At Syracuse University all freshman have to wait until their second semester before they can rush. According to SU's website about 30% of the student body is involved in Greek life, so while it's a lot less than the majority, it still has a strong presence on campus. During my freshman year, I decided I wanted to go through the experience of rushing and seeing if Greek life was right for me.
I'm really glad I chose to go through recruitment, especially since I had to wait until my second semester.
Second-semester recruitment in Syracuse has its pros and cons but the worst thing is easily the weather. In between each round you're ripping off nice shoes and throwing on sweatpants and snow boots before running off to the next house. Not to mention half of the recruitment takes place in the dark. Since the sun is pretty much gone by 5 pm every day, any evening rounds of recruitment took place in the dark…aka it was even colder.
First semester freshman year is always a weird time and I honestly felt pretty uninvolved during my first semester. I was overwhelmed by everything and just trying to adjust to my new schedule so I didn't do a lot outside of classes. Yes, I started to meet people and find my place, but I could tell something was missing. Syracuse isn't a huge school, but it's still rather big and you can easily get lost in the crowd.
It wasn't even the fact that I was uninvolved in extracurriculars, but I felt like I still hadn't made campus feel like home yet.
I had a really great first year in general, but I definitely think I found my place more in the second semester. Waiting until the second semester before rushing forced me to have that awkward and scary first semester. I went into college knowing no one and yes while it was hard, scary, and even awkward at times, it forced me to get adjusted to school.
The first semester of freshman year was one of the most nerve-racking things I've ever done, but I ended up meeting some of the most amazing people.
If I hadn't gone through those first months of adjusting to life "on my own", my entire life would be different. For instance, I met my three current roommates, and three of my closest friends, when we were all randomly placed on the same floor freshman year.
I'm forever grateful I had the chance to meet friends outside of my house before rushing.
I didn't know it then but it would help to keep me grounded this year. I have a group outside of my house who are just as important to me and I'm not sure I would have that if I rushed in the fall. Not to say some of my best friends aren't in my sorority, I mean I did consider how far each dorm was from my house when room selection came around.
Having a friend group in and outside of the house has only taught me how to better balance everything in my life. Not to mention it's given me a much fuller experience here at school.
Personally, I believe going through recruitment was right for me.
I also think having to wait, helped me realize I wanted a life outside of Greek life too. It helped me find the right balance in my life. To anyone who isn't sure about rushing this next semester, I would say go through it. No matter your experience first semester, good or bad, at least getting the chance to decide if Greek life is right for you is 100% worth it.