To The Girls Whose Recruitment Didn't Go As Planned

To The Girls Whose Recruitment Didn't Go As Planned

Maybe you ended up in a sorority you didn't want, and maybe you didn't end up in a sorority. Either way, this one's for you.
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Sorority recruitment: it's scary and exciting, it seems to be the "end all be all" as far as your social status in college, and it's one of the most stressful weeks of a girl's freshman (or sophomore/junior) year. I went through recruitment at the University of Georgia and was blessed to receive a bid from my favorite sorority. Everything went the way I planned, and I was thrilled.

However, not everyone is as fortunate as I was. Not everyone is happy at the houses they visit during Pref, and not everyone actually makes it to that final round. And while it's easy to blame yourselves or the sororities for these altercations, there are a few things I want to let you know:

1. You didn't do anything wrong.

Absolutely nothing. The Lord made you absolutely perfect in His eyes. Don't ever say "I wasn't pretty enough" or "I wasn't skinny enough" to be in so-and-so sorority, because let's face it, real sororities made up of real girls don't hold that standard upon anyone. Recruitment is hard enough as it is. You have to get up before the sun has even considered rising, hair and makeup to a tee and ready to go to show girls your killer first impression. I can promise you that you are good enough. Don't let a rejection from a sorority tell you differently.

2. The girls in the sorority know which kind of girls would thrive in their new pledge classes.

Trust me on this one. I remember getting cut from one of my favorite houses and being told the next week by one of my friends who was an active member in said sorority, "We just didn't see you finding your future best friends in the pledge class of girls we were going to get." And while that sucked, it makes total sense. Would you really want to be in a sorority with girls you aren't going to be best friends/"sisters" for life with?

3. One person can't sway an entire sorority's opinion.

Sure, I had a few friends in many sororities. But one girl pulling for me wasn't enough to convince 200+ girls to want me to join. It's kind of impossible. So if you didn't get into the sorority your best friend since birth was in, don't be bitter.

4. Your identity isn't found in what letters you wear.

Honestly, I can't stress this enough. This is so applicable to the girls who left recruitment with their favorite letters on their t-shirt and to the girls who left recruitment still wearing their high school basketball team's t-shirt. Sure, being in a sorority is incredible and has given me so many great memories and opportunities. But the Lord's plan for you is so, so much bigger than what group of girls you get to call your sisters.

Before He formed you in the womb, He knew you (Jeremiah 1:5). He has been calling you His since before you were even born. 1 John 3:1-2 says, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" Yes, you may be a sister in a certain sorority or just a regular, non-Greek freshman at school. But despite all of the labels that this world is going to put on you, you are a child of God. You are His first love, His favorite late-night conversation, His biggest concern, and His friend. And that matters SO much more than any title we can earn on this earth.

So, to the ladies whose recruitment didn't necessarily go the way as planned: be hopeful. Know that He is working, and His plan for you is so much greater than you know. Make the best of this life because I promise you, your time at college is going to be the sweetest years of your life. And no lack of letters on your t-shirt will be able to compare to what's in store for you.

Cover Image Credit: https://gradeslam.org/blog/6-misconceptions-to-set-the-record-straight-about-sorority-girls

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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This One’s For Africa

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Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.

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It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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