Ever since my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to go through sorority recruitment, more commonly known as rush. I knew a few people who exemplified exactly what I wanted to get out of the experience. The girls I knew were beautiful, hardworking, dedicated, smart, and expressed how much they loved being part of a sisterhood. At the time, rushing seemed like a straightforward and simple idea.
Boy, was I wrong. Although this process had a lot of ups and downs, I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to go through a process like this. Ultimately, there were a lot of positives and negatives and one huge, overarching lesson.
Although I did not end up joining Greek life this year, rushing was an incredible learning experience.
I got to know a lot of people. Girls in my Rho Gamma group. Girls going to the same house. Girls currently in the Greek system. There was a sense of mutual understanding among all the girls rushing.
I got to know the Greek houses and Greek system. If I never went through rush, I wouldn't know where the Greek houses were and what they were like. Instead of relying on stereotypes and what I heard, I could make my own judgments based on my experiences.
I learned a lot about myself. I learned about the types of people and energy I like to be around and the importance of putting myself in uncomfortable situations. I also learned that there is nothing to be afraid of, you are talking to college girls not your future employer.
There's something about repeating your major, your hometown, interests, and passions numerous times that teaches you about your identity. I also learned what I value: compassion, positivity, and genuineness. But, most importantly I learned what I wanted from a sisterhood: I wanted a support group full of amazing women who were incredibly motivated, kind, and humble — the type of sisters that would push me to be the best possible version of myself.
When people say rushing is brutal, they are not exaggerating. I go to a large state school in the Midwest that conducts formal recruitment in the winter. We walked miles, froze our butts off, and were sleep-deprived. But nothing compared to the emotional impact I felt.
I was eventually dropped from my two favorite chapters and was utterly heartbroken. I learned that the worst part about recruitment is not getting dropped, but rather getting dropped from the chapters you felt a genuine connection with. You saw yourself there, the conversations were great, and everything felt right. You start to question what's wrong with you. Am I not pretty enough? What did I say to turn them off? What's wrong with me?
I cried multiple times in those two days and questioned everything. I realized I was scared all my friends had found their friend group and I would be alone. It can be easy to get lost in the idea of Greek life. But let me tell you, it is not a huge deal — life will move on. Long story short: I did have the opportunity to a join a sorority, but it didn't feel right. I felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable.
After deep contemplation and talking to my best friend and parents, I rediscovered the grit that carried me through other hardships.
The Moral of the Story:
As cliché as parts of this may sound, recruitment is everything you hear about and more. It may work out, and it may not. That doesn't mean you should feel the need to be part of Greek life or look down on the people who participate in it.
Go with your gut. If the timing isn't right and you don't feel content, then don't feel forced to join.
That being said, there is still part of me that wants to be a member of the Greek community. Who knows? Maybe I will rush next year. If you even have the smallest inclination you could enjoy Greek life, I recommend rushing. No matter what happens, you will come out stronger.
Part of college is putting yourself out there and finding strength in the struggle. All I know is that this year, some girls might have found their home, but I found my strength.