As the spring semester approaches, girls at Penn State and colleges all over the country are going to have to decide whether or not they’d like to join a Greek organization. This can be a big and intimidating experience if you’re anything like me. All my life I wanted to be one of the pretty popular girls, and joining a sorority seemed like the perfect way to instantly have friends and fun in college. I decided to sign up for Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment and this is what happened:
For me personally, the process felt odd and impersonal. It felt shallow and insincere to line up outside of the sorority suites, only to have 5 minutes of conversation with someone before they would score me on whether or not I fit into their sorority (No doubt based solely on my appearance). I could hardly hear and it almost felt cult-like walking into a room with identically dressed girls chanting songs at me. Long story short … I made it through two days before I had an anxiety attack after one of the “rush parties” and decided to end my participation in Panhellenic recruitment.
Rushing wasn’t for me, but I was still determined to give Greek life a chance and see what it was like to be part of a sorority. Although I joined other organizations at Penn State where I made tons of close friends, I decided to informally rush after becoming friends with a handful of amazing girls in a particular sorority (I’ll refer to it as Gamma Apple Pi). After successfully formally rushing, being a “baby” for a while and then finally being initiated, I realized that a lot of the other girls were not like the friends that had initially convinced me to join. There was a lot more drama than I would have preferred to have in my life and it felt like all of the mandatory sisterhood and chapter events were interfering with my school work. I became extremely depressed and started making toxic decisions and ignoring the important people in my life to go out with my “sisters”. I felt myself becoming shallow and bitter. After a year of being a member of Gamma Apple Pi, I disassociated (I dropped out) and haven’t looked back.
I was glad that I gave Greek life a fair chance, but I discovered it’s not for me. I’m not the kind of person who wants to be the same as everyone else. I believe that Greek Organizations suppress individuality and prevent you from growing as a young adult in college. I hope that the story of my experience is helpful to those who are thinking about rushing and I also hope this doesn’t offend anyone in the Greek community, as that’s NOT my intention. I know a ton of girls who have found their best friends through Greek life, but that wasn’t the case for me. Choosing not to rush doesn’t mean you won’t still have fun in college either. Don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone and find your tribe in other ways. Best of luck to anyone who is planning to rush, or not to rush!