Sorority life offers women something that no other student clubs or organizations can. We are not members of a professional development or special interest club. We are not members of a service group. We are not a sports team.

Yes, we do have the service, leadership, intramural teams, professional development and more, but those are all used as opportunities for us to meet new people and create relationships. We are social organizations. Sorority exists to connect with others!

Of course, our social interactions within the sorority lead us to deeper connections with others, but they also offer us learned skills that, in turn, help us navigate real-life situations. Allow me to share some specific social skills, how we see them in sorority life and how they could translate to life outside of sorority and post-grad situations.

Public Speaking
Alright, let’s start with an obvious one. Y’all, I had to take a full 16-week course on public speaking and still didn’t gain as much confidence in this social skill as I did giving my weekly report to a chapter with over 150 members. Your life will be chock-full of public speaking opportunities as grand as running for a government office or as intimate as a toast at a dinner party. Being confident in your ability to talk to a group of people is an important and sometimes overlooked social skill.

Working a Room
Are you that person at social events and mixers floating around talking to everyone? We call this “working the room” and it’s something that is so important to your everyday life. In sorority, we often find ourselves in a room full of strangers—as a new member, at leadership retreats, at national events, etc. Having the confidence to go up to a stranger and talk to them will help you when initiating new relationships within the sisterhood, but it could also come in handy at your best friend’s wedding or the next time you start a new job.

Ok, so you know how to work the room, but what about getting to know those strangers on a deeper level? I think of formal recruitment. It’s an experience that offers sorority members an opportunity to form that deeper connection with a stranger in a short amount of time, similar to an interview. Whether you’re the one being asked all the questions or the one doing the asking, being strong in an interview will get you far in life.

Navigating Conflict
It is absolutely inevitable that when you get a group of people constantly hanging out together, eventually there will be conflict. CONFLICT IS NOT A BAD THING, THOUGH! Every relationship I have ever had has become so much stronger after experiencing a conflict that was properly resolved. You will experience conflict on every level at every stage of your life, and sorority provides plenty of opportunities to practice this social skill.

On a similar note, sometimes those around you might need help navigating their own conflicts. While in the sorority, you will have the opportunity to help navigate conflict—standards chairmen know what I’m talking about! This practice can help when your friend asks you for advice on how to handle a conflict they’re experiencing with their partner.

Sorority life offers women something that no other student clubs or organizations can. We provide an opportunity for members to develop influential social skills in a supportive environment. Sororities are social organizations that exist for the purpose of connecting with others.

What social skills have you developed since joining a sorority that will help you throughout the rest of your life?

Shelby Kreigh, ΘY