For the most part, you’re all here for the same basic reasons: you’re a female, you attend or used to attend a university (dammit, graduation), and you are a member of a Greek organization. When you chose to go through recruitment, you most likely had no idea what it meant to be initiated. A week of wearing heels, making small talk, and feeling like the fakest bitch in the world was just the start. Because then, you ran home. You met fabulous women. You were showered with gifts. You cried during emotional “let’s get to know each other” events, and you laughed your ass off at bonding events. You made a lot of buddies, you met your big, and eventually, after weeks of waiting, you finally got to take part in initiation.
You became a full-blown sister of your sorority. Remember how absolutely amazing that was? You were dazzled by the ceremonies, delighted by the detail, and you felt blessed for every minute you got to spend submerged in this world. You couldn’t post a Facebook status quickly enough saying how thrilled you were to be an initiated member of your beloved sorority.
But then you stuck around for a while. A long while. And now? Well, now you know the truth. Initiation kind of sucks ass.
It’s long. Like, really long. Like, days long, in some cases. It gets hot with more than 100 girls crammed in the house for hours. You somehow always manage to get yelled at or forced to do extra work, because everyone is lazy. You spend way too much money on family shirts and gifts and you can’t help compare this watered down version of initiation to your own initiation, years ago, before everyone got so touchy about hazing. I get it. I’m right there with you. After two, three, four initiations–well, it gets old.
But before you turn in your excuses and say you “have to work” (despite the fact that you don’t have a job) or you claim you’re sick (boo, you whore) to get out of initiation, take a second to really think about what initiation means.
It all started in 1851 when the Adelphean Society was established as the first secret society for women. For those of you who were about to pull up your calculator app, that was 163 years ago–69 years before women even had the right to vote. For the past 163 years, women have been coming together and initiating “sisters” who hold their values and strive to make a difference. Talk about a long commitment. The founding members of your organization came together in times of complete hardship. They banded together when they weren’t allowed to vote, during Prohibition, through the Great Depression, and in times of utter despair. They created the ceremonies, wrote the vows, and slaved over the values they wanted generations of women to carry on.
They, in essence, chose you.
And how do you thank them? By ditching initiation because you’re too hungover. By saying that the outfit you have to wear is hideous. By doing homework the entire time instead of bonding with your sisters. I’m not saying we’re all acting like little bitches when we complain about initiation, but, well…we are.
How many things are sacred to us these days? I mean, people have sex whenever, wherever, and with whomever. We have no problem telling someone the secret we swore we wouldn’t reveal. We’ll flirt with that guy, even though he’s in a relationship. “Special” things are no longer special. Most traditions in society have turned old. So when you are faced with something sacred, something pure, and something beautiful, such as a 150-year-old ceremony that celebrates women, it’s pretty rare. It’s something you shouldn’t let pass you by, no matter how hungover you are or how ugly you look in royal blue..