competitions! It also never hurts to stand up for them when they’re faced with judgements and criticisms.
The list of ways you can encourage your Greek affiliated friends go on and on, but don’t take my word for it. Ask them personally about the ways you can offer your support.
BE HONEST AND DRAW BOUNDARIES
Remember that you are a friend and not a sister.
As much as you support your friends in sororities, it’s important to hang out outside of the sorority house and Greek related activities. This means setting aside time for just you and your vinas, and making sure that conversation isn’t dominated by Greek life. Be honest about any feelings of alienation or division that result from being unaffiliated! Your friends will not only understand, they will work with you to make sure that you feel more included.
Can’t shake the non-affiliated blues? It’s always an option to use VINA and find more gals to hang with.
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