As summer is drawing to a close, I’ve been getting more and more excited to go back to school this fall. Yes, it’s because college is 100% more exciting than high school, but it’s also because I’m rushing for a sorority this year.
I wrote about rushing for a sorority earlier this year in this post, talking about how it was my biggest regret not doing so as an incoming freshman. Thinking back on it now, I don’t really regret staying in the dorms because I have met some wonderful, inspiring people. However, I do still feel like I’m missing out on a huge portion of the college experience by not being involved in Greek life.
Greek life has always been a mystery to me: no one in my family was ever Greek, and a lot of my close friends aren’t in sororities at their schools either. I’ve obviously seen the stereotypical Greek stuff on TV shows and movies, but I refuse to believe those stereotypes are true. Throughout my freshman year, I’ve met some Greek members in my classes and extracurriculars and they’ve really opened my eyes about the Greek community – convincing me that I should rush.
I can’t speak from experience quite yet, but I do hope to gain some benefits through joining a sorority. When I was considering whether or not to rush as sophomore, I made a pros and cons list and ultimately found that there were a lot of benefits that I truly hope to gain and thought I’d share some of them with you. If you’re an incoming freshman, you should definitely look into Greek life at your school and see if you’d be interested.
Here’s why I’m rushing for a sorority:
ONE // Larger Network
As a business major, the bigger network you have, the better. And while I do have the option of joining professional business fraternities, I wanted something more casual as well. I think getting to know people who are non-business majors is super important, and you never know what cool networks might form from non-business majors. As they say, it’s not what you know but who you know.
Not only this, but I truly do love meeting people and learning their stories and their lives – I think that’s part of the reason why I love reading and meeting virtual people in books. But meeting other women on campus? Even better. I’ll be meeting tons of people in my house once I’m in a sorority, but even just the rush process allows me to meet a lot of new like-minded girls.
Additionally, I’ve noticed on campus that students are basically separated into two groups: all the non-Greek people hangout together, and then the Greek students only hangout with other Greek students. There are some students who cross in between, but very few. I want to be that bridge. By living in the dorms my freshman year, I’ve met a ton of non-Greek people, and by rushing this year, I’ll obviously be part of the Greek community. I don’t plan on only surrounding myself with Greek friends this coming year. As a “bridge”, I hope to maintain my friendships with non-Greek students and bridge the gap. Introduce my old friends to my new, and create an overall more friendly environment. I want to connect people with more people.
TWO // Move toward the extrovert side of the spectrum
Have you heard of the personality tests that determine whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert? If not, you should probably figure out what you are because in my opinion, it’s a pretty crucial part of understanding yourself, especially for job interviews. There’s a spectrum: on one end is the extreme extrovert, people who gain energy by being surrounded with people and feed off of other people’s presence. On the other end is the extreme introvert, people who gain energy and rejuvenate by requiring alone time. Introverts are a lot more sensitive and often times get more nervous than extroverts in new and unfamiliar situations.
For me, I’ve always known that I’m on the pretty extreme side of introverts on the spectrum. I need more alone time than most people, whether that be visiting coffee shops by myself or just staying in the whole day to recuperate by reading a book with few to no human interaction. And while it’s okay to be more on one side than the other, no “extreme” is good. It’s good to be a balanced individual, and by joining a sorority, I hope to move more towards the middle of the spectrum and out of the extreme introvert side of the spectrum.
Living in a house with 100+ girls will definitely put me in that position, and I want to get more comfortable with that. I acknowledge that people are important in anyone’s life, and being able to gain energy from others’ presence is something I need to work on.
THREE // Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
Speaking of comfort…
I want to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. What does that mean? Lots of things make me uncomfortable. Living in a house with 100+ girls makes me uncomfortable. That’s a lot of girls. I want to develop thicker skin and learn how to deal with challenges that I might face. I want to develop better problem-solving skills with these discomforts and get comfortable with them.
Germs make me uncomfortable. I’m low-key a germaphobe (to give a few examples: I don’t share food & drinks, I always wash my hands before I eat, I don’t get on my bed if I went out during that day, I shower before getting to bed, etc.) and I hate that about myself. It’s the most inconvenient fear! For example: if I bought food and my friend wants a bite, I don’t share because I’m germaphobe, not because I’m being selfish! This fear probably developed from my very hygiene-obsessed mom and a fear for getting sick all the time as a kid. For goodness’ sake, I don’t even share food with my twin sister. AND WE HAVE THE SAME DNA. I know. I have issues (that I clearly need to fix).
Going out makes me uncomfortable. What is socializing? What is partying? What is talking to new people??? (What is having fun? JUST KIDDING kind of)
FOUR // Understand the Greek system and break stereotypes
As I mentioned earlier, the Greek system is a mystery to me. I don’t think anyone truly understands the Greek system unless they’re in the Greek system. And I don’t think anyone can speak about stereotypes unless they’re in the Greek system. There’s so many nooks and crannies depending on what school and what house, and I’m just all around curious. All I know is that I want to break some boundaries and prove the Greek-hating/judging people wrong on some or if possible, all fronts. Like the “buying friends” myth? Highly doubt it. I hate when people instantly jump to that conclusion. More to come on Greek myths in the coming months – I’ll keep y’all updated.
FIVE // Sisterhood
If you read my blog post discussing friendships, then you know that I’m keen on figuring out who my best friends in life are and who will fill up those “slots”. I love the idea of sisterhood in sororities. Growing up with an older sister as well as a twin sister left me feeling a little lonely after I started freshman year. The sisterhood that forms upon joining a sorority sounds like a fantastic way to create life-long friendships.
SIX // Seek & find personal identity
This one’s so vague, but true. I do want to continue to grow, struggle, learn, and figure out who I am and what I want to contribute in my lifetime (existential crisis, much??). Joining a sorority will become part of my identity, but it won’t consume it. I want to see how sorority life will contribute to the whole that is myself in the present and the future.
Whether or not I truly “gain” these things or not upon joining a sorority, I think it’ll be an experience. I’m excited to see whatever else it may throw at me, but these are just some of the things I’m looking forward to.