As summer progresses and autumn approaches, college freshman everywhere prepare to begin a new adventure. There’s packing to be done, meal plans to be purchased, roommates to stalk on Instagram, etc. For thousands, one of the biggest things on their to do lists is getting ready for formal sorority and fraternity recruitment, also known as rush. As Greek life provides a plethora of opportunities for social and academic growth, it’s no wonder why so many seek a set of letters during their first semester on campus.
But not you, of course. You could never join a sorority. You’re just not that type of girl. Even if you tried going through formal recruitment, you’d make a fool of yourself. If you somehow managed to get a bid, you wouldn’t last a month. You’re better off doing something else. Something less scary.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Less than a year ago, I was staring at the application for formal sorority recruitment and wondering if it was really going to be worth it. Wondering if I would be pretty enough, smart enough, involved enough. Good enough. I’d heard stories of women whose lives were changed by joining a sorority. My mother swore that some of the best experiences in college had been as a result of Greek life. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to have my abilities, not as a student or a community member, but as a friend, scored against 1800 others seeking the exact same thing- a home.
But I figured that the only way I was going to know if I enjoyed sorority life was to actually go Greek. And while rush was an emotional rollercoaster, I have to say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made since starting college. Pretty remarkable, considering how strongly I believed I would never fit into a sorority.
During formal recruitment rounds, I always asked the actives why they had chosen the letters they so proudly wore. Every answer was the same: “I just knew I belonged.” It was a maddening answer, but ultimately a truthful one. The key is to stop trying to mold yourself into what you think each house might want.
Sororities are not puzzles, looking for just the right piece to complete them. Instead, think of each member as a square in a quilt. They’re all different, adding their own pattern, making something incredible when put together. And there’s always room for one more square. Each one is beautiful on its own and by adding it, you make the entire quilt stronger.
So take all of those reasons you “can’t” go Greek and proudly show them off: Piercings, tattoos, and colored hair. Love of video games or comic books. Being outdoorsy or a “tomboy”. Being LGBT. Not having “perfect” grades. Not being the “right type” of person. Take those “weaknesses” and turn them into your strengths. When groups of people come together to share their own unique perspectives and abilities- magical things happen.
Being in a sorority takes work, that’s for sure. It’s an academic, financial, and personal commitment that takes time and effort to get the most out of it.
But it’s worth it. Every obstacle, and every victory. Every 3am trip to IHOP. Every bad day turned around by a text message. It’s worth it for every moment you look around the room and know that every woman there is cheering you on, and wants to see you succeed.
So even if you’re unsure, take the chance and register for formal recruitment. Who knows? You may find just where you belong. I wish you the best of luck on going Greek (or thinking Theta, but hey, I’m a little biased).