Hey, I’m totally in love with you, so maybe you can help me. I’ve been ordinary all my life. In high school I played sports, but I was just okay. I made okay grades. I never had a boyfriend, my parents aren’t rich, I had to get a job. I was just ordinary, average. I promised myself college would be different. Being in a sorority was something I always wanted. I went to my average college and went through rush. On day one I knew this was what I wanted, everyone was so nice to me, I felt like I had found somewhere I finally belonged. On sisterhood day, the day before pref day at my school I went to my three top houses and the new house on campus that had to invite everyone back just to meet quota. These were the houses I had liked all week. I even had that “this is home” feeling that everyone talks about at one house. Then pref day came and the only house that invited me back was the new house on campus, I was crushed and dropped immediately. I didn’t drop rush because this house was thought of as weird, every new house has to build up its reputation and I see nothing wrong with that. I dropped because I had no connections at this house what so ever. I never once had a good conversation here, I waited it out all week just to give it a chance and the “home” feeling never came. Not like it had at the other house that dropped me. I felt like this house only asked me back because they had to ask everyone back to meet quota. Once again I am just ordinary, too ordinary to be in sorority. I’m trying my hardest not to be bitter or dislike greek life, but its hard. Every time I see girls on bid day or Instagraming their rush week pictures, its makes me want to cry. What should I do? Should I try to rush again in the spring? Just accept the fact that I’m too ordinary to be in a sorority?
Dear Plain Jane,
First of all, nice touch with the flattery. As they say “flattery only gets you so far” but honestly? It basically gets you the whole way. So that, mixed with this really sad question makes me want to help you.
As you may (or may not) know, I struggled with recruitment. I decided to sit out of it my freshman year, so when I rushed as a sophomore things were a little trickier. I’m not going to lie to you and say that your age and grade don’t matter. They do. A lot. Some chapters will only take two sophomores. Some will take twelve. The numbers dip even lower as we go higher up in the grades. That being said, I was
cocky confident that I would find my home.
And then, like you, I was dropped by my top house. And like you, I was absolutely devastated. Still, I pushed through, got a bid, and fell in love with a different chapter. That’s the end of my story, but it’s not the end of yours.
I know it can be weird to join a “new sorority.” You don’t get bigs and littles. You have to work three times as hard to get any respect. You feel like the losers of Greek life. Sure, they need good retention rates, and yes, they give out a lot of bids. So you feel like they’re going to be lame. Again, I’m not going to lie to you, I thought the same thing. A lot of people think that. You didn’t want to be the absolute “bottom” chapter. You didn’t have a connection with this chapter. You didn’t know these girls. You didn’t want to agree to be their sister without knowing them. I get it.
And I get why you chose to leave Greek life. But I want you to take a second to look at the chapter you “loved.” You had spent a total of, maybe three hours at the house. You talked to, possibly ten girls. You got to see their home after it was scrubbed down, impeccably decorated, and looked it’s absolute best. You got to see these girls the same way. Scrubbed down, impeccably dressed, and looking their absolute best. I’m sure they were all nice and funny and “real.” Want to know a secret? Every house is like that.
That’s right. For the most part, every house is the same.
That’s going to sound strange. Why do people talk about that “home” feeling then? You wonder. Because we, like you, had a connection with this chapter after a few hours. But the reason we sit here and talk about that feeling, and how much we love our letters, came from something way after preference night. It came from sisterhood events. From initiation. From getting buddies. It came from crying together, laughing together, finding friends, and avoiding (or causing) drama. The reason we know it was our home is because we chose that when we accepted our bids.
Because honestly, every chapter has social events. Every chapter has formals, buddies (whether it’s bigs/littles or twins), and philanthropy events. Every chapter has leadership positions. Every chapter has slackers. With a hundred girls in the organization, odds are you’ll find a friend group. You’ll do things you like. You’ll have the experience you’re looking for. All you have to do is be open to it. If you accept your bid but never come around the house, never make an effort, and never try, you’re not going to feel involved, no matter how much you may or may not love the chapter from the start.
The problem isn’t that you’re plain. The problem isn’t that you’re too old or too whatever to get a bid. The problem is your attitude.
No one wants a sister who mopes because her plan didn’t go perfectly. No one will greet you with open arms if you complain about how much you hate the chapter. No one will try to accept you unless you try to accept them back. That might be harsh, but I have a feeling you need it. So I’m going to be really forward with you: You need to give Greek life another shot. But this time, actually give it a shot. Keep an open mind. Give the girls a chance. Realize that recruitment is such a tiny part of what a sisterhood is.
Chances are, no matter where you go, you can be happy. You’ll find people you love, and you’ll look back and wonder what you were thinking. Open yourself up to it, and someday you’ll be telling your own story about how you found your “home.” Fix your attitude, open your mind, and give whatever house wants you a chance. There are tons of sisters just dying to meet you, all you have to do is let them..