When I entered college, I knew I wanted to be in a sorority before I knew what my major was going to be. Growing up with three sisters and a friend group of 18 girls since preschool, I couldn’t wait to find a similar environment on campus. I had an idyllic version of what joining a sorority meant, including lifelong friendships and perfect Instagrams.
The winter break before I rushed, I bought whole new outfits and watched “What Not to Say During Sorority Recruitment” videos on YouTube.
I spent a lot of the actual process trying not to get it wrong. I answered questions the way that I thought portrayed me in a positive light – insisting that I wasn’t nervous, just excited, and that I had a seamless transition to college even though that wasn’t the whole truth.
The results weren’t pretty, (seriously, I’m talking ugly crying in the Business Center) and I ended up dropping out of the process without making it to Bid Day.
I spent so long humiliated, nit-picking conversations and thinking maybe they would have wanted me if I had been more honest or even if I had worn black Supergas instead of white.
What finally changed my mindset about the topic was watching my friends at schools across the country go through nearly identical experiences.
Joining a sorority can be amazing. Some girls find their bridesmaids and do incredible philanthropic work. But for others this isn’t the case.
Witnessing some of the most intelligent, cool, fun women in my life be beaten down by the process opened my eyes to a harsh reality: so much of sorority recruitment is random.
If you’re truly upset about rush not going as planned, I first just want to say that I feel you. Trust me, I spent the week after dropping out of the process on FaceTime with my mom and googling “how to transfer colleges.”
If you’re feeling anywhere near as rejected as I was, my advice would be to ask yourself what you really feel you’re missing out on. A sense of community? Philanthropy? Parties? I think you’ll find that a lot of what you may have been looking for in a sorority is feasible outside of Greek life. You can create a group of supportive women anywhere. Volunteer activities are plentiful on college campuses (and just as rewarding.) And you may find that being able to socialize with whomever you want, whenever you want may actually be more freeing than social obligations.
You can’t tie your worth to Greek letters.
And for the love of God, spare yourself the FOMO and delete Instagram rush week. Zooming in on Bid Day photos is only going to make you feel worse.
Rejection in any form can sting, but don’t let your imaginary failures ruin your college experience. It gets better, I promise.