Three years ago, I would never have guessed I would be where I am now. Before entering college, I had absolutely zero desires to join a sorority. They just didn’t seem like me. I thought they were superficial or about partying all the time. So I went into freshman year swearing them off.
My first year of college, I didn’t struggle to make friends. I wasn’t alone, or even that homesick. But I kept seeing my friends with their sorority sisters, being involved, having fun, being themselves. I began to slowly realize that what I thought a sorority is and what it actually is, were two very different things. My deciding factor was going on a grab-a-date with my best friend. I saw how nice all the girls were, how much fun it was, how they were all normal, down-to-earth girls.
It was after that, that I made up my mind – I was going to go through recruitment.
That week was one of the best, but also most stressful ever. You start off all excited, meeting all these different girls, making friends with the other people in your Rho Gamma group. Then the moment that changes things – you get your first schedule back. Getting dropped from a chapter you liked honestly sucks. There’s no way around that. But you still have other chapters, other girls who want you back. So you put a smile on your face and keep going.
You start to make bonds, form attachments, really see yourself places. So then, the next day comes and you get your schedule yet again. This day was a bit rough for me. There was one chapter I loved, that I thought was going to be my home, that dropped me. I remember starting to cry, starting to question if I wanted to continue going through this process.
But then my Rho Gamma came over and she told me to look down at my schedule, to see all the chapters, all the girls who still wanted me to come back, who wanted me to be a part of their sisterhood. It was at this moment that I knew I had to see this through, that my true home was still waiting for me.
On the last day of recruitment, I had three chapters left. I had an idea of where I wanted to go but still needed that final “ah-ha” moment. And I found it.
I left my now chapter that day and knew, without a doubt, it was where I wanted to be. It was where I could be myself, where I could feel comfortable without an ounce of makeup, where I could find girls who I could count on and who would count on me. I could just feel it. It felt like home.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, wondering and hoping that they loved me as much as I loved them. That morning, I got up bright and early and headed toward the Student Union. I, along with hundreds of other girls, found my Rho Gam group, sat on my cards and waited for what felt like an eternity. Then when we got the okay, in one swift motion I snatched the card up, opened it and immediately saw what I had been hoping for.
The tears started coming, I hugged the girl sitting next to me, who also got in the chapter she wanted. I remember running to all my new sisters in my pledge class, all of us so excited we could barely contain ourselves. Then one by one, chapter by chapter, we made our way to Greek Park, to our new homes.
I remember rounding the corner when one of my new sisters grabbed my hand with a smile from ear-to-ear. We both couldn’t believe it. I looked through the crowd frantically for my name, and the familiar face I was hoping to see.
Then in the middle of the sea of girls, I found my best friend holding up a sign with my name on it; the very best friend who took me on her grab-a-date the year before. That moment, by far, was my favorite moment so far in my sorority.
Trust me, I know that for some girls, they might not run home to their first choice or someone they loved throughout the week dropped them. But there’s something you have to remember if for some reason the process doesn’t go exactly how you imagined it.
The joy of running home on bid day, of realizing that over 100 girls wanted you, fought for you, valued you enough to welcome you into their home, into their sisterhood, it’s more special than words can describe. Hold onto that.
I know the nerves going in are overwhelming, that the whole process of putting yourself out there with the possibility of rejection is scary. But I promise you, as I’m entering my senior year and my third year in my chapter, going through recruitment was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I encourage you to give it chance. Don’t listen to the stereotypes. Keep an open mind. It will all be worth it in the end. Trust me.