Depending on where you grew up, certain things were expected of you. Manners, for example. Having grown up in the South, another expectation was that you’d join a sorority in college. It was a way of life. We Southern girls get two questions our senior year in high school: “What school are you attending?” and “What house are you rushing?” It’s like clockwork.
In 1991, I headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to study pre-law. As a girl from Murray, KY (a town of only about 18,000), I was so excited to meet new girlfriends and, of course, go through recruitment (otherwise known as “rush”). At the time I attended Vanderbilt, about 80 percent of the campus was in a sorority or fraternity. We had to wait until second semester to rush, but I didn’t waste any time getting to know everyone. In the dorms, before going through recruitment, we all started mingling and making friends. Actually, in those dorms, I met Michelle Lokey — one of my best friends still today! And, yes. I did start dating an older Kappa Alpha, but that’s beside the point.
Even with all my years of modeling, hosting and acting, I can honestly say I’ll never forget sorority recruitment … the nerves I felt walking up to the houses, the pressure of not knowing which house to pick and the excitement of finally being able to call girls that you’ve never met before your “sisters.” I know that sounds strange to people who’ve never been in a sorority, but I’m serious. These girls really do become your close friends, confidantes and sisters. They also become your lifelong connections — personally and professionally. For example, four women in my son’s preschool class in Los Angeles went to Vanderbilt and were in sororities around the same time. Um, how crazy is that? No matter what school you went to, if you were in a sorority, there is a common bond.
Around the same time that I pledged Delta Delta Delta (aka Tri-Delt) was also around the time that “Saturday Night Live” performed their famous “Sorority Girl” sketch. But don’t let that stereotype confuse you. As much as sororities are about going to events and fraternity parties, they’ve also made a huge impact on my relationships with women throughout my life. Coming together as a sorority every Monday night showed the importance of making time to break bread with friends regularly. The emphasis on charitable work is something I continue to hold dear, as well as the opportunities for leadership that Greek life provided. Oh, and maybe the “Delta Airlines” skit that my best friend Michelle and I performed for recruitment may have helped with my acting career, too. Hey, you never know! Yes. We acted like we were stewardesses in front of incoming freshmen while singing “I Saw The Sign,” by Ace Of Base. If that doesn’t bring a group of people together, I don’t know what does!
I ended up leaving Vanderbilt after my sophomore year to pursue my career, but I’ll always remember my days as a sorority girl. It was truly one of the most rewarding experiences. The connections, the lifelong friendships and the memories are something I will treasure forever.
I’ll leave you with one last sentiment: “Delta Delta Delta, Can I Help Ya Help Ya Help Ya?”
Molly Sims is a supermodel, actress and author of The Everyday Supermodel. See more of her work at mollysims.com.
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