5 Reasons I Decided To Rush As A Sophomore

5 Reasons I Decided To Rush As A Sophomore

It's never too late to try new things
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It feels as though whenever someone asks me about school, the questions that come are consistently:

"How are your classes?"

"Do you like your roommate?"

"Are you in a sorority?"

My answers are also consistent:

"Good."

"Yes."

"No."

My last answer is one that I am trying to change. As a freshman, I didn't rush. I was already so overwhelmed, rushing is expensive, and I didn't want to come back a week early from Christmas break. Now that I am a sophomore, I regret not taking a chance and trying it out. I know that rushing as a non-freshman sometimes has a negative stigma and sounds scary, but I am still doing it, and these are the reasons why.

1. It's not as scary as you'd think

Rushing as a sophomore, I know girls in the sororities now. Even if they aren't the members of the chapters that I will talk to during recruitment, seeing a familiar face will for sure be a comfort. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have someone to talk about the process who has already gone through it if you have any questions.

2. You are never done making friends

I think a lot of people leave freshmen year with a group of friends and decide that they're done meeting new people because they have found their "clique." That, to me, is such a sad, boring way to go through life. Even if you have a solid friend group, you do not know what is going to happen and it never hurts to branch out. Closing yourself off and not having an open mind can hold you back from meeting some amazing people, so try new things, join new groups!

3. Your friends have already gone through it

Rush sounded so scary to me as a freshman because I had no upperclassmen friends who had rushed or were in a sorority, so I didn't know what I was getting into. Now, I have friends who went through it last year who I can talk to. Rushing has a lot of myths that I thought were reality until I talked to my friends who have already gone through it. It's super nice having people to talk to who so I know what to expect.

4. Being a sophomore gives you a conversation topic during recruitment

Recruitment consists entirely of conversation. You get to talk to new people and while that can be super fun, sometimes it's hard. Rushing as a sophomore, there is more to talk about. For starters, the question, "what made you decide to rush this year?" is an easy question to answer and shows that you really put thought into making the decision to rush, you really want to be there. Also, since you're no longer a freshman, you know more about how the school works, have had more professors to either mutually critique or praise with people, and overall can relate more to the upperclassmen who you will be talking to during recruitment.

5. If you want to do something, there shouldn't be an expiration date

I want to join a sorority because I want to find a sense of community on campus, make friends, and to have fun with people who are similar to me. I shouldn't let anything stop me from doing that if that's what I want to do. In the end, if you'll regret not doing more so than doing it, then what are you waiting for?




Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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If You Find Yourself At A Frat Party, Do This, But Not This

10. Bring a hair tie.
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College can mean many things for students. But, if you go to a school with a big Greek life population there are a few things that everyone should know:

1. Don't leave your drink unattended.

Not everybody has good intentions. The safety of you and your friends should come before all else.

2. Do arrange for rides.

Chances are you will be moving from party to party, which could be pretty expensive if you intend on ubering everywhere. Therefore, have a general plan of action ahead of time.

3. Don't sit on the toilet seat.

SQUAT, or just hold it if you can. They are gross, gross and more gross. Plus, there is never any toilet paper.

4. Do eat that greasy pizza at 3 am.

OK maybe don't do this every night, but it is very satisfying on occasion. No regrets.

5. Don't lose your fracket.

Having a "frat jacket" is an absolute must. When you feel like you're about to get pneumonia you will be thankful for that extra layer.

6. Do dance. A lot.

And do it like no one is watching. Nothing says college better than dancing with your friends in a grimy basement.

7. Don't go overboard on social media.

We get it. You have friends and are having fun. Why prove it to people that could care less by posting a minute story?

8. Do stay with your friends.

Does this one even need to be explained? No one should ever get left behind.

9. Don't wear anything you remotely care about.

Just saying, it will become destroyed.

10. Do bring a hair tie.

An absolute MUST if you don't want to feel (and look) like there is a wet mop on your head.

Frat parties can be a great time when done right. Making the right decisions will ultimately help shape your entire undergraduate experience and create ever lasting memories.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Greek Life Needs To Be Reformed, End Of Story

"These hands don't haze."
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Everywhere you look in the media these days, there's another unfortunate event happening within the realm of Greek life; the death of a pledge here, the assault of a young woman there. While I am very pro-Greek life, I recognize some changes need to be made before we as a community can be defensive about the assertion by others that Greek life shouldn't exist.

Over the weekend of February 8-11, I was able to attend a conference held by the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values. The conference, called AFLV Central, was three and a half days' worth of informational speakers whose topics ranged from risk management and sexual assault to networking and racism. I learned so much over this weekend, but I was more overwhelmed at how much about Greek life that I didn't know. I had preached that the Fraternity and Sorority Life at my campus was not like other campuses. "We don't haze," I'd say. I'd even argue with people that tried to say Greek life was inherently bad.

The conference opened not only my eyes but those of my colleagues, about the problems perpetuated by Greek life. Many of us were bothered by the things going on, and so we met on the last night of the conference and boiled down the greater issue into more manageable segments. The segments included increased focus on community service, increasing community involvement, ending the part of Greek life's culture that creates a space for sexual assault and working to end hazing.

In our eyes, the Greek community spouts off something along the lines of "We're so tired of everyone saying that Greek life is bad. We raise so much money for philanthropic causes." The problem with focusing solely on philanthropy is that once we raise the money for the cause, we compartmentalize it. After the end of our philanthropic events, we don't think about the causes again until it's time to explain them to a potential new member at recruitment. This has to stop. By focusing on community service, we can better connect Greek life with the causes close to us. This will help to create a better awareness within our community about the importance of what we do.

Along similar lines, my friends and I believe that we need to increase community involvement. We need to reach out to area police, churches, and schools to say "This is Fraternity and Sorority Life. This is what it means to us. We are your allies. We want to better the world." We feel as though many people in the community don't understand why we do the things we do. Reaching out to them and showing them the best version of ourselves will help with the perception of the Greek community in our area.

A behemoth of a problem that needs addressed is the culture of sexual assault that is permitted, whether voluntarily or subconsciously, by certain parts of Greek life. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, women's stories of sexual harassment and assault are being heard. We must not forget that sexual assault affects our male counterparts as well. In order to increase awareness and decrease ignorance, we must have conversations with the members of our community about the behaviors and consequences that constitute sexual assault.

We should also reach out to other organizations on campus that work closely with Title IX. It's no secret that the Title IX resources on our campus aren't readily available for students. Up until recently, the university's Title IX resources website was just a list of resources, without any real stance on the policy. Reforming this can help our students understand the policy and how it can help them.

Finally, we need to end the culture of hazing that affects some organizations in Greek life. I'll admit that for a very long time, I was ignorant of it happening. When I first joined my chapter, I didn't believe that anyone hazed. I thought it was all just a plot line from a movie about college. When my friends and I discussed possible solutions to this, we kept saying the same thing: "How could anyone haze someone that is supposed to be their brother/sister? How could they not value their safety above all else?" It was brought up that hazing is a culture that is perpetuated by the statement "I haze because I was hazed."

How do we change that? It starts with digging very deep into the psychology of group hierarchy and breaking down our old ways, followed by renegotiating the way we engage with not only our new members, but each other as well. Hazing is a very complex problem and will take every single member of fraternity and sorority life being actively engaged in the process to grow out of hazing. While this is a daunting task, I think that we can do it.

I don't claim to have the answers to everything, but I do know one thing is for sure: Greek life is a beneficial experience, but right now the issues with it are too strong to ignore and must be fixed collaboratively.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Foster

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