This post applies to girls thinking about rushing a sorority.
If you search the internet for reasons why you should join a sorority you will find hundreds if not thousands of two types of articles: girls writing about how XXX change their life and how they met their future bridesmaids. OR you will find articles bashing greek life and calling sorority women names. This article is something in between.
Joining my sorority changed my life because it forced me to re evaluate myself, and how I wanted to live it. It really made me think about the things that were important to me, not just in college but throughout my life. I will be the first to say that I don’t think sororities are all that great. It gave me somewhere to live, people to hangout with when I was lonely and too lazy to make my own plans and it gave me something to do during greek week but for the amazing bond between sisters? I didn’t really feel that or anything more than a few strong friendships and a bunch of shallow acquaintances.
I didn’t get the crazy life changing experience out of it that many people claim to. I met some great girls, had some great meals, had some dramatic experiences, sat through long, boring chapter meetings and after a year I realized it wasn’t for me. Keep reading for my full experience going from PNM (potential new member) to full fledged member and finally back to independent.
Not many people know I was in a sorority. Okay, so half my 2,400 student university probably knows because when you go to a small university people you don’t even know, know things about you.
Anyway, so like most girls at my school, come January freshmen year I went through recruitment. Honestly, it was pretty awful. You were hyper aware that not only were the girls in the houses judging you, but so was every other freshmen girl you passed. All anyone could think or talk about was the competition to get into certain houses. I had a pretty good first round, being cut from only one of the six houses (seriously, that small of school). Unfortunately, it was one of the two houses I wanted to be in. I didn’t let myself cry as some of the girls in the ballroom were, but instead I tightened the belt on my business casual dress, fluffed my hair and went off to the four houses for second round.
(That time I was the one rushing PNMS)
Imagine my disappointment after 7 hours of trekking in through frozen slush in heels, I only got called back to one house… in my bottom three. I was prepared to drop my bid right then. I had practiced what I was going to say to my Rho gamma (sort of counselor/guide through rush). I wasn’t that set on being in a sorority, and I was tired of the whole thing already. Three of my best friends had already dropped out of the process and were talking about hosing for next year. Living with my best friends, even if we were all independents seemed like a great solution to a disappointing problem.
But I didn’t drop out. I went to bid day… and hated it. I hated the screaming and the craziness and everyone acting like they loved me already when THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ME. I felt like I was surrounded by one hundred, crazy, weird girls who all wanted to be there. I said I was going to drop out before the first chapter meeting, but I didn’t. I said I was going to drop out before initiation, but I didn’t. I said I was going to deactivate before I had to move in, but I didn’t.
(only picture of my on my bid day)
I spent my entire sophomore year living in the sorority house, cold dorms (picture military barracks), house mom, rules and all. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I first imagined. But it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like having just my desk and closet in my room and my bed in the cold dorm. When I was hungover on Sundays I wanted to wallow in my bed watching netflix, without having to interact with the rest of the world, not fend off peppy comments from the common room couch.
(My best friend that I met in the house and our slightly messy room)
When I first joined, I thought the reason I would deactivate would be the people. Everyone seemed either too strange, too academic or too crazy for me to really be friends with. In the end, the people ended up being the reason I stayed so long. Yes, there are girls in the house that make me question humanity and are some of the most annoying people I hope I ever have to live with– and I have a younger brother. But I also met some of the most passionate, inspiring, strong women and some of my best friends in that house.
After my sophomore year, I wasn’t given the option to live out in my own apartment and stay a part of the sorority, so I made the difficult choice to deactivate. I thought about it for weeks and had like 5 pro-con lists. In the end I had to go with my gut and make a decision for myself. I spent my junior year sharing an apartment with two of my best friends and the friends that I made during my time in the sorority are to this day some of my best friends.
(Yes, that is what bid day looks like–overwhelming if you’re not prepared.)
I guess my point is this: You should rush because it’s a unique experience. There is nothing like being simultaneously judged by hundreds of girls over the course of 4 days. It may teach you something about yourself and you will probably gain some honest friends. After all, if you still don’t like it after joining, you can deactivate. Everyone talks about how the bond shared is for life, and it’s some great connection between everyone. Yes, it is to some extent. But it is also pretty arbitrary if you ask me. If they are really your friends and care about you enough to share some ritualistic bond, then they should want you to be happy, even if that means holeing up in your own private room across campus while they’re all at chapter.