Everything I Wish I Knew About Joining a Sorority

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Recruitment is 100% guaranteed to give you all the feelings. Unless you go to a big state school that basically doubles as 13th grade, it’s more than likely you won’t know anyone except a friend of a friend’s sister’s ex, and that’s less than useful (despite what your parents might think). The truth is, starting over is scary (*spoiler alert* it’s not much easier in post grad life), but that doesn’t mean you should stick with what you know. Luckily, joining a sorority provides everything you’ll ever need in college — sisters minus the sibling rivalry, an excuse to go out every night of the week, and family, even when you’re miles away.

If you’re close with your family, it can be hard to leave them behind, but once you have a big, you’ll have someone to take care of you. She’ll bring you Disney princess coloring books when you drunkenly sprain your ankle after formal, and she’ll be there when you need to vent because your roommates are driving you insane. You’ll get a little, who you’ll watch morph into a mini you (only even better, and she won’t look like Verne Troyer). You’ll always have someone to sit with during class, or to study with in the library, and you’ll have more bridesmaids than you know what to do with. People might say that you’re paying for your friends, but the reality is that you’re investing in the experience of a lifetime (and amazing connections in the real world). You’ll make friends with people you never would have met otherwise, and you’ll be guaranteed the best four years of your life. These girls will be there for you throughout college, and they’ll be your speed dials after long after you graduate.

The rush experience is stressful and scary, but it’s worth it completely. Here’s what I wish I knew before going through recruitment:

1. Sorority rush is like hell, if Hades wore Lilly Pulitzer prints exclusively.

No one ever really tells you exactly how awful recruitment is. Instead, they pretend it’s a week of meeting people and making new friends. That’s like describing getting your wisdom teeth taken out as a pleasant activity among friends. Yes, once you’re done you no longer have the pesky pain, but that doesn’t make the experience enjoyable. Prepare to talk to stranger dangers for hours a day, with the pain compounded by the heels on your feet. You’ll feel all the feels, even ones you didn’t know existed yet. If you’re not on the phone with your mother sobbing about how awkward you are by the end of it, then you’re a far more socially adjusted human than I’ll ever be.

2. Recruitment is a cocktail party, minus the cocktails. 

Remember how awkward middle school dances were (since they were devoid of alcohol, unfortunately)? Rush is like going to a ridiculously packed bar without liquid courage on your side. You’re forced to make hours of seemingly pointless small talk in the most stressful environment possible. It’s ridiculously loud, you can smell everyone’s perfume within a 5 mile radius, and you’re so stressed out that you just forgot what your major was. Don’t worry, because the sorority girls you’re talking to are just as exhausted. They’ve been up into the wee hours of the night voting on you (no pressure), so if they seem more focused on finding a corner pass out in, don’t be offended. Try to talk about something other than your dorm and classes, and they’ll perk up immediately. Just like you, they’ve had the same conversation about a hundred times already. Find something real to connect on, and they’ll remember you– plus, you’ll get to show off more of your ~sparkling~ personality.

3. When in doubt, go out.

If you go through recruitment second semester, then all eyes will be on you for months. Don’t let this discourage you from a semester of bad decisions, but be ready for the repercussions. In college, going out every night is normal, but in the real world, it’s not quite as okay. I’m not telling you to miss out on regrettable DFMOs and forgettable evenings, as long as you can contain it– and as long as there’s no image evidence. The more sororo-girls you meet pre-recruitment, the more comfortable you’ll feel walking into a house, because it won’t be full of strangers. It’s hard to get to know someone during a 7 minute conversation in a crowd. It’s easier if you hang out for months beforehand at parties, in class, or even in a fraternity bathrooms.

4. Look for more than people to pregame with.

College is overwhelming. If you’re coming from a high school where cliques ruled the school, Mean Girls style, you might be focused a little too much on image. At the end of the day, you should be looking for somewhere you’ll fit in. You want to feel at home, not like you’re constantly trying to impress basic Barbies. Once you find the house that’s the right fit for you, the girls will feel like your sisters (although you won’t actually call them that unless you’re cheesing during preference night). Relax, be the best possible version of yourself, and you’ll survive… and best of all, you’ll be sorority squatting in no time.

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