As I sit here at my nine to six desk job, I’m realizing that my head isn’t where it should be. Instead of concocting a list of blowjob tips or throwing together a news piece about some irrelevant celebrity feud, I’m stuck wondering what’s happening at my old sorority house. How many PNMS are currently crammed into the living room, shouting each other and trying to make an impression on my sisters? What are the outfits like this year, and how many actives are not-so-secretly bitter about color schemes? What percentage of my sisters are fighting through a sore throat, completely unfazed because they known how goddamn perfect our door chants sound from the sidewalk?
It’s weird that I’m dwelling on recruitment, because I was never really a fan of the process. I loved my sorority, and my sisters, and our big beautiful white house located smack dab in the middle of Greek town. But recruitment? I hated that shit. I hated waking up at 6 o’clock every morning, knowing I wouldn’t return to my bed until it had been dark for several hours. I hated screaming chants until my ears were ringing and my throat was raw. I hated waiting around for hours, practicing the same routine over and over and over again because my recruitment chair was a badass bitch who wouldn’t let us go home until she was absolutely positive that we had every step down to a T. I hated that even though I whined and bitched and sent SOS texts to whatever guy I was messing around with at the time, I secretly loved the fact that I was suffering through the whole process with my best friends, all in order to gain a new class of sisters.
I have FOMO, big time. And it’s not just because recruitment is notorious for fostering friendships between the older and younger actives, but because the rush process is so familiar for anyone who has worked it four years in a row. Even though I hold a general sense of distain for recruitment, I know it too well to not feel slightly out of place when it’s happening there, and I’m here. I know the ins and outs of PHA’s crazy, outdated rules. I know how to keep my cool when a PNM says something insane that will maybe definitely get her cut. I know how to assure the sophomores that the seemingly never-ending week will eventually be over, and Bid Day will make everything seem worthwhile. I know how to save face and act like I’m not dying to go home and put on some sweats, because there’s a helpless, frightened freshman who’s relying on me to make her feel welcome.
That’s the thing about recruitment; you’re not doing it for you, or your recruitment chair, or your sorority—you’re doing it for that 18-year-old girl who desperately wants a place to call home after she’s just moved so far away from her own. So you suck it up and put on a smile to make her feel comfortable, even though your heels have been pinching your toes for five straight hours and you’ve never been less comfortable in your life.
I don’t really know what’s going on in the house, and it would be impossible for me to understand from my cubicle three states away. Whatever is happening, I can only hope that my sisters are kicking ass and taking names (like literally taking names, because every PNM wants a bid from us). I hope the freshmen realize that our sisterhood is every bit as bizarre as it is cherished. I hope the actives are putting forth a positive and energetic front, even though I know they’re pulling on oversized hoodies and burrito-ing themselves in fuzzy blankets behind the scenes. I hope the freshmen realize that even though recruitment is stressful, a lifetime in the Greek system is completely worth a week of chaos. But mostly, like any proud alumna, I hope the girls my pledge class left behind aren’t totally fucking the whole thing up. .