When I started college, I couldn’t wait for rush week. I had already done research on all of my school’s sororities and I knew exactly which one I wanted to join. It was the sorority my grandmother was a member of when she attended my school. Because freshmen aren’t allowed to rush first semester, I had to wait until the spring for recruitment. So, when spring rolled around, I attended my favorite sorority’s open house and I met all the girls. At my school, sororities are officially known as “societies.” I don’t believe the societies are at all affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference, and since I attend a women’s college, our “Greek system” has no frats. I went into the first day of recruitment with high hopes, but I left feeling less than confident that I really wanted to join that sorority or any sorority at all. The next recruitment event wasn’t for several days, so I had ample time to reflect and decide whether I wanted to continue rushing. I ultimately decided not to, and here’s why.
- If I were to join a sorority, I wanted a traditional Greek experience: That was something my school couldn’t offer. I wanted to be able to do philanthropy with my sisters, connect with fraternity brothers, and someday network with alumnae all over the country who had been in either my sorority’s chapter or other schools’ chapters. In reality, my school’s sororities don’t do much philanthropy (in fact, I don’t think they do any), have no official connections to fraternities, and have very limited networks.
- I didn’t vibe with the girls: As soon as I walked into the house, I felt really out of place. I stayed at the house for two hours and had conversations with several girls, but I only felt like I connected with two or three. I’m the kind of person who always goes with her gut, so when I felt like I wasn’t vibing with the girls, I realized that it probably wasn’t the right group for me. Maybe I judged too quickly, but I have a strong feeling that sorority wasn’t the one for me. I made a mistake to put all my eggs in one basket. I didn’t visit any other houses on the first day of recruitment, and I felt as if I would be way behind if I tried to shop around later.
- Being in a sorority is a major time commitment: At my school, being in a sorority is pretty time consuming. The sororities host numerous events throughout the year, mostly lectures. I wasn’t too fond of the idea of dedicating tons of time to planning and setting up for these events, especially since they didn’t particularly excite me.
- I hated recruitment: I dreaded the idea of going through with recruitment after day one. I had very superficial and shallow conversations with the girls, and even though I heard that’s to be expected on the first day of recruitment, I felt overwhelmed by the idea of remotely repeating that experience four more times (I think you need to attend five recruitment events to join a sorority at my school). Plus, at my school, there’s no guarantee that you’ll even get into a sorority at all, never mind the one you want! Each sorority only accepts about 7 girls, so every semester there are plenty of girls who don’t get into any sorority. I would be crushed if I got rejected at the end, which was certainly a possibility.
- I was doing it for the wrong reason: Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I decided to pop into other houses on the first day of recruitment. Perhaps I would’ve fallen in love with a different sorority and I actually would’ve finished recruitment! But one of the main reasons I was rushing at all was because I wanted to honor my grandma’s legacy (she passed away when I was little). That sorority meant a lot to her. Who knows if it would have meant the same to me though?
I know that everyone has a different recruitment experience, and there are tons of reasons why Greek life is wonderful. Heck, if I attended a school with a huge and vibrant Greek scene, I probably would’ve joined a sorority! But, in my particular situation, I didn’t feel that it was the right move. I’m satisfied with my decision and I’m not planning on rushing again in the fall. If you went through recruitment or were a member of a sorority, I’d love to hear about your experience! And if you weren’t and you’re a GDI like me, I’d also love to hear from you.