I came into formal recruitment thinking I knew exactly what it meant to be in a sorority. My mom and my sister, both Greek women, suited me up with their own college stories about their experiences.They told me about the Big/Little program, the mixers, the formals, the chapter dinners and the friendships I would make. Because of this, I thought I knew what it meant to be apart of a Panhellenic organization.
They told me to keep an open mind about each of the houses, but also whispered national reputations about each house in my ear before I had the chance to step in their doors. Because my mother’s sorority, Alpha Phi, is not at TCU I knew I could not follow her legacy, but my sister’s sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, was colonizing when it was my turn to go through recruitment. She told me she wanted me to make my own choice, but I felt a twinge of guilt for not following her legacy and becoming apart of her organization.
Every time I would come home from the day’s rounds, I would make two phone calls: one to my mom and one to my sister. I discussed which houses I went to and what conversations I had. I talked about how the entire process was completely different than what I expected and how I felt nervous as the number of houses I had left dwindled over time. All of these conversations ended the same way. They told me to take a deep breath and picture where I would be happiest.
I knew I felt the most comfortable at one house, but apprehension still lingered around my decision. My family, filled with Greek women, were part of several different organizations, but none in the house I felt drawn to. At first, I took this as a bad thing, as if I was going against the tradition of houses that came before me, that I was making the wrong decision.
It all came down to the night before Preference round. I called my best friend who was going through recruitment at another college and we spoke of our individual experiences. She told me about how she was so excited to join the same sorority as in her in-house legacy sister and she could not wait to get her bid. It was then that I realized I had that same excitement in my belly for one sorority: Alpha Chi Omega. I, too, could not wait until I accepted my bid and could finally be part of something bigger than myself.
Although it would be amazing if I could follow the legacy of one of my family members, it would be equally amazing if I could make my own, if I could start a tradition and make a new path my children, nieces and grandchildren could choose to follow.
Once Bid Day came around, I knew I made the right choice. Once I opened my envelope, I realized my sorority was all mine and it was filled with my own sisters.
If you are lucky enough to have Greek women in your family and you are looking to find your own organization, remember that it is okay to choose a path other than the one your family chose. If you do not have any Greek in your family or do not have any legacies at your school, know you have the opportunity to make your own legacy. It might seem scary to join something you are less familiar with, but your sorority is your choice that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. Make sure that you will be happy when choosing which house to make your home.