I'm not blind to the stereotypes that exist surrounding Greek organizations. I can't speak to fraternities, as I'm not in one, but I can speak to what I've found in my previous year or so as a member of a social Greek organization.
Like many others, my greatest exposure to Greek life was what I saw in movies and tv shows. Admittedly, those sources aren't exactly known for painting the best picture. That's why I want to write this article today. I'm not blind to the shortcomings of Greek life, but I also don't think it's the bane of college existence like many people may feel.
I was not a legacy. My family didn't go the Greek route when they went to college, so I didn't always think I'd join a sorority. In fact, I assumed for the longest time that I wouldn't go through the rush process because it just didn't seem like my cup of tea. Fall semester of freshman year, many of my friends went back to school early in order to rush. I was lucky enough to be attending a school where rush occurs in the spring, so I had the advantage of having gone through an entire semester before finalizing my choice to rush.
It's an exhausting process. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Having been through it on both sides, I can assure you that it isn't super different on the internal side. There's still stress and long hours, and, trust me, we empathize with your exhaustion because we remember being in your shoes.
There's a lot of hate towards sororities for being fake because how could you possibly get to know people in the few minutes you talk to them in rush? It is difficult, and we do our best to be open minded because we know it isn't ideal, but we can't go through and interview every girl that wants to rush. We genuinely want to get to know you as best we can and give you a glimpse into our lives as sisters.
Sororities offer opportunities for leadership positions, local and international philanthropy, and social bonding. Other groups on campuses offer these same opportunities, but people are often quick to overlook these existences when looking at Greek Organizations. From Meals on Wheels to St. Jude, sororities have a philanthropic presence throughout the entire United States in a wide array of charitable facets.
Sororities are obviously a social group, but it's so much more than just "paying for friends" as many seem to think. Over your three or four years, you meet a group of intelligent, loving, hard working women who have the same values and goals as you. You aren't going to be best friends with everyone, but you do find confidantes, friends, and sisters you may not have ever met otherwise. We care for one another, pick each other up when we are down, and cheer when we thrive both individually or as a group.
I know I don't speak for everyone when I write this, and I know this is a very narrow view that seems like every other article about Greek life. I've simply seen a lot of negativity towards Greek life and thought I'd toss in my two cents. But, the fact of the matter is, I've gotten so much over the past year that I couldn't have ever imagined. I have a wonderful g-big, big, and littles who I can talk to about anything, I'm on Executive Council, which has given me a leadership opportunity unlike any others, and I've gained a support system that has helped me through a lot, especially this past semester. The more I put in, the more I've gotten out of it. Although there are times when I wonder what would have happened if I'd never rushed, I can't help but this that I wouldn't have grown as much as I have without these women's help.