“So, today’s the big day, huh?” Naomi’s roommate, Chrissy, antagonized. “You’re finally going to be a ~sorority~ girl.”
Naomi looked back at her through her vanity mirror, as she applied blush. “Well, hopefully. Unless I don’t get in anywhere.”
“So what? Who cares? Then you can just be a GDI like me, and we can make fun of all the girls wearing pink, spending Daddy’s money, getting sOoOoOo wasted to impress, like Chad or whatever.”
Okay, except regardless of if I’m in a sorority, I’m still going to be wearing pink, spending Daddy’s money, and getting wasted to impress Chad. So I might as well do it in a group.
“I guess,” Naomi offered, dejectedly.
“What’s the deal for today anyway? You just go to the quad and they herd you like cattle into your new pens?”
“I mean sort of. We go, and they do Pi Chi Reveal.”
“Is that a sorority?”
“No, they’re our recruitment counselors. Sort of like our liaison into sorority world or whatever before Bid Day. Honestly, they’re kind of annoying, and I get the feeling some of them are spies, reporting back to their sororities about us, but they’re helpful if you have questions. Sort of. Anyway, the whole point is we don’t know what sorority they’re in, and everyone’s trying to guess all week, and it’s kind of fun.”
“Do you know which sorority you want?”
“I think…Beta Gamma.”
This question was honestly hard for her to answer. The entirety of the week leading up to today was a roller coaster of emotions for her. She’d been 50% confident that she was going to get her top choice, and 50% terrified, she’d be dropped by every house. Still, that nagging anxiety hadn’t prepared her for how it felt to be rejected by a group of girls who barely knew her.
In a word: it sucked. Recruitment, as a PNM, was not as fun as everyone was pretending it was. It was hard. You try your best to be the “real you,” and also somehow the “best you,” in an attempt to impress some girl in a three-minute conversation before her big comes over to interrupt your conversation, and take it over in a very rehearsed manner. And at the end of the day, if you say one thing wrong — or even if you do nothing wrong, but you’re unable to connect with a stranger in those few minutes — you’re altering the fate of the next four years of your life. And when you get cut? All you feel, no matter how many great houses asked you back, is What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t they like me? It was all very high school.
And in a very high school fashion, Naomi had her heart set on Beta Gamma, the top house on campus, from the beginning. Through it all, she was lucky enough to pref with them. But she couldn’t help but question her motives. That house was filled with the prettiest girls, for sure. And wearing their letters would mean people would look at her the way she wanted to be looked at. But truthfully, she felt like she always had to be “on” in that house.
“But honestly, I think I’d be happy in either house I preffed with.” Naomi saw Chrissy’s quizzical expression and added, “the two houses I have left. The other is Rho Lambda.”
Rho Lambda wasn’t much of a thought in Naomi’s friend until her new friend Ashley, a shoo-in for literally any house she wanted, pointed it out to her. The more she visited the house, the more she liked them, though. They weren’t as glamorous as Beta Gamma, but they were fucking funny. They didn’t seem to view recruitment as the pep rally the other houses did, and considering Naomi was rolling her eyes at a lot of the process, she appreciated that.
“When do you need to go over there?”
“Shit, like, now,” she said, looking down at her phone.
Naomi grabbed a banana and rushed out of the room, waving goodbye to her roommate who still hadn’t gotten out of her bed. When she walked up to her rush group on the quad, she was lowkey ashamed of how terrified she was.
“Don’t open it yet!” her Pi Chi warned, as she handed her a small white envelope with no markings on it but her name, about the size of an index card. Her palms were sweaty already, and the anxiety was next level, until someone jolted her from behind.
“Guess who, you fucking slut,” she heard Ashley’s voice say. “You nervous?”
“Oh, don’t. You have a bid in your fucking hand right now, so worst case scenario isn’t even that bad.”
The head of Greek Life stood before everyone and began spewing some bullshit that the girls continued to whisper over, until finally, he counted down for everyone to open their bids in three…two…one. The room immediately erupted into cheers and tears as the girls ripped open their envelopes to see what the next four years had in store for them.
“I GOT RHO LAMBDA!” Ashley screamed. For the first time Naomi realized that Ashley was a little bit nervous about the whole ordeal after all. She looked down at her own bid card, and felt that familiar pang of rejection from throughout the week, mixed, to her surprise, with a great deal of relief, which quickly turned into excitement.
“Omigahhhhhhhh, I guess we’re, like, sisters!” Ashley said, 45% mocking the process, but mostly just excited for the two of them.
“I suppose we have to run now,” Naomi said, referencing the tradition of PNMs running up to their new houses on Bid Day. “To be honest, I did not sign up for exercise. Can we still laugh at the girls who trip, even if they’re in our sorority.”
“It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t.”
The two girls started toward their new sorority house, and despite feeling above all the cutesy sorority shit, both of them found themselves giggling as they ran “home.” The sound of their 150 newest sisters chanting their song in anticipation of their arrival was exhilarating. It made the whole process just feel — bigger than they’d thought. It made it all feel worth it. And as Naomi rushed into her new house, and was tackle hugged by the girl who preffed her, any thoughts of Beta Gamma immediately disappeared. She looked around at the smiling faces and felt good.
But when she heard an older sister in a tutu reunite with an estranged Pi Chi and say “Oh my God, I missed you more than my last period, you fucking cunt,” she felt like she was home.
When she took out her phone, her Instagram was already flooded with follow requests, and she was almost embarrassed about how excited that made her. She shot her roommate a text:
“Just signed my bid to Rho Lambda. They gave us a bunch of t-shirts and sorority themed stuff already, and now they’re like, teaching us dirty songs. I think I’m going to be home late tonight. Sounds like there’s going to be a dinner, or a party, or something. Don’t lock the top lock.”
“Are you happy?”
“Really happy. This is wild.”.
Read other installments in this series: