03 August 2008

Review: Pledged - The Secret Life of Sororities

An above-average read.

Don't let this fool you - this isn't a tale of everywoman's sorority experience. It's the tale of FOUR women Robbins followed over the course of a year. Binge drinking, drug use, cattiness, eating disorders - yes,while those things happen in sororities, they are not isolated to sorority women. Trust me - I saw plenty of that in my (all women) dorm.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a sorority woman. I could relate to some of the events in the book, but much of it was foreign to me. My chapter didn't have a house; however, one year I lived with some of my sisters in an off-campus apartment. I believe we would have faced many of the issues we did regardless of whether or not we were sorority sisters.

One bit that I did find interesting was Robbins' comparison of the traditionally white sororities versus the traditionally black sororities. I've often questioned why many women I meet who were intitiated into NPC groups don't consider themselves a sister after their college years; those who pledge an NPHC group are sisters for life. While the NPC groups do have national philanthropies (for which many of their events are fundraisers), the NPHC groups focus on community service. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned from the NPHC groups.

Twenty-some years after my initiation, I am still active in an alumnae chapter. I have lived across the USA and have belonged to many different alumnae chapters. Wherever I've gone, I've found me an instant family -- and like a biological family, I've had sisters who I didn't particularly care for. However, my current alumnae chapter has provided me with great friends who I can count on in good times and bad. I'm definitely proud to be a sorority woman -- and believe that it's for a lifetime. While my collegiate experience was an overall positive one, it's the alumnae experience that has taught me the value of sisterhood.


lorem ipsum said...

I came into college with an idea of Greek life gleaned from high school movies--that they were all snobs who were going to dictate what I did and who I was friends with. In retrospect, by not even rushing I missed out on a lot, and the guidance of true friends en masse might have changed my life for the better.

phimulady2u said...

I bought the book a month ago, sadly, I have not had a chance to read it yet. I have heard a lot about it. I had an awesome Greek Life experience, but then it was during the late 1970's and I went to a military college, so we did not have all the drinking, parties, drugs, etc. I never witnessed any binge eating, so I don't know if it was as common place amongst college -aged women back then or not. We all usually gainded 10 lbs our freshman year!!!