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I joined a sorority for two reasons: community service and to be apart of a sisterhood. As an only child who was bullied and didn’t have many friends, I couldn’t wait to have the sisterly bond that I always yearned for while helping those in need at the same time. Throughout my seven years in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, I’ve done a lot of service with my sisters, but the people we served weren’t the one only ones being affected. Gaining sisters wasn’t the only change I experienced after I became a member of this organization. 

Before becoming a Zeta, if I had a dispute with a friend or they did something I didn’t like, I would just cut them off. I wouldn’t try to resolve anything to save the friendship. Sometimes I wouldn’t even tell them I was upset, I would just distance myself. When there’s a disagreement with a soror in your chapter, it can get awkward to do be doing community service and having meetings with them and not speak and have so much tension. I’ve seen sorors have pretty intense arguments and later apologize for what they said or did and move on from it. That was new to me. When I had my first argument with a soror, seeing that encouraged me to be the one who initiated us resolving our issues, which was hard because I never did that before. I was vulnerable and full of pride but I still made peace. I learned that just because there is an argument doesn’t mean love isn’t there too. This was a part of having sisters.

I’ve always been a shy person and reluctant about approaching people. There’s always been this inner voice convincing me that people would reject me since that often happened as I was growing up. Being a Zeta helped to quiet those doubts. While on campus,  I would have to approach people I didn’t know while promoting our events on campus or during fundraising efforts. I would also have to call different community organizations and inquire about doing service projects. This pushed me out of my shy zone. I had no choice but to break down my own bashful barrier because I wouldn’t be productive if I didn’t. I realized that I am not surrounded by bullies anymore and to not be controlled by the hurt from the past.

The lessons I have learned through Zeta have also helped me thrive professionally and improved my personal relationships.  I now enjoy the things that would have made me a nervous wreck before, such as speaking in front of groups of people and networking. I’m not that person that bullies told me I was nor am I unforgiving and timid anymore, and that’s all thanks to Zeta.

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