In honor of National Hazing Prevention Week, which was last week, my school created cute Instagram hashtags to raise awareness. My favorite, by far, was #whyIjoinedWednesday. I looked at the pictures my friends and sisters posted, and I realized I couldn’t post one. It’s not because I don’t know why I joined, or because I don’t love my organization. In fact, it’s the exact opposite–there are TOO MANY reasons why I joined.
I joined for the softball player who talked to me on pref night and proved to me that all sorority girls aren’t vapid, blonde cheerleaders. I joined for the former national president who explained to me that recruitment was about ME, not my mom’s legacy. I joined for the girl sitting in the chair next to me when we got our bids who let me cry on her shoulder. I joined for the amazing philanthropy. I joined for the leadership consultant who didn’t give up on me. I joined for the fun that I knew I would have, for mixers and formals and socials. I joined to meet new people. I joined because I could see being part of a sorority was something greater than myself.
Last year, my chapter had a workshop that brought in this amazing woman, whose whole job is to help chapters grow. During the workshop, she told us that when girls go through recruitment, they’re joining PEOPLE, not just the organization. I think about that every time I see my sisters. You see, I joined my organization because I saw something in the 60 plus women who were standing in the room with me on Bid Day. I saw something special in each and every one of them, just like when I went through recruitment on the other side: I saw something incredible in each and every one of our new members.
Every day, I find a new reason to be proud of my organization. Every day, those women make me feel honored to call them my sisters. They’re leaders on campus, they’re athletes, they’re women of absolutely incredible, unstoppable faith. They’re the greatest group of women I’ve ever met. They lift me up and push me to be the best that I can be. The sisterhood we’ve built in just two short years is absolutely incredible, and I stand in awe of it each and every day.
To all you girls out there waiting for spring recruitment, don’t take the decision lightly, because one day, someone is going to look at you and ask you why you chose your organization. If your answer is some cliché, crappy response, that person will know. She’s going to know if you don’t absolutely love your organization. She’s going to know if you’re faking it, and it’s going to drive her away. Join your organization because you’re passionate about what it stands for, where it’s going, and where you feel like it can take you. Join because you love it, not because your best friend wants you to or because you don’t get a bid from anywhere else. And join because you know that when someone asks you that question, you’ll have an answer..