As a sophomore in college, my roommate convinced me to rush with her because she didn't want to do it alone. At first I was reluctant, because I never really considered myself a “sorority girl,” and I'll admit the thought of a sorority possibly not choosing me to be their “sister” was pretty terrifying. I mean you're essentially putting yourself out there for a group of girls to assess whether or not they want to be your friend. If that isn’t scary I don’t know what is.
After careful consideration, I chose to rush because I thought it would be good for me to branch out of my friend group and also because I was curious where the experience would take me. I remained hopeful, positive and excited about the opportunity of joining a group of women whose values reflected my own.
After an excruciating, long week of talking to countless college girls and dressing up to fit the daily themes, bid day had finally arrived. I had received a bid to pledge Kappa Alpha Theta, and was extremely pleased with the results of my rush experience. The girls of Kappa Alpha Theta had shown genuine interest in me, and I definitely felt at home while talking to them throughout the week.
I knew I ended up where I was meant to be, and I suppose that happens for all ladies who rush sororities. If you’re trying too hard to impress a group of girls, then they probably aren’t the ones for you. I never felt that way with Kappa Alpha Theta as I did with the others. It simply clicked. And just like that, I was in a sorority.
The weeks that followed consisted of multiple new member meetings, lunch dates with potential “bigs” and sisterhood events where everyone could get to know one another. I attended everything, determined to make sure I got to know each and every one of the girls in my sorority.
When the time came for big/little reveal I received (in my opinion) one of the coolest, kindest girls in the sorority as my big. I was elated. It even turned out that my grand big was a girl I danced with through CofC. I had an awesome, little Greek family, and was looking forward to spending time with them and going to sorority functions together.
I had started to find my place at CofC as a sophomore, having begun to write for the school's online women’s magazine, Her Campus College of Charleston, as well as recently auditioning for and joining a performance company at Dance FX Studios. To say my plate was full between that, a full-time student's schedule and all my newfound sorority priorities would be an understatement.
I felt overwhelmed by it all. I found myself having to miss out on all the fun sorority events such as mixers and sisterhood events due to dance rehearsals. I felt like I had to skip potlucks and craft nights to meet deadlines for my magazine. I even missed the formal due to a dance performance. The only events I attended for my sorority for a whole year were all of the mandatory meetings (which were a lot), the semi-formal and one sisterhood retreat.
Not being able to attend so many of the sorority events hindered me from being able to connect with and get to know a lot of the girls. And, while all of them were super understanding of my other obligations, I felt bad not being able to share those experiences with them. Wasn’t that the whole point of being in a sorority?
I was still a part of the group, but I ended up doing all of the hard work (meetings, community service hours, etc.) and none of the fun stuff (parties, retreats, dances, sisterhood events). Even though I loved being able to call this group of amazing women my sisters, I loved my dance company and writing, too.
I had to determine what was really important. Do I continue to pay to be in this organization full of wonderful women - who have shown me so much kindness and love - even though I can never give them my full attention? Or do I resign so that I can put all of my time and effort into dance and writing, which have been passions of mine since I was a little girl?
I had never quit anything before in my entire life. I’m the type of person that will read a book the whole way through even if I find it boring just because I can’t stand the thought of giving up. But in life I’ve found that you have to find what you’re truly passionate about and make sure it has your full focus.
For me, that’s dancing and writing. I couldn’t bear the thought of falling behind in those areas of my life. And honestly, there’s nowhere else I would rather be at 10 o’clock on a Thursday night than rehearsing with my company members.
I think sororities are wonderful. I think they instill both loyalty and trust, as well as provide lasting bonds between women. I also think that if you choose to be in a sorority, you should make sure you fully dedicate your time to it, because those women deserve your time. To get the whole sorority experience, you need to be able to immerse yourself in all aspects of it. It’s your job to take the time to build those relationships, carry out your duties, and uphold the values your sorority stands for.
If you can’t do those things, then you should reconsider your membership. That is not to say that you can’t have other hobbies, obligations, etc. That means that in order to be a part of a sorority, it should be high on your priority list. I suppose for me, other aspects of my life were further up.
It deeply saddened me to leave Kappa Alpha Theta, but I knew it was the right decision. It wasn’t fair to the girls considering I wasn’t able to completely invest my time in them. I still have some great friends who are members, and will always consider them my sisters.
Although I don’t regret my choice in leaving the sorority life - my dancing and writing are stronger than ever and I firmly believe that’s due to my dedication to them - I will never forget the year I spent as a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. I will always support them and feel a sense of pride in all that they do, and I can’t thank them enough for choosing me to be a part of their special world.