By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor
Having girl friends was never important to me growing up. I was fine hanging out with the boys, getting dirty and grimy. I never understood why it was so important to also have a good group of girlfriends by your side to navigate those tricky matters of when your boys get a little, well, too boyish.
I joined a sorority in college in hopes of finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, in my own gender. And it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I’d always grown up around strong women but I had never found strength in being my own kind of woman. In being my own brand of strength, health, and even beauty.
I didn’t join a sorority for the gifts or for the formals or even for the letters branded across my chest. I didn’t join for the fame or for the movie stereotypes. I joined because a friend at the time wanted to rush. And at first, I pushed back. I fought back. But once I decided to take a small step of faith, the love rushed over me.
The girls in my house weren’t “oh my gawd totally freak me out” sorority girls. They weren’t what you see in movies. There were no pillow fights (at least…none caught on camera), there were no unicorns sacrified (only a goat or two) and there were no all out brawls over a boy or seven. They were exactly the kind of women I had been looking for all along. They were the women I needed to prove we weren’t all the same. That I wasn’t lesser because of my gender, that I wasn’t any less hilarious because of what I had been assigned at birth. They showed me how to walk the line, how to breathe fire while wearing heels. They showed me that being a woman is a lot harder—and a lot easier—than we often give ourselves credit for.
Now as a sorority alumna, I have these women to thank for helping me find my strength in darkness. For helping me find wonder in the unbelievable and helping me find that strength is often defined by the warriors by our side as well as what we have. I may have my boys as my first line of defense but the women in my inner circle, I have you to thank for the woman I’ve become.
When was the last time you got with your girls for some great, real conversation and connection?
- Make time for a girls' hang where you can gather, kick back, have fun, and also dig into the issues, topics, and experiences that are important to you and that help strengthen those great girl bonds!
Dana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.