Sorority Sister or Independent: The Choice is Yours

It’s the moment so many girls look forward to their freshman year of college: RUSH. Many schools also call it recruitment, but either way, it is THE social period during college in which hundreds of thousands of young co-eds participate. My experience with recruitment, as it was called at my school, was pretty lackluster. I had had no prior knowledge of the process, hardly knew anyone who had been in a sorority nor really, truth be told, felt any desire to join one. However, I learned a lot about Greek life just through not having known much and asking so many of my friends going through the excitement and frenzy of the week.

The choice to join a sorority is a very personal one. Membership requires a commitment, not only of time, but of money and sense of self. Not that sorority sisters are meant to change who they are, but certainly traditions and rules pervade sorority life in a very defined way. For example, certain colors could only be worn on certain days for one sorority. Beers had to be drunk from a cup, not a can or bottle. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Although I had a very rich and social college life, I did find that sisterhood provided a very organized sense of community and friendship. The ability to identify with a group based on interest or legacy did have its perks. Many of my friends prepared for cool and interesting functions, philanthropy events, and encouraged each other to do well in school and to stay out of trouble. Tradition pervaded most activities and, I would later find out after college, united people and helped make easy connections between sisters that went to different schools.

If going Greek is not for you, campuses offer tons of opportunities to have the same sense of community and for varied interests. I joined a number of clubs and led a couple that spoke more deeply to my interests in culture and television. They afforded me opportunities to perform dances I’d never done before for cultural events, meet a variety of people from all different backgrounds, and start new and interesting projects, like a comedy skit show my friends and I started that ended up getting looped on the school’s television channel all year.

Truth be told, I did have a brief encounter with sorority life for a couple of weeks my sophomore year. A new sorority had just arrived on campus to the anticipation of many non-Greeks who could now have their second chance at joining a sorority. I met some really awesome women and had some great times, but, in the end, I felt I already had everything I needed in the way of a social structure on campus. Looking back, I know exactly which sorority I would have joined if I had actually spent time during recruitment to explore, but sometimes hindsight is 20/20. My advice for anyone who is at least unsure of which way to go is to ask a lot of questions, do some research and participate in both rush activities and campus organizations to see what fits best for you.

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