Bid day is believed to be one of the happiest, most exciting days of your college career. As you get older, you misremember it as such, but depending on the type of sorority you were accepted into, you probably had a very different experience as a new member.
You carefully open the envelope to your bid card, hands trembling, and you see the name of your first choice. You don’t know whether to cry, or scream, or hug the person next to you, so you do all three and then proceed to sprint as quickly as you can to the designated location of your new sorority. When you get there, you see a crowd of beautiful, smiling, cheering girls, and you are overwhelmed by people shouting your name and giving you hugs. As you board the bid day bus, you look around and see your new pledge class is made up of choice freshmen. While all of your new sisters could be models, there are a couple that actually are, plus a former Miss Teen Something. As you arrive at your bid day location, you realize just how awesome your experience is going to be. Your sorority rented the coolest bar downtown for the day, and even more of your new sisters are there waiting to welcome you with enthused chanting and hugs. Any awkwardness that could exist while meeting over a hundred strangers is completely abated by everyone’s genuine kindness, excitement, and superior social skills. At the end of a very full day, your bid day buddy takes you home to hang a very glittery, almost professionally-made door sign denoting your new chapter’s love for you. You are already overladen with gifts the girls have given you. You can’t wait for tomorrow so you can sport your new sorority tote and coordinating bid day shirt, along with the rest of your pledge class.
You anxiously open your envelope, and see the name of your new sorority. Ok, I can deal with this, you think as you process everything that is going on around you. No, it wasn’t your first choice, but these are still great girls and you really could see yourself fitting in here. You feign extreme enthusiasm (might as well make the most of it, right?) as you run over to where your new sisters are anxiously waiting to welcome you with open arms. Well, some are. Really, your new sorority is such a conglomeration of things. There are girls who are determined give 110% enthusiasm because they genuinely love their sorority or are determined to put on a show in order to move up in the ranks (the difference is easy to spot), and then there are girls that look like they’ve been dragged in and threatened to cheer on the new pledge class. Between a mixture of warm, happy hugs, and somewhat forced cheers of your name, you are able to examine your new sisters. There is a large handful of really gorgeous girls that could have gone top tier, and the rest are nothing exceptional, yet still average to pretty. When you get on the bid day bus, you notice some of your new pledge sisters are absolutely thrilled to be here, while there are some that clearly just arrived because they spent the last hour crying in the bathroom of the student center after they didn’t get their first choice. Most have expressions on their faces that echo what you are feeling inside: very much overwhelmed and not sure what to think of everything. When you arrive at the location of your bid day celebration, you start to feel much more comfortable. They’ve organized a fun activity for everyone, at a pretty decent location. Things might get awkward for a minute or so, but everyone is so nice that you’re at ease. Afterwards, your bid day buddy takes you home and carefully hangs a cutesy sign expressing the sorority’s love for you on your door, and gives you a hug. You feel a little resentment for the girl down the hall who got into a top tier, but you know things are going to be just fine.
You got here one of two ways. This chapter’s preference night may have been the only one you attended, so you know this is coming, OR you’re about to get some not-so-exciting news. You eagerly tear open your envelope expecting to see…Oh my gosh, what happened?! This must be some kind of horrible mistake! No, sorry sweetie, this wasn’t. Welcome home. You’re in shock, and slowly look around you, unmoving. Some happy, crying girl hugs you and then runs off, and you realize that you should probably get moving, too. You fight back tears as you do a fake happy, and half-jog to wherever your sorority is supposed to be. You never thought fate would be this cruel. When you get there, you see a crowd of girls that are beaming to see all of the new babies. They put together an out-of-harmony song/chant about sisterhood to welcome you in. You get a lot of awkward hugs. The girls try to be as hospitable as possible. When you get on the bid day bus, you finally have a minute to see who is in your pledge class. There are a couple of girls that you recognize from class, a couple that are visibly expressing how pissed they are to see you, but most look like they are just glad to be in a sorority. As you and your band of misfits get off the bus, you see that you are at a fairly nice restaurant. After a couple of hours of awkward and forced conversations, you are finally able to return home. Your bid day buddy proudly tacks up a surprisingly well-crafted sign on your door that you kind of want to take down, and gives you an awkward side-hug and a tote bag filled with things you might consider throwing away. You are relieved when she leaves, and you debate whether or not you should wear your letters at all tomorrow, even though you know everyone else will be wearing theirs.
After this momentous occasion, things will either get better, continue to be just as amazing as you thought they’d be, or spiral out of control to your eventual disaffiliation. In any case, this is the real start of your college career, so make the best of it.