It's August baby, and you know what that means, right?
College Greek Recruitment starts about one week from today.
And guess who's standing loud and proud as a campus independent? This girl right here.
I can't express how confused I get when people exclaim to me, "You look like you're in a sorority!"
What does that mean exactly? Is there really a 'look' to being a member of a Greek organization?
The answer quintessentially is yes, but I do not see myself as the mold of a typical sorority girl. I'm as close to a sorority girl as Little Miss Sunshine is to a typical pageant star. I swear, I'm loud and somewhat obnoxious, and I like doing things on my own terms.
Now as a junior in college, I have a lot of friends that went Greek in both fraternities and sororities, and it works for those people. They thoroughly enjoy it. No judgment at all, they found something they love and have time for. However, recruitment isn't always for everyone and I want to make that extremely apparent for those of my readers who feel a slight pressure to go through it because 'everyone else is.'
I attended Catholic school for eight years of my education, from middle school through high school. This period of my life was hindered by an extreme pressure to behave according to the standards of the archdiocese's rules and regulations. Of course, this meant wearing no makeup to school, not having any public social media accounts, frequent drug testing including hair tests, and a very strict enforcement of the Catholic dress code.
As I transitioned into college life at Florida State University, I realized the immense amount of freedom that I finally possessed. I pondered how desperately I needed this change in order to better express and understand myself as a human being. I could finally assert my style, post whatever I wanted (within my own moral limits), and act how I wanted to without fear of punishment.
My parents weren't down to pay for the thousands of dollars-worth of dues each semester and that was okay, I could've saved up money to pay for a sorority.
From my point of view, why would I? Yes, sometimes I think about the "what if's" if I participated in the recruitment process. "Would I have met more people?" "Would I have actually liked the sorority I was assigned to?" "Should I have just given it a try?"
I've been weighed down by the pressure to fit in pretty much my entire life. External authoritative forces desired to sculpt me into a cookie-cutter modest young lady deemed "normal"--- to their standards. I dreaded experiencing the same constraints my Catholic school imposed on me during my adult life. I was horrified with a sorority's power to control girls' social media, image upkeep, dress code when going out, and the overall image of who they were outside of the sorority. I view myself as a eccentric, outspoken maverick with no desire to now have restraint put upon me in college. As a free-spirited person with a plethora of interests and communication skills, I just didn't think joining the sorority would have truly influenced me. In order for me to truly get to know others in this new town we were in, I didn't need Greek letters to achieve genuine relationships.
I don't regret my decision to not rush. I'm not trying to discourage anyone, live up that "college experience," whatever that is to you. I just felt that I could meet the same amount of people without having to pay exorbitant amounts of money each semester. I utilized college to make up lost time with figuring out myself as a person: what do I really enjoy, what are my interests, where do I see my life going, what's going to fulfill me in this new adult life of mine?
I thought I had my whole life planned out before I even stepped foot onto campus. I thought I knew who I was with my preset biochemistry major and goals of attending pharmacy school. I have evolved into so much more in these past two years. With help from my advisor, I discovered my deep passion to communicate with others and present my rhetorical practice to them. This fulfills me. I have never been more content with myself and who I am in this very moment. I was able to meet friends through mutual acquaintances, nights out, clubs I've joined, and other social scenarios not involving Greek Life. I was able to save my money to put toward's my dream apartment, and not be financially staggered with sorority dues.
The edgy, quirky, weird girl that I am didn't want to have to impress anyone, other than my own self. Whenever I see a pretty girl on campus with no Greek affiliation, I think that independence makes her that much cooler.
Moral of the story, don't just go through recruitment because everyone is. Weigh out your own values, finances, passions, time and desires for your college life and see if it meshes with the person YOU want to become.