Rush is hard. The first week in a sorority is harder. Bid day is fun for many, but overwhelming for most. Your first social could be an absolute train wreck. However, I hope to be a voice of reason through this process. I promise it'll get better from here for all of you whether you drop or not.
Don't Let Bid Day Frighten You
My bid day consisted of jumping house to house with older girls, trying to remember 123980283 people's names, worrying about how frizzy my hair was and how ill-fitting my bid day t-shirt was, and getting back to my dorm room more overwhelmed than I've ever been.
Another new member who was hanging out with our group dropped the next day. I was so surprised. Though I was overwhelmed, I had so much fun and look back on that night with fond memories. However, bid night can be very negative for some. Some girls feel like they need to dress a certain way, drink a certain amount, and be the most outgoing girl in the room, yet they find themselves getting sick, left out, or even left alone. If you are this girl, take heart.
Sorority life should not be defined by a night running around the town with strangers who haven't slept in a week. Most of your sorority experiences with these girls will consist of making lifelong friends, grabbing RaceTrac slushies at 2 a.m., and sharing in the anxiety of frantically searching for dates for a surprise date night.
Some Girls Just Don't Thrive in Large Social Settings
If this is you, hi, we have something in common. Large social situations stress me out and make me feel lost, especially when they are made up of mostly strangers. Your first couple of socials may leave you disheartened and feeling a bit lonely. Most girls deal with these emotions and sometimes you just have to throw a smile on your face and put yourself out there. I promise that there are other girls at the same socials who are searching for friends.
Though it is tempting to just avoid socials altogether, they are a vital way to meet the girls you will be spending the next four years with. As the years go by, you will notice that your friend group will grow more definitive, and you will be able to approach social settings with a greater support system.
Stop Looking at other Girls Pictures/Second-Guessing Yourself
Some girls in my pledge class had this magic thing about them that made them magnetic, and they made friends super easily. Their pre-social pictures of a group of 10 girls made me want to gouge my eyes out. Why didn't I have that many friends? Was there something wrong with me? Be aware that a lot of those girls were already friends in high school or have mutual friends which make it a lot easier for them to connect.
Additionally, though their pictures look as if they are having too much fun and living it up, they most likely have the same fears as you.
They feel lonely. They wonder if everything is going to work out for them. The girls who I felt were the most put together in my pledge class now tell stories about how terrified they were about being in a sorority. Don't let their glamorous, VSCO worthy pictures fool you.
Allow People to Surprise You
As the girl in the high waisted shorts and chacos, I was never drawn to the preppy, perfectly put together girl. Some of those girls are now my closest friends. One thing I remember most about my good friend Olivia is that she wore a Lilly dress almost every round of recruitment and I would have never seen myself two years later laughing at her jokes and going to the movies with her. She's awesome.
Just as I wouldn't want someone to dismiss me as different, no one wants to be put in a box. Let a girl surprise you and change the perspective of your first impression of her. Allowing yourself to meet people who are super different from you opens way more doors to meeting new friends and feeling more at home in the sorority.
Find an Older Girl to Talk to if you're Losing your Mind
Luckily, I had an older girl in the sorority who always had my back: my real sister, Christy. However, there were also other older girls--my bid day buddy and sophomores I had connected with during my first few weeks--who would have definitely been happy to help me sort through my issues during my first few weeks. Allow someone to help you. Do not feel like you have to internalize your fears and struggles.
The girls in the older pledge classes want nothing more for you than for you to feel accepted and loved. I know because we just received our future littles in this new pledge class and I already feel like I would do anything to help any of them. Don't feel uncomfortable reaching out.
If All Else Fails, Do Not feel Like you Have to Stick Around
Sometimes girls who truly want to drop don't, because they fear embarrassment and backlash. If you want to drop, make sure to explain yourself fully and talk to girls who you befriended about it. Dropping is ok. Repeat that to yourself a million times. Sororities aren't for everyone.
Please please please give your sorority a chance, but if you find yourself miserable or completely uncomfortable, be honest with yourself and your sorority. The sorority chose you, because they saw something in you that fit into the sorority, but remember that they only received just a glimpse of who you are. Stay connected with the girls you met. Find other passions! College is all about doing what you love and finding what you're passionate about.
If sorority life isn't for you, chase down your other interests and you'll make different friends along the way.
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