Recruitment is just around the corner and thinking back to freshman and sophomore years, I remember it's all anyone was talking about. I remembering scrolling through Instagram and seeing older girls I'd met posting about recruitment and advertising their sororities. Then I'd inevitably waste hours of my life stalking the sorority's Instagram and seeing all the girls and the fun things they did— from homecoming, sisterhood retreats, THON, etc. I remember imagining myself in their shoes and thinking how much I couldn't wait to spend my four years here in a sorority.
Recruitment finally hit, and to my surprise, it was harder than I thought and eventually, all I had been dreaming of didn't work out. At the end of recruitment, all of my friends had found their homes within their dream sorority, and it didn't work out for me. This was devastating and was a huge setback, but FRESHMAN YOU GOTTA LISTEN TO ME!
I thought this was the end of my time at Penn State, I wanted to transfer right away I was so upset. But a year later, there I was rushing again. At this point in Penn State, Greek life had just suffered a huge devastating loss, and I was really up in the air about rushing again because of the bad reputation and my fear of rejection. Regardless, I put my concerns aside and stepped into recruitment with my head held high.
Rushing in Spring 2018 was one of the best decisions in my time here at Penn State. All my concerns and speculation about if I was making the right choice disappeared. I know they say "trust the process" and all that, but I really didn't believe it. I thought I knew what was best for me (even though, let's be honest, it was probably all preconceived superficial notions). Somehow I ended up with an amazing group of girls that I had never even pictured myself with before. I got 86 new sisters and a big new family of 200+!
Greek life has given me so many things and is the reason you all should give rush a try despite your doubts. The overall lasting impact of my sorority will always be the amazing people I got to know through it and how it taught me to be involved with something bigger than just myself.
I loathe when people say that by being in a sorority you're "paying for your friends" because it's not the case. Simply through the connection of our sorority, I met the best friends I could ever ask for that I might not have crossed paths with otherwise because this school is so huge. A sorority is a great way of making a big school like this become significantly smaller. The faces of people in Greek life become extremely familiar and make it much nicer walking around campus seeing people everywhere you go.
The other biggest impact Greek life has made on me is how it's been teaching me to be a part of something that doesn't just concern me. I love working fundraisers and events for our philanthropy because I know what an impact I'm making on someone else's life. Once we get to college, it is so easy to just get caught up with going to class and getting good grades that we often forget to give back to the community, but in a sorority, there are always ample ways to help out others. Most important of all, THON is one of the greatest examples of being part of something bigger. There is nothing more amazing than spending 46 hours in the Bryce Jordan Center and seeing THOUSANDS of students, all from different organizations and backgrounds, coming together and raising millions of dollars for pediatric cancer, and I am so proud to be a part of that with my sorority.
So Freshman, in just a few short months, keep your head up high and step into recruitment. Be yourself, stay calm, and remember it really isn't the be all end all. If you don't find your connection, don't waste your time and be something you're not. Stop with recruitment this year and spend the year getting good grades and involved in other avenues here at Penn State and try again next year!
And Sophomores, I know it's scary doing it as someone a little older than the rest and whether you're doing it now because you weren't enjoying it last year or because you just didn't want to last year, I promise you it's worth it. Your home will become even homier, and you'll have the absolute best rest of college experience!
Take a chance and just go for it! I promise it's the best decision you'll have! Good luck! xoxo