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Kappa Delta Wasn’t For Me


I didn’t want to be a sorority woman. When I took a job at Kappa Delta National Headquarters in 2012, I walked in the door with a lot of stereotypes in mind. I believed sorority women were a very specific type of woman, and I was definitely not that type.

I graduated from high school with a class of 40 girls. We grew up together and knew everything about each other. To this day, they are women I know I can count on, even if years pass without us talking. They are my original sisters, the ones who first taught me the value of female friendship.

Heather in high school 1

When I arrived in New York City as a freshman in college, I was determined to forge my own path, and perhaps stubbornly, focus on my independence. Becoming a part of another tight-knit community didn’t seem like the right move. Unfortunately, I experienced isolation with that independence.

Heather in college 3

When I moved to Memphis, Tennessee, I felt more isolated than ever. I was new in town, started a new job, and my coworkers spoke in terms I didn’t understand. They had this shared experience, and they had a level of confidence I could never imagine for myself. I didn’t think I would ever belong.

But then something started to happen. The women here invited me to join after-work activities, and I started to say yes to their invitations. They asked me about my life, and in turn, I started to learn about theirs. Instead of my usual impulse to retreat, I found myself being drawn out. I began to realize that I had more in common with these “sorority girls” than I expected.

Heather KD Friends 2

Over time, the stereotypes disappeared. I learned sorority women are strong. They are fiercely loyal. They are the most supportive women I’ve ever known. They share their best days and darkest hours. They celebrate your joy and mourn your sorrow like it’s their own. They encourage you, from recognizing your successes to giving you props on a good hair day. They bring out the best in each other. They are true friends. They aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re making a mistake, and they will stand by you when you falter. They build each other up. They help each other grow. Their steadfast support and encouragement allowed me to achieve things I never imagined for myself.

Heather KD Friends 1

My transformation into a sorority woman was gradual, but eventually I realized how deeply I had internalized the values of Kappa Delta and how much of an impact it had made on me. When the opportunity for alumnae initiation arose, I didn’t need to think it over. I knew I wanted to be a Kappa Delta.

My initiation was a day I know I will remember for the rest of my life. The women who came represented years of friendship, and they came from all over to be there for me. I felt loved, supported, and at last, that deep sense of belonging. I now count these “sorority girls” among my truest friends.

Heather Initiation

I may have joined 10 years late, but without the experiences that led me here, I might not appreciate the value of membership so much. I know now that I am the type of woman who is in a sorority.  I am strong, I am loyal, I am confident, and I am proud to be a sorority woman. Kappa Delta has truly changed my life for the better, and I am honored to be part of an organization that has that kind of impact on women.

Heather Burke
Communications and Technology Manager