This semester, I joined a fraternity. But I don’t have to wear high heels, so it’s ok.
A few months ago, I wrote a post on why I’m not in a sorority. Now, I’ve joined a women’s music fraternity. So what changed?
I’m still quite independent. We only have business attire requirements about once a month (and, let’s face it, I’m a sucker for an opportunity to wear a nice dress). We don’t have study tables. Food seems to be a really important aspect of sisterhood, so I get lots of chocolate. And best of all, no high heels! My swing-dancing feet are free to be comfortable. So, one of the reasons I joined my music fraternity is because it lacks the small problems of sororities. But wait! There’s more!
I actually want my reputation to be associated with my music fraternity. We’re a dry house, so I don’t have to worry about becoming the Otis Campbell of campus.
There are many great women in the fraternity, but they are all clearly individuals. We are all united by a love of music, but we’re full of quirks. Some membersdress like grandmothers (and they’re proud of it). Some love pop music. That really impressed me, since I thought the members of a music fraternity might be too high brow One Direction and Psy. Some want to go into music (and they’re so talented that they have a decent shot). Some want to be lawyers or businesswomen. Sororities might have diversity, too, but one of the first things I noticed when considering my fraternity was how different everyone is. There isn’t a specific definition of what a woman in my fraternity is like, and that’s great.
I had to fit a photo of One Direction in here, somehow.
My music fraternity does many of the good things that sororities do. We donate to local schools. We encourage each other. We learn to be leaders through our experiences in the fraternity.
And then, there’s music. All the women in my fraternity love music, and that unites us. When we donate to schools, we donate to the music departments. We encourage each other as students, but also as performers. We hold concerts for the community, and people actually come! Because of our experiences in the fraternity, we learn how to introduce everyone around us to the beauty and power of music.
In the end, it’s really the greatness of music that led me to join my music fraternity. Even though I’m an English major and I am a slight bit (far too) obsessed with the written word, I must admit that music can say things that words can’t. Like the mystics of Medieval England recognized, words provide us a way of understanding, but their definitions limit our understanding. Music doesn’t have that problem. And as I sing by a bonfire with my fraternity sisters, the meaning of our notes and harmonies supersede the limitations of the words we sing.
I play the ukulele. It’s awesome.
So, in some ways, I recognize that joining my music fraternity has changed me. Slowly, I’m becoming more willing to talk to people I don’t know. You couldn’t rattle the introvert out of me, even with the Shake Shack from Grease, and my fraternity doesn’t intend to make me an extrovert. But the other members do encourage me. I spend more time practicing my ukulele (that’s a plus). I know more young women who love music (also a plus). I’ve gotten to know the great , sardonic woman who is my big (that’s a big plus. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun.) I’m more involved in philanthropy.
Admittedly, I have changed a bit. And I’m ok with that.