So You Want to Join a Sorority?

I was a sorority girl.

I went to college with the firm belief that I would never ever go Greek. Yet there I was at my first rush event freshman year, awkwardly chatting with 30 or so girls. I didn’t really know why I was there, except that a girl on my crew team was in the group and had invited me to come. She seemed normal, and very much not what I had envisioned a sorority girl to look like.

None of these girls fit the stereotype. That was probably what attracted me the most to this particular group of girls. I thought there must be something to this whole thing if all these very different, very interesting women were a part of it.

A few years out of school now, I look back on my time spent with those girls very fondly, and when I tell people I was in a sorority they are just as shocked as I was when my teammate revealed to me her Greek affiliation.

Before you run out to your first rush function, there are some things to consider.

First of all, there is the inevitable pledge period which will suck. Your life suddenly becomes not yours anymore, and your grades will probably drop due to a complete lack of sleep and late night phone calls. The amount of crap you will have to endure will depend entirely on the group, but there will be some level of suckiness, so prepare for the worst.

Even though I felt like my sorority was full of very different personalities, each school will have it’s own stereotype for each Greek group. At my school there were 5 sororities and they were divided into 5 labels. There were the rich anorexic girls, the preppy good girls, the nerdy yet lovable girls, the nerdy and not so lovable girls, and finally us, the drugged up shady girls. To a certain extent these labels came from somewhere, but just keep in mind that your affiliation will follow you throughout your college career.

It also takes time and money to be a part of a sorority. You have to pay dues, and go to meetings and organize events. My parents thought sororities were an excuse to gather and drink (which I’ll be honest, it kind of was) so they weren’t about to front the money. I ended up working at the security office twice a week to pay my dues. All this stuff can at times feel like more trouble than it’s worth.

Rushing is a painful experience. When I finally decided I wanted in, there were asses to kiss and far too much drinking. Though most schools have policies that formal rush events cannot serve alcohol, the informal ones involve case races and shots. Bonding with other rushies can often include holding your new friend’s hair back as she pukes off of the porch, not that I know from experience.

The Greek life is certainly not for everyone.

For love of God, think about it and be choosy about how you want to spend 4 years of your life. I loved being in a sorority but it certainly limits how you spend your time socially. I had never had friends that were girls and I got to know a lot of great ones. For all the times I regretted going to that first rush function, I think about every killer party we threw and it somehow becomes all worth it.

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