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A Mom's Perspective: Beyond Toga Parties


Two years ago, when my daughter was considering colleges, I knew almost nothing about Greek life…at least nothing accurate. My college experience had been different. I transferred to a large university as a junior, and most women my age were already deeply entrenched in their sorority and social lives. At my school, fraternities and sororities were mostly just that: social. The Greek life I saw looked pretty close to a popular movie that had been released a few years earlier: toga parties and trouble.

I had the stereotypical view of what it meant to be Greek. My daughter, Paige, however, was doing her homework, learning about the sororities at the University of Southern Mississippi, and specifically about Kappa Delta. I know most parents think their daughters are amazing but mine truly is one in a million. She’s smart, discerning; really wise beyond her years. She earned my trust many, many years earlier. So I listened and believed that there was truly something different, something deeper and special about being Greek.

Paige had her heart set on Kappa Delta from the start. She felt connected to KD’s vision, mission, purpose, object and creed. She met and talked with others who were influenced by Kappa Delta and she was 99.9% sure that this is where she wanted to be. This is how my daughter’s life had always been. She has always done her research, been prepared, and set her sights high. And, that life has caused this mom many sleepless nights and anxious days of worrying, but mostly praying.

Living through recruitment was hard. Sororities are ‘pulling out all the stops’ and putting their very best faces forward in an effort to recruit the very best women. It is confusing and heart-wrenching, physically and emotionally draining, but by the end of recruitment Paige was hoping she would be chosen by KD.

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Now, two years later, I can’t imagine Paige’s life (or mine) without Kappa Delta. Her sisters have loved her, taught her, guided her and held her through some of the most trying events and toughest times. Moving to a city she had been to twice, to a college several hours from home, where she knew no one, was a huge transition. Then, in Paige’s sophomore year, her father and I moved, leaving behind her childhood home and familiarity, and taking away the comfort of being home for a long break or weekend, as the distance between her and family had grown from 300 to 700 miles. But with the love of her KD sisters and the confidence she has gained, her days of doubt and loneliness began to fade, her purpose in helping and leading others became clear.

I am forever indebted to KD and a complete convert to sorority life. While there will always be those who view Greek life through a superficial knowledge or stereotypical lens, like I used to, I press forward and talk to them about our experience, about Prevent Child Abuse America, the Girl Scouts, Paige’s leadership skills and the friendships and support that have carried her to this point. My hope is that other parents will see what a difference Kappa Delta is making and just how important it can be in their daughter’s life, and in the life of their family, as well.

Carol Whiting