Three weeks ago, if someone had warned me just how emotionally distressing a rush for a sorority would be, I would have laughed in their faces. I mean, I've seen all of the sorority movies or TV shows featuring different mock chapters. It's conceptually so simple: talk to some girls, go to some houses, and then become a sister.
If you are, eventually, going to decide to rush, heed the warning I should have paid attention to: Rushing is a super demanding process.
Physically, it asks a lot of you. Almost every day of the weekend for two weeks, you're scheduled for 12 hours to go to various houses and events... social "parties," as they call it. Ranging in duration from 25 minutes to an hour, these meetings are pretty much interviews disguised as mingling (though anyone could figure that out). The girls were always super nice, but after walking around from winter's dusk to dawn in high heels, things get to be redundant and tiring. Most of your time is dedicated to, during these weeks, prepping for rush, actually rushing, and catching up on sleep (literally, one day I fell asleep at 8 p.m. and didn't wake up until 1 p.m. the next day.)
But these are all minor inconveniences. What isn't, however, is what rushing demands emotionally.
People don't like to advertise this part, perhaps because it brings to question if it is too demanding, or just any form of relative 'slander' against the Greek life community is never wanted. It is, however, something that needs to be talked about, mainly for people like myself.
When you're struggling with mental health problems, a lot of things that may seem simple to others could be detrimental to you.
Here is the secret that no one seems to want to tell you: You need to be in a good mental mindset to be able to rush.
It's something I wish, more than anything, that someone told me. Sure, I got into a sorority that I love. But I was one of the lucky ones. And even then, it was still a hard process for me.
The thing is, it isn't easy to be constantly rejected by numerous organizations of girls like you. It never is. Even if you don't get rejected from any sororities, it's still a daunting task that could be entirely overwhelming.
I don't know how many mental breakdowns I have witnessed during this rush process. And sure, it's easy to write off as "emotional sorority girls" (if sexism is the way you're choosing to go today), but the entire process epitomizes the societal pressure to belong and fit in. If you don't look like the rest of the girls, you're basically being stranded for dead as soon as that house's front door opens and the chanting begins. Constantly, I found myself reevaluating my looks, or the way I talk or dress, merely in the question of, "Why didn't they like me back?"
Here's another truth that people probably tell you but is hard to believe: you're OK.
It's a hard thing to constantly remind yourself, let alone believe, but these kinds of things do not judge your value or worth. Only you can do that. If you don't get into your favorite sorority or any sorority, you are not any less than. Sometimes, things may not work out the way you want them to. But you are still you, and that you is beautiful and powerful.