Ask Lenora: Why Don’t My Parents Get It?
I’m a freshman at a small college in a rural area. My school is known for its high academic standards, and I studied all through high school to make sure I would get accepted. However, after the first few weeks, I found myself struggling to make friends. I was so homesick! Then I saw a flyer about sororities and decided to go through recruitment, which led me to Kappa Delta.
Now, I’m no longer feeling lonely. I love Kappa Delta and everything that the organization stands for. I love the friendships I have formed with my new sisters. I love being involved with campus events. I love feeling like I have more opportunities to volunteer. I love it, but my parents do not.
Neither of my parents were Greek, and they do not understand why sorority membership is beneficial to me. My mom and dad worry that Kappa Delta will distract me from my studies. They see the pictures I post on Facebook from sisterhood events and think I am losing my focus. After wearing KD T-shirts around the house when I was home for the holidays, my mom asked me if I’m losing my individuality. They think sororities are silly and a waste of time and money. Lenora, they just don’t get it.
How do I communicate to my parents that sororities are about more than making friends and attending social events? How do I make them see that Kappa Delta is helping me grow into a more confident college woman?
All I want is their encouragement.
Dear Seeking Support,
I remember when Mary, Sara, Julia and I formed what would become Kappa Delta at State Female Normal School. Many of the other women at our college thought what we were doing was silly, but we didn’t let that deter us. We knew KD could make a difference in our lives and the lives of so many others.
Even in my time, before there was social media and movies that promoted negative sorority stereotypes, it could be difficult for people to fully understand our sisterhood. However, once they began seeing our sisters thrive and the impact we were having on campus and by volunteering in our communities, they began to understand the real benefits of membership in a sorority.
My best advice: Don’t tell them, show them. Your parents won’t be able to ignore how you’re flourishing in school thanks to the tutoring of older Kappa Delta members, or how you earned a position on student government because your sisters supported you, or how you implemented your ideas for a philanthropy event that allowed Kappa Delta to support the prevention of child abuse. Show them how Kappa Delta is building your confidence and inspiring you to take action. Let them see how living out your Kappa Delta values drives your motivations and helps you reach your goals.
You and I both know that Kappa Delta is more than banners, T-shirts and costumes. You became a KD because you were called to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Your parents will support you when they see Kappa Delta encourages you to be the best you. Strive for opportunities, challenge yourself in your classes and return home for breaks as the self-assured woman you’re becoming. They will see it eventually, I promise.