Hundreds of females on Emory's campus entered a special layer of hell known as Sorority Recruitment last weekend. This weekend was the first unofficial round of formal recruitment, known as Novemberfest, in which girls who are considering rushing can get a feel for the process of rush as well as experience each one of the sorority houses before the official rush.
Novemeberfest is great in theory, but in all actuality, it involves waking up at the crack of dawn, being herded around like sheep, and having the same conversation over and over again with the same girls for eight hours. It's awkward and uncomfortable and not fun for anyone. After Novemberfest last year, I found myself thinking, "My God that was terrible. Is rushing actually something that I want to do?" and it was something that I realized that a lot of other people thought as well. The answer is yes. Sorority rush is hell, but it is well worth it.
So, for all the girls debating rush, here are eleven things that we should talk about during recruitment, but we don't always get the chance.
1. After joining a sorority, you will immediately get 300 friend requests and triple your average number of Instagram likes.
No one warned me about this, so after Bid Day, I logged onto Facebook and saw that I had 75 friend requests and immediately began to freak out. Had I been hacked? Why were all these people suddenly interested in me? But then I realized that it was almost every single girl in my sorority sending me a friend request. I had never even heard of most of these people, yet they were interested in me and posting on my wall about how happy they were that I had joined their sorority. Randoms were posting things like, "I'm so happy to call you a sister!" and, "Welcome home!"
So why does this matter? Because looking back months later, I realize how genuine these post really were. These girls were actually extremely excited to call me a sister despite the fact that I didn't know them at all. There will always be people in your sorority trying to reach out to you even if you don't know them. It's actually a pretty great feeling to have.
2. After joining a sorority, you will immediately learn more gossip about people at this school than you ever dreamed possible.
She cheated on her boyfriend? Oh, he's dating two girls at once? Oh, he's a f*ckboy? Wait a second, who are these people again? Whether or not you're a fan of knowing the latest gossip, the best part of being in a sorority is that even though you will learn gossip about people, there will always be people out there willing to squash the rumors about you. There will always be girls out there willing to tell people that you, in fact, did not streak down frat row last night despite what they heard. Your sorority will always have your back, no matter what, and will happily tell anyone who tries to spread lies about you the truth. Rumors will always be spread about people, but it's amazing to have people that will have your back no matter what happens.
No way, they hooked up last night?
Nah, he's just a lying f*ck.
3. It will make you more basic, but that isn't a bad thing.
This is probably the most painful one for me to admit. Before my sorority, I was the single least basic person in the world. Unfortunately now, due to my best friends, I know all the words to far too many Taylor Swift songs and get an iced nonfat white chocolate mocha from Starbucks before every single one of my 8:30 a.m. classes. But you know what? White chocolate mochas are actually really really good, and I wouldn't trade the late-night sing-alongs to Taylor Swift with my best friends for anything. If you're someone who always thought that you would never join a sorority in a million years (I understand you on a spiritual level), you should realize that joining a sorority doesn't change you fundamentally as a person; it helps you grow and have experiences that you never thought you would have. Pretty soon you might find yourself throwing what you know because you actually love what you know and wouldn't trade it for the world.
So now I happily rock out to Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" while wearing a Pink Floyd shirt, and I love it.
*A friend of mine would like me to point out that although it did turn me more basic, it made her more cultural. Now she listens to Jimi Hendrix with me and actually will listen to me when I recite Shakespeare instead of rolling her eyes at me. So sororities open you up to new things that you may have never experienced before rather than making everyone more basic.*
4. You will always have someone to go out with.
This has multiple connotations. You will always have someone to go to a bar with, true, but you will also always have someone to go see that new movie that you've been dying to see. The best part about being oddly associated with almost 200 girls is that you never have to worry about finding someone who shares at least one common interest with you. This also inspires you to try new things as well. When you're invited by a sister to go to a concert of a band you've never heard of before, you should go. Sometimes you can find your new favorite band that way. Or you might go with a sister to see a new movie and realize that you are actually in love with the lead actor and you two will be married in five years.
Having someone to always go out with doesn't always mean having someone to go drink with, but having someone to have new experiences with every weekend.
5. But then again, you will always have at least one friend at Mags.
Everyone knows that talking about alcohol is a big no-no at rush, but I think it's important to consider one thing: you will always have at least one friend when you get too drunk. Whether or not you chose to drink in college is entirely up to you. However, if you do chose to drink, sometimes people drink too much. The best part about being in a sorority is that if you do drink too much, there will always be someone there to hold your hair back. Someone will be there to make sure that you get home safely and someone will be there to make sure that you know your limits.
However, you'll also have someone to dance on a table with when your favorite song comes on, you'll have someone to introduce you to that cute guy in your chemistry class that you've never had an excuse to talk to before, and, of course, you'll have someone to wait in line with you at the bathroom because, let's be real, that's the most important thing.
6. Sororities are completely different on the inside from than how they appear on the outside.
Watching sororities from the outside seems like this odd tribal ritual. Why are all of these girls in the same outfit, singing and yelling the same song while all having perfect hair? From the outside, sororities seem so odd but once you're inside of one, you realize that they're actually pretty amazing. We all hate the shirt that we're forced to wear, but we rock it anyways. We all have gotten really excited about being around one another, and that's why we're singing the same song. We all have perfect hair because we know at least four people are going to put us in their Snapchat story. So although sororities may seem one way from the outside, you can never really tell what's going on until you get on the inside.
7. It is actually a great way to network.
Everyone always says that "sororities are a great way to network," and it always sounds like bullshit. But it's actually the truest statement out there. By second semester, girls will begin posting in your Facebook group about multiple job opportunities they've heard of. It will seriously get to the point where it will annoy you that people are trying to send you so many job offers. I realize that there is a job opening at that startup, but I have five midterms this week.
Not only that, but it's a great way to network in social settings as well. You begin to become friends with your sorority sisters' friends, which grows your friend group exponentially. So don't ever feel as if you'll in some way be separated from from your friends if you join a different sorority than them. In fact, most of the time you end up just becoming friends with their friends in their sorority.
8. It actually really does makes it easier to meet guys.
A part of any sorority is the social events. It's also possible to meet guys in a completely platonic sense as well as a romantic sense. Some of your best guy friends will come from the frats that you always seem to mix with. And since most of your sisters will have at least one friend who wants to go to the date party, there's always someone who can set you up with a handsome stranger.
However, I would highly recommend that you do not join a sorority as a platform to meet guys, because you will be surrounded by way more estrogen in a sorority than you can ever imagine. Also considering that most sorority pledge classes are twice the size of fraternity pledge classes, you'll be surrounded by a lot of girls.
9. You'll end becoming best friends with someone that you probably never would have spoken to before.
When one of my best friends tells people that we're best friends, people always look at her and ask, "Really?" We are polar opposites, I am the Yin to her Yang. However, she is one of my favorite people at this school and I wouldn't trade her for the world. Although, I am certain that if we were not in the same sorority, we probably would have never have spoken because I would have terrified her. We met at a date party where we were the only two from our sorority there and latched on to one another. Ever since then, she has been my person.
There will always be at least one person that you weren't expecting to become close to, but you did. The best part of sororities is that they bring people that are extremely different together and allow you to interact with people who you never thought you would. Sororities allow you create bonds with people and push your own boundaries. They burst you out of your little bubble and help you.
10. You will have a support system like no other.
You will have two hundred girls that you can call at 3 a.m. and they will be there, no questions asked. You will have 200 girls who will help you hide a body. You will have 200 girls who will send you cute messages throughout the day when they know you have midterms. You will have 200 girls who will be there for you after a breakup, even if they don't know you. You will have 200 girls who will be there for you when tragedy strikes.
The best part about being in sorority is that you have a team. You have a team that wants you to work to become the best possible person that you can be, no matter what. You have a team that is willing to do whatever they can to make sure you become the greatest person you can be.
11. It really does turn you into a better person.
This is the single most cliché thing in the world and the side of me before I joined a sorority hates me for writing this, but, unfortunately, it is true. You don't just have a support group; you're expected to be that support group for your sisters as well. You're expected to be the person who gets on a plane to be there for someone at 3 a.m. You're also expected to be the best sister that you can for everyone else in your sorority.
Your sisters inspire you to work harder, do better, get over that boy, and to ace your midterms. You have a group of people who want to see you succeed no matter what and, with their help, most of the time you do.
So here you go. These are 11 things that we can't tell you during rush, but every single one is true. If you're still debating rush, feel free to reach out to your Pi Chis, actually talk to them, and find other people to speak to. Emory is an amazing school that has a diverse panhellenic in which every girl should feel welcome. And believe me when I say that rush is hell, but it's a hell that is well worth it. On Did Day, when you get a bid, you and your pledge class can bond over how much you hated rush and how happy you all are that it is over.
Good luck girls. May the odds be ever in your favor.