When I first started college, I was so excited to get involved on campus. I was finally leaving the nest, and I couldn't wait to spread my wings and fly. I wanted to join every club and organization that my schedule would allow--except Greek life. Going to a large, southern university, every freshman girl was expected to join a sorority. I, on the other hand, had no intention of even signing up for recruitment. In my mind, there was no way I was about to pay for my friends.
After a while, I really couldn't seem to find my niche on campus. I enjoyed being a part of the groups I was involved with, but none of them held a special place in my heart. Eventually, I transferred to the tiny university in my hometown.
Transferring was a whirlwind, and I was left scared and confused about what was to come. But I made a promise to myself to continue getting involved and finding the perfect place for me; somewhere I could call my second home. Luckily, I didn't have to look far.
My first week of classes, I decided to go Greek. I debated with myself for hours before submitting my paperwork. I just kept thinking to myself: I'm not sorority material. Then I started questioning: what exactly is sorority material?
To me, sorority material was a stereotype. Blonde hair, type A personalities, wealthy families, and most importantly, Lilly Pulitzer dresses. I didn't have any of that. I was a short, introverted brunette from the suburbs who couldn't imagine spending over $100 on a dress. There was just no way I would get chosen by any sorority, and I'd be sent home with a huge amount of embarrassment, regret, and no one to run home to on bid day.
Despite all of this doubt, I hit the submit button. Later in the week, I got an email from my recruitment counselor with dates and times for each of the nights. This was really happening. I couldn't believe that I actually signed up for this.
When I arrived to the philanthropy night, I almost walked right back out. It was clear that I was out of my league here. I witnessed girls in blouses that cost more than my textbooks drill each other with questions that might be asked during recruitment. I was underdressed and underprepared. My anxiety was through the roof.
I walked through the doors of Gamma Phi Beta, my last party of the night. Feeling pretty defeated, I went into this party not expecting much. After all, who would want a girl in their sorority who wasn't a "sorority girl"?
Once the conversations started, the anxiety was lifted off of my back in a heartbeat. This room was filled with an amazing positive energy. Every single sister was focused on their potential new members, whether they were wearing an expensive skirt or slacks that looked suspiciously like yoga pants. It was all about what was in your mind and in your heart. I knew in that moment that this was my home.
If you're thinking about going Greek, but don't see yourself as sorority material, take this advice: just go for it. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain when you run home to your new sisters on bid day.
Greek life is made out to be this incredibly superficial system, when, in reality, it's so much more than that. There is a group of girls out there who will love you for you. You just have to gain the courage to battle your skepticism and sign up. Going Greek could very well be one of the best decisions you ever make. Take it from me, a non-sorority-girl sorority girl.