the big reveal

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i might not seem like the sorority type; you know the kind of images that instantly pop into mind when the words “sorority girl” are uttered in casual conversation: wet t-shirt contests (sorry, mom & grandma), jello shots, lower-back tattoos and overall mayhem confined to a house ridden with greek symbols and pink.

and obviously i realize the stereotype construed in the description above certainly does not represent a majority of the sororities that are chartered on universities across this fine nation of ours, but you know, we’ve all seen house bunny (ok, maybe not?) or at least legally blonde…

anywho. seeing as i don’t really fit the whole wet t-shirt participant mold (it wouldn’t be much of a show to be honest with you), when it is revealed that i was indeed a member of delta gamma fraternity (technically we’re a fraternity because we boast one male member, mr. george banta. what up, gb?) at pepperdine university, the reaction tends to be more often than not summarized in one word, “REALLY?” 


proof that i am indeed a "sorority girl."


but then i go on to describe how sorority life takes on a whole different meaning at pepperdine, whose “dry campus policy” alone made for a different experience than my public university dg kin. and lest we forget that due to housing requirements in the city of malibu that deem six or more women living together a “brothel,” a sorority house on campus was never really an option. so for these reasons and a few dozen more, my version of “sorority girl” isn’t one looking to be depicted in the next playful co-ed-fueled romcom any time soon.

fast forward through recruitment, initiation and the memorization of the rituals/secrets of the delta gamma sisterhood (complete with password and handshake!) and we find ourselves at a little thing we like to call big sister/little sister reveal night. tradition states that as a new member in the sorority, you are paired up with a older, wiser active (the term for current delta gammas, as opposed to those newly initiated) who can come along side you to act as a mentor of sorts, guiding you along your first moments as a full-pledged sister (please refrain from any and all judgments, i realize how trivial this sounds, but trust me, it’s pretty awesome being a part of “something greater than myself”). and while you are given the opportunity to list your top three preferences on a sheet of paper to be delineated over and ultimately paired up by a private committee, the identity of your big sister remains unknown until the much-anticipated “big sis/lil’ sis” revelation night.

and while i’m not sure if the bonds of delta gamma sisterhood prohibit me from divulging the exact details of what this evening entails (so to be safe i will refrain from specifics), i will note that there are candles involved. a distunguished candle’s flame equates to the revelation of the little sister’s bigger counterpart (“bigger” meaning older/wiser/more experienced in the sorority, not “bigger” as in larger in weight or girth). and then, as expected, there is lots of cheering, crying(?), embracing and overall high-pitched activity. and despite being kind of creepy to the outside observer, it’s really quite special. because sometimes, if you’re lucky, your big sister becomes a life-long confidant. and vice versa, of course.

more fast-forwarding.

this year, after a bit of reflection and prayer, i decided to participate in north coast calvary chapel’s (nc3 for the locals out there) tandem program. a six-month program that “prayerfully matches mature christian women with women who are either new in their faith or in a challenging season of life or who are simply sensing the need for an older wiser christian friend to love and encourage them.” i, of course, am a mentee.

and tonight, well tonight kind of feels like that night over eight years ago when i was a little sis on the brink of learning the identity of her older, wiser, more experienced big sister. because tonight is the night we get matched with our mentors. and sure, there won’t be candles (at least i don’t think there will be) or rituals or crazy handshakes or passwords, but i wouldn’t count out those cheers, crying(?), embraces and overall high-pitched merriment. because just like moment when my big sister was revealed to me at pepperdine, i know that tonight’s revelation warrants a similar emotion. and perhaps even a heightened emotion. because this sisterhood is stronger than the bonds of delta gamma (no offense, dg). it’s not only deeper, but most importantly, eternal.

and while i will always be grateful to my older and wiser big sister who aided me in my first steps as a newly initiated wearer of the anchor (our symbol), i have a feeling the bond i will form with the mentor i’m about to call my own, and the bond i will (hopefully) continue to cultivate long after our six month stint is through, will be one of the greatest relationships i could ever hope to form -in or out of the confines of a sorority.

so here’s to tonight. to revelations and new journeys. to vulnerability spilled over a cup of coffee and to words of encouragement that linger long after the coffee’s been consumed. most importantly, here’s to growth. growth in myself, growth in my knowledge of christ’s love for me and growth in the sisterhood that bonds us all. for as much as i value my sisterhood in delta gamma, it’s my spot in the sisterhood of the lord’s family that i hold most dear.

and for my fellow dg sister who may or may not be reading this, itb, y’all. you can’t see me, but i’m totally throwing up the reverse salute right now.

  • Lindsay Jernigan
    January 12, 2012

    I love this. ITB sista!

    • snadelman
      January 12, 2012

      um, i love YOU. itb and xo, sista friend.

  • Natalie Lynn Borton
    January 12, 2012

    Tandem is the best! I did it last year and am still close with my mentor, Betsy. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

    P.S. Love the new website. Super cute 🙂

    • snadelman
      January 12, 2012

      thanks, nat for the sweet words about my site and encouragement about tandem. i can’t wait to tell you how it goes! xo

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