With recruitment coming up as soon as August at some schools, I thought it would be the perfect time to write a post about going Greek. While it isn’t for everyone, I wanted girls who feel like they might not be the right fit to take a chance. I never saw myself as a “sorority girl”. I had no interest in Greek life whatsoever. However, joining my chapter was the best decision I have made in college.
Before I went to college, I stayed put in my comfort zone. Leaving home, trying new things, and meeting new people all intimidated me. When I made the decision in spring 2015 to go to UMass Amherst, a school 5 hours from my home in New Jersey, I was forced to do all of those things. As a student transferring in the spring, it was more difficult to join clubs and meet people versus in the fall. At the end of my first semester, I still was not satisfied with my college experience.
Over the summer, I began to see posts in UMass Facebook groups about going through formal recruitment. I favorited the page and secretly mulled over the idea. When I first mentioned the idea of going Greek, my friends and family were shocked. They told me that they thought I was too shy to join a sorority and that I would not fit in. Despite their criticism, I was determined to give recruitment a chance. Watching countless recruitment videos on YouTube made me want to join something that looked like so much fun. I signed up online and patiently waited for October to roll around.
When I finally attended the information session months later, I, unfortunately, had a sinking feeling in my stomach that my friends and family were correct. I was surrounded by 500+ other Potential New Members, all who seemed much more outgoing than I was. They were all chatting to each other about what sorority they wanted to be in, what sports they did in high school, and what other clubs they were in on campus. I sat quietly in my chair browsing through the information packet wondering what I had got myself into. I started wondering if I should dress preppier, brush up on my sorority knowledge, or just drop out of the whole process.
Luckily, a friend convinced me to at least go through the first day. It was then that I decided to do recruitment my way. If I was going to end up in a sorority, it was going to be one that accepted me for being myself and dressing the way I already did. It had to be one that understood my anxiety disorder and my love of rabbits.
I was pleasantly surprised after I took on this attitude. I had a great time on the first day talking to each of the houses, being myself. Everyone I spoke to was respectful and engaging. It was difficult to make my list on the first day because I genuinely got good impressions from all of the sororities. As the days went on, I narrowed them down, until there was one. I was happy to open my bid from the Delta Mu chapter of Alpha Chi Omega on October 6, 2015.
I found an organization that accepts me for who I am, raises money and awareness for a cause that I am passionate about, and most importantly, brought me out of my shell. Sitting in my first new member meeting, I was that same, shy, quiet girl. I was horrified to admit to anyone that I had anxiety and thought I would be judged by everyone. Now, here I am, publicly writing about my anxiety and depression online for the entire world to see.
My sisters have shown me nothing but support in the almost 2 years I have been in the organization. They are my biggest advocates and had nothing but kind words to say when I started this blog. I met girls that I would never have crossed paths with otherwise and I am eternally grateful. Although all of us have different interests, majors, backgrounds, and personalities, we treat everyone with respect.
Being a sister of Alpha Chi didn’t change the person who I was at the core. It brought out strengths that I didn’t know I had. It truly has made me a real strong woman.
If you have any questions about formal recruitment or Greek life, leave them in the comments below!