I am a firm believer in that if you want to try something, you should. Whether that be a new food, a new hobby, or giving Greek life a go. You might like it. You might not. But at least you'll know because you tried it instead of wondering forever what that would have been like.
Growing up, I never thought I would go Greek. I thought sororities were silly. But after I went off to college and people from my high school started joining them and liking them, I started to wonder. What would it be like? I suspected the movies were right in that they were all classist and hazed and were mean girls who mostly cared about partying. But the few people I knew who'd gone Greek weren't like that. I was intrigued. So when I transferred schools, I rushed.
Everyone's experience in Greek life is dependent on them and the people in their sorority and how well things click. Some people have the time of their lives, fit well, and meet their future bridesmaids. Others are neutral but find their little group of friends and carry on. Others like it, but not enough to stay active and therefore drop. Others absolutely hate it and drop.
There were times I loved it and there were times I hated it. Older girls in your sorority will probably tell you that it's normal to go through phases like that, and they're right. As I've said before, it varies based on the person and the sorority how things go for you.
For myself, I joined for very specific reasons that were not met. I kind of knew from my bid day that this was something that would not work for me. But I stayed for a full year even though I was constantly swinging back and forth. Ultimately, my gut feeling that first day as a new member was right. Greek life was not for me.
Don't get me wrong, there were things I liked, of course, otherwise I wouldn't have stayed as long as I did. I liked meeting new people. I liked the philanthropy events. I liked the sisterhoods. Mostly, I liked feeling like I was a part of something, that sense of belonging. As someone who was homeschooled most of her life, that is something I chase. Anytime I find something that makes me feel like I belong, I cling to it. And I have a hard time letting go because I worry that I won't be able to find that feeling again.
Ultimately, though, I just wasn't getting what I wanted out of it, and so it wasn't worth the money to me. In the spring, the girls graduating my sorority told us tales of all the times they'd wanted to drop but stuck it out and were grateful for it. So, I didn't drop then. Over the summer, the urge came back, but I told myself I'd stick it out fall semester and see if I liked it any better. And I did. I absolutely loved it. I was damn proud of my letters and what my sorority stood for.
For a time.
I kept coming back to the fact that I wasn't really getting what I wanted. That my money would be better spent on other things. I kept trying to make it worth it. But all of my efforts to transform my experience into what I had dreamed of fell through. The more time I spent trying to belong, the more evident it was that I didn't.
It all came to a head when a disagreement escalated until it reached drama-levels. I had been planning on trying one more semester of life in the Greek system to see if the third time would be the charm. Just one more. The past two hadn't been good, but I still had hope. But after that disagreement, people made assumptions about things I'd said, but didn't ask me about them or talk to me at all, but instead directed all of their questions elsewhere. And that was the final nail in the coffin. Considering how people hadn't really talked to me beforehand, that disagreement - sucky as it was - confirmed that people never would, especially since they didn't talk to me during it. That's not to say that the people in my sorority were bad necessarily, because I really do like so many of them. It just confirmed that I did not belong.
After that, I was done. I sent my email to Standards saying I was dropping. I wanted nothing more to do with it. I was tired of feeling alienated and alone. I was sick of people sticking their noses into other people's business. I hated how lonely I felt at almost every sorority function. What is branded as a sisterhood was not that for me, and what had felt like a waste of money my first semester was proven to be just that my second. And I'd started to find what I'd wanted from my sorority on my own, outside of the Greek world. So, there was no reason to stay.
That is not to say that that is the universal Greek experience. There were girls, in my own sorority, that had exactly what I had joined to find. They had the close friendships, they had the fun experiences, they had the connections and the support, and I'm sure they had their issues from time to time too, but overall it was worth it to them. For those girls, it truly was a sisterhood, and I am glad for them that they found something so wonderful. I'm glad that they found something to belong to that gives them so much, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit jealous.
I don't regret having gone Greek, though. Because I did, I experienced so many things, good and bad, and met so many people. I also learned a lot about people. I have some good memories that I'll cherish, some bad that I won't but that helped me grow. I met some people that I'd like to keep in my life and get to know better. Although it wasn't for me, I am grateful that I went Greek and figured that out through experiencing it instead of making assumptions.
But I am glad to drop. I'm excited to use that money for seeing the world and adventures. I'm excited to use the time for working and spending time where I do belong. I'm excited to continue to figure out my place in this world. I am excited to live on my own. I am grateful that through my experience in a sorority, I've grown into someone who tries something if she's curious about it. And I am excited to use that in the future.
Related: What Is SO Wrong With Sororities?
So, if you're on the fence about whether to go through recruitment or not, I say do it. You can read all of the articles on Greek life you want from all different perspectives, but until you have been a part of it, you just don't really know whether or not it's for you. Everyone's experiences are different. My experience was not the best, but I am glad that I rushed, otherwise I would still be wondering about whether or not I'd like it. Don't let one person's bad experience dissuade you from trying out something you're curious about, and don't let one person's good experience make you think it'll be perfect for you. The only way to figure out whether or not you'll like Greek life is to try it out. If it ends up not being for you, I hope you find something else that is. If it is up your ally, then I'm happy for you.
But in order to figure out which is you, you have to give it a shot.
So go ahead. Rush.