In my family, I have quite an extensive history when it comes to Greek life. My mom, my grandmother, and my aunts were all in sororities, while my dad, my grandfather, and my uncles were all in fraternities. It only seemed right that when I went to college, I would be more than eager to be a part of Greek life. However, it was actually the last thing I wanted to do.
The first time I had ever seriously thought about being in a sorority was about two years ago when my older sister was about to go through recruitment. If you're new to this whole process, "recruitment" is the week when potential new members visit all of the sorority houses, going back to fewer and fewer each day until they get an invitation from one house to join. Until hearing about my sister's experience, Greek life was just a thing of the movies to me; everything I knew about it came from fictionalized worlds. And because of the negative picture the media had painted for me and the fact that I was an angsty 16-year-old who didn't want to do anything, I refused to follow in my sister's path and rejected the idea of joining a sorority.
In all honesty, I thought it was silly and that I was too good to join this kind of an organization.
At this point in my life, I think a major thing that turned me off from the idea of joining a sorority was the way Greek life is portrayed in movies and television. All the partying, hazing, constantly being judged for your looks, not caring about education and basically every other stereotype just really rubbed me the wrong way. A perfect example of this is the movie "Sydney White." Although I do love this movie, it portrays Greek life in such a negative way. In this movie, there's cruel hazing, women being ridiculed for their weight and looks and are generally filled with characters that are shallow, brainless and one-dimensional.
However, after actually joining a sorority, I can tell you that there is nothing further from the truth.
I think what initially changed my mind about deciding to go through recruitment and join a sorority was hearing about my sister's experience. She met women just like her; women who shared the same interests, passions, and values. I was able to see her create new friendships that were genuine and strongly bound, all because of the sisterhood she found through her sorority. And after not having the best experience with high school friendships, there was nothing I wanted more than a strong support system of women.
Still, there was definitely some fear while I was going through recruitment.
Not every sorority is alike, and not even every chapter of the same sorority is alike. But thankfully, I found a home with women who inspire me and push my boundaries (in a positive and beneficial way). I found a home with women who have the same sense of humor as me and are artistic like me. And most importantly, I found a home with women who are motivated, passionate and genuine friends who care about your well-being. That negative fictionalized reality I had created in my mind of what Greek life was like has now completely vanished. Instead, my reality consists of laughter, friendships, support, role models, guidance and sisterhood.
So here I am now, a girl who went from never wanting to be a part of Greek life to now currently wearing a sorority sweatshirt while writing on my laptop that's covered in sorority stickers. Don't let stereotypes create a false image of what Greek life is like - give it a chance, I promise you won't regret it.