Sorority Recruitment As Told By An Incoming College Senior

Sorority Recruitment As Told By An Incoming College Senior

Joining a sorority changed my life, and it can for you too.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Cantore

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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