I never considered joining a sorority before I came to college. It’s safe to say I had a less-than-flattering image of sorority girls. When rush came around, I decided to put aside the stereotypes and see for myself what Greek life was like. I figured that college was for trying new things and decided that I would at least give rush a chance before ruling out Greek life for good.
A few weeks later, I walked through the doors to my first sorority house during recruitment.
Greeted by a cloud of glitter and the chants of what sounded like hundreds of girls, I was certain that my worst fears about sororities had been confirmed.
The recruitment process flew by, and as I actually met and got to know a few sorority girls, I realized that the stereotypes of shallowness and bedazzled miniskirts were just that…stereotypes. The sororities I explored housed many genuine girls, and soon I became one.
I won’t lie, I still had lingering fears that sorority life wasn’t right for me. As I got to know my pledge class, I met girls who had dozens of friends hailing from their hometown who had also joined sororities (was everyone in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Greek life from Charlotte?). I heard about all of the activities for us to do, and they all sounded so exciting, but I was beginning to realize that my commitment would severely limit my Gilmore Girls time. Groups of friends quickly formed in my pledge class, but I worried I hadn’t found one yet.
I planned to audition for plays and join clubs once I got to college, but devoting all of my free time to a sorority would probably get in the way of that. I was also growing suspicious that my lack of black leggings, Hunter boots or anything Lily Pulitzer would be a great obstacle when it came to making friends.
As the semester went on, life worked itself out. I met girls who’d grown up in the same town as I did. More importantly, I met girls who felt just as isolated as I did. I realized that not everyone knew someone in Greek life before recruitment, and that there were some who, like me, had decided to rush just to see what it was like. Best of all, I met an older girl who gave me advice about adjusting to the sorority and offers to drive me to Franklin Street if I want sushi with my sorority family.
I learned that Greek life can consume as much time as you want it to. Through my sorority, I have opportunities to participate in philanthropy events, hold elected positions and enjoy a variety of social activities, but I’ve also found time to join several clubs, audition for plays and spend plenty of time with my friends from outside of Greek life. I found out that the friend groups I’d seen forming in my first weeks weren’t cliquey like I suspected. No matter how many people the girls knew, everyone was down to make another friend.
The most valuable thing I learned, though, was that the girls in my sorority don’t care if I keep up with the latest preppy fashion trends. They compliment me on my outfit even when I show up to lunch in my Star Wars T-shirt and elephant pants. Instead of being offended if I don’t participate in every activity, the girls in my sorority help me work out my schedule so I can fit in play rehearsals. Some sisters even come out to support me on performance nights.
While I didn’t find all my friends in the people I still feel cheesy calling my sisters, I know that the girls in my sorority are just as down to earth as everyone else and will always be there for me when I need a friend.