I know everyone says it, but Greek life isn't for everyone and everyone who decides to rush does so for different reasons. Yes I know it's cliche, but "the secrets to life are hidden behind the word cliche" -Shay Butler.
Personally, there were a lot of different reasons why I decided to rush, but mainly I knew I would regret it if I never tried.
I chose to go a little out of my comfort zone rather than wonder what-if and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I made that semester.
However, I'm very thankful that Syracuse makes freshmen wait until the spring semester before joining Greek life.
The first semester of college is scary and intense wherever you go and unfortunately, there's only so much advice and planning you can do to prepare. With that in mind, it's still possible to have a good first-semester experience.
The first month of college you're going to meet A LOT of people, some of whom you may grow apart from pretty fast and others who will be there for the long run.
I'll admit it was hard putting myself out there and trying to make new connections in the beginning, but fortunately, some of the awkward first-days encounters turned into some of my closest friends.
Whether it was floor meetings, going to some of the beginning of the year activities, sitting next to someone in class, or if it wasn't until later on, I'm thankful for all the friends I made during my first semester.
One of my biggest worries after pledging was trying to manage everything. Although I don't regret my decision for a minute, trying to manage the new member process was stressful in the beginning. I was trying to meet all my new sisters while still keeping up with my classes and making sure I kept the relationships I made with people outside of my house.
I was worried about what my friends who didn't rush would think of me.
Obviously, it wasn't that they would hate me, but was more along the lines of not wanting to insult them. I didn't want my friends to think I rushed because I didn't value our friendship (since that was so far from the truth) but the thought crossed my mind.
I guess I was so worried because everyone knows someone, whether intentional or not, who forgets about their other friends once they join Greek life. For me, it was challenging because I had to find a way to balance meeting and bonding with all of these new people while also having time to hang out with the other people I care about.
There were times when I felt I wasn't doing such a great job.
As a somewhat shy person, it was hard at the beginning of my new member experience, especially since my school work left me feeling like I wasn't giving my full attention to either group of friends. Looking back at it, of course even though we were in the same house we'd just met and friendships take time and really I had nothing to worry about.
As for my friends outside of my house, most of the "problems" were really just in my head.
While my schedule did become a lot more busy for a couple weeks I still got to see them. Luckily, most of my friends lived in the same dorm as me, which really helped us stay close, especially since most of us "lived" in our lounge on the weeknights.
Yes, there were times when I was stressed or worried, but it's possible to balance everything.
Sophomore year I'm living with three friends I met during the fall semester who aren't in my sorority and I couldn't be happier.
While it's easy for your life to be turned upside-down in the best way possible when you join Greek life, it's also possible to hold on to your first-semester life. Although some of my friends did eventually became my sisters and I made a ton of more friends since joining greek life, I wouldn't change my first-year experience at all.