Creating Bonds

My Sister

My sister and I,
We don't always see eye to eye,
I don't always like her,
We don't always get along...
But we're stuck with each other.
Rain or shine.
When the world comes crashing down,
She's there like that—
Ready to put aside differences
To hold me up when I am weak
And I would do the same
Because I am my sister's keeper.
I know I must help her
Just as she must help me.
It's always we...
We make each other strong
Even when we don't agree.
We are one,
My sister and I.
Art Prints

According to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., "friendship is essential to the soul." Many people attribute friendship as a major aspect of BGLOs, and many have also questioned this notion of friendship. I've heard everything from Greek life being a way of "buying friends" to the comparison of membership in an organization to networking (which of course people would then point out, can be found elsewhere). Well, I don't particularly agree with their sentiments (the questioners, that is—friendship is definitely essential to the soul): my sorors are not necessarily my friends nor my network, they're my sorors...


Some of my sorors were my friends before I joined my organization. Some of my sorors became my friends after I joined my organization. There are many sorors,  however, that I would have never met, never hung out with, and never spoken to, had I not joined my organization. While we may be sorors, we're still not "besties." Sisterhood is different than friendship. You can have two sisters that can't stand each other, but they're still sisters. Two friends that can't stand each other quickly become two people who used to be friends, or they never become friends at all. The people I call my friends, I've known for years and years. When I visit the city they live in, of course they welcome me. My sorors, on the other hand, may have become sorors just yesterday, but they also welcome me when I visit their city. The number of friends I have is very small (thus the number of cities I have friends in is also very small), but the number of sorors I have is quite large.
You see, I don't have any friends living in Minneapolis, MN (it's the first city that came to my mind), but I do have sorors there. If I were to take a job there, it would take time before I made friends and settled in. Some of those friends might end up being sorors, some of them may be people I meet at work or at other functions/activities I take part in. But when I'm looking for an apartment, visiting the area to see how I like it, and trying to find my way around in general, I have sorors there that will help me. For example, when I moved from my undergraduate university to my graduate university, I didn't know anyone in the city I moved to. Yet, when I went to visit the university, I called the sorors and they were happy to meet up with me. When I moved, they met up with me again, helped me find my way around the city/campus, checked on me to make sure I was alright, told me what sections of town to stay away from, etc. Sure, I eventually made other friends who were not members of my organization, and likewise, some of my sorors became good friends. The point, is that I always had someone there for me; I always have sisters.


I've been a member of my organization for six years, and I've only met one soror who was in my field of study so far. Membership in the organization could provide you with network connections, but I would hardly recommend it as a substitute for professional organizations such as NSBE or SWE. You can never have too many network connections, though! Surely it can't hurt. That being said, just as friendship is different than sister/brotherhood, networks are different than sister/brotherhood as well. Networks are usually for acquaintances and business purposes. It's not likely that your network connection offers you his/her couch instead of forcing you to buy a hotel room. You may go out for drinks with a network connection, but if you have one too many, you look bad and may ruin your connection. If you go out for drinks with your soror/brother and have too many, they're going to take care of you, and then give you a talking to later. Similar to sister/brotherhood, network connections are not necessarily your friends; they have a different place in your life. I have a network with the people I work with, but we have little in common. I don't particularly want to see them after work, and they're definitely not the people I would call if I was, say, in the hospital.


The people in your organization become your extended family--you might not like all of them and some of them will probably embarrass you. However, they're always there when you need them. It's great to have friends; but it's also great to know that while I'm 2 hours away from my nearest non-soror friend, I have plenty of sorors around that I can count on like family. That's what you get when you join a BGLO, not a few friends, not a network, but a family, and family is forever.

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