What Is the Purpose of Being in a Sorority?

Sororities developed shortly after the Civil War, around the time when women first began to attend college.
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Historically, sororities were organized for social reasons – for women to make friends, connections and establish a home away from home. Sororities offered female students an outlet for family, kinship and acted an outlet for personal expression. Now, many women look to sororities as places where they can build leadership skills and pursue philanthropic work. Still, at the end of the day, sisterhood seems to remain the biggest draw of all.

1 Making Friends

Many individuals find it beneficial to join a sorority if they attend a large school where meeting and making friends can be difficult; the relatively small size of a sorority can seem like a less overwhelming community to navigate. What's more, Greek organizations such as sororities keep their members engaged, offering activities such as formals and mixers, homecoming rituals and other social events.

2 Mentorship

Sororities give incoming students who are new to higher education the opportunity to learn from those who have already experienced much of college life. Most sororities pair older members (known as "big sisters") with women who've just arrived on the scene (known as "little sisters"). These mentorships allow students still finding their way at school to receive advice from their own personal mentor.

3 Philanthropy

Many social events at sororities revolve around philanthropy and charity, which means that those who join these organizations have the chance to improve not only their own lives, but also the lives of others. The Greek community as a whole takes a great deal of pride in doing good works – not just on a local scale, but on national and global playing fields as well. These endeavors offer members a sense of purpose and well-being.

4 Networking

While one perk of joining a sorority might be its easy access to an active social life, the benefits of building ties with one's "sisters" don't end at graduation. Greek alumni organizations help students network for potential employment opportunities once they've received their degrees, and they encourage members from a number of Greek chapters to build bridges through newsletters, meetings and special events.

Ruth Nix began her career teaching a variety of writing classes at the University of Florida. She also worked as a columnist and editorial fellow for "Esquire" magazine. In 2012, Nix was featured in the annual "Best New Poets" anthology and received the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award for excellence in teaching from the University of Florida.