Students find their place in campus Greek life

By Bina Ramesh

I waited until my sophomore year to rush, because I knew I could not handle taking on any extracurricular activities as a freshman. Let’s just say I went to parties a little too often and did not do my very best with academics.

Greek life is a way to get more involved in activities around campus and to find a group of individuals who accept you for who you are. (Courtney Wirths/ Photo Editor)
Greek life is a way to get more involved in activities around campus and to find a group of individuals who accept you for who you are. (Courtney Wirths/ Photo Editor)

When I finally got control of my academics in the fall of sophomore year, I realized I really wanted to get more involved on campus. I was super involved in high school activities, being a member of many clubs, volunteering in schools and even founding a chapter of the Future Educators Association at my high school. I felt incomplete without joining some kind of organization here at the College.

Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of friends, regardless. I have made tons of close friends that I know will be with me through thick and thin. I am that annoying person who says hello to absolutely everyone when I’m walking to Eick. I just love meeting new people, and I am fairly good at remembering names, which is a lethal and powerful combination at a small school. I knew that all of these people weren’t my best friends, but I couldn’t help that I just genuinely enjoyed talking to many completely different types of people.

I had acquaintances and friends in every sorority and fraternity on this campus. I had heard the stereotypes and stories of Greek life, and I had seen my friends rush. I knew that rushing was something I would regret not trying.

A lot of my friends rushing as sophomores were like me — they had friends already in these organizations, which makes rushing so much harder because you can’t look at any group without associating your friends with them. However, since I had friends in every sorority and fraternity, I was determined to keep an open mind.

I went to every sorority interest session there was before recruitment, ultimately going to an interest session for every sorority. By the end, I had talked way too much about myself and watched way too many of the same videos of compiled facebook pictures of all the sisters smiling and having fun, set to a generic pop song. It was exhausting and exciting all at the same time. I met awesome people, looked at those videos and the unity of the group, heard about their philanthropy and saw such amazing qualities in each organization.

When it came time for formal recruitment, I was so pumped. Orientation came and hundreds of girls were split into random groups and given our recruitment counselors. I was lucky enough to have one of my close friends in my group and two really sweet girls as my counselors. I was given a white T-shirt that I could dress up and style as I pleased.

If I could describe the first day of rounds it would be like Welcome Week on steroids. Everyone is trying so desperately to stand out, yet fit in at the same time. The amount of times I complimented girls on their gorgeous accessories would probably make you want to vomit.

When we had to rank our preferences of the sororities at the end of the first day I started to feel so stressed. I really could not do it. I saw such great things about every organization that I couldn’t make a decision. My recruitment counselors talked me through it, and I finally made my decision. Then, the waiting began to see who had called me back for the next day of rounds.

If I could compare hearing back from the sororities to anything, it would be like my senior year of high school college decisions. The question of the day everyone was asking was if you got your top choice.

I swear it was like déjà vu. l consoled some girls on not getting called back to the sororities they wanted and congratulated others on getting all six of their top choices.

The way I saw it is you can make the best of wherever you are placed. The College was my absolute top choice for a school. However, after talking to so many people here, it’s not surprising that for so many the College was not their top choice, especially because it’s a state school. They somehow landed up at the “CONJ” and love this school to pieces. Some even could not see themselves anywhere but here.

That’s how I feel sorority recruitment is. Even if you don’t get your top-choice sorority, you can make the best of wherever you are because, let’s face it — it doesn’t matter where you are placed. These organizations that bond you were founded on quality values and philanthropy.

I’m truly happy and proud of who I am, and that’s why this process has been so fun. I have met so many amazing people and had some great conversations over the last couple days of recruitment. I feel bad for the girls who are not as comfortable with themselves going through this, because let me tell you, rejection is hard to handle and it sucks. However, no one should ultimately look at this process as rejection.

I know the cliché, “When one door closes another one opens,” is severely overused during the recruitment process, along with, “Everything happens for a reason.” As much as people are probably sick of hearing both of those phrases, I promise they really are true. If I could give every person who goes through recruitment advice it would go a little like this: Do not obsess over rejection — be proud of your acceptance. But most importantly, keep an open mind and just be yourself, because honestly, you’re pretty awesome in your own way, just like everyone else.

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