Tryouts And Practice: We can’t just let everyone join. Potential candidates need to show their worth, strut their stuff, and convince all current members that they can make the cut and contribute to the organization. In sports, this involves tests such as a timed mile, a 40-yard sprint, and an agility test; a sorority tests rookies through Q&As about community service, leadership skills, and the ability to walk in heels without looking like a drunk baby. Even the members found worthy to join are expected to practice and perfect their skills, whether it be on the turf, court, or in the gym, or during “polishing week” before recruitment, where they dedicate themselves to song memorization, bumping skills, and learning to survive awkward situations that make the sex talk with your parents look like a piece of cake.
Mascots: Pictures are fun. Every high school, college, and professional team has a symbol to represent it, which is great for girls. While we don’t always remember the names and geographical locations of most teams, pictures of animals are definitely stored in our photographic memory. Many legitimate sports teams pride themselves on their tough, intimidating, ferocious mascots, but sororities are more about the “awhhhh” aspect. From the Delta Zeta turtles, Alpha Phi bears, and AGD squirrels to random, inanimate objects like Delta Gamma anchors, we all have a symbol, and we’re all lying if we say something as obscure as a mascot didn’t somehow have a tiny influence on our decision of which organization to join.
Uniforms: Everyone wants to be known for having the best swag. You see, athletes walk around campus in their athletic jumpsuits. They warm up in the best Nike apparel. Their uniforms seem to be upgraded every year. Sororities are no different. We have our letters to tell us apart, and there’s no one a girl loves more than the merchandising chair when she talks about her latest creations. Sweatshirts, zip-ups, quarter zips, crew necks, T-shirts, crop tops, rain jackets, frat tanks, yoga pants–you name it, there’s a girl out there working to put Greek letters on it for her chapter. Appropriate apparel for every season and weather scenario is a sorority must.
Hierarchy: Every team needs a top dog. Sports teams have a coach, a trainer, captains, veterans, and rookies. There is a delicate hierarchy that exists so every member knows his or her place, job, and how outspoken or opinionated he or she can really be. Any sports team knows that veterans get to call the shots, take the lead, and that all other ranked individuals fall into order accordingly. In sororities, everyone knows there is nothing more terrifying than the entitled seniors. They’ve put in years of work being the underdogs, and they’re going to take their veteran status for everything they can. No sober driving, no pomping, no sobriety at mandatory events, and good luck getting them to come to anything that can’t be qualified as mandatory. While they still love their organization, they will milk their short time on top for everything it’s worth. And everyone lets them, because you know damn well you want the same privileges when it becomes your time to shine.
Positions And Skills: Everyone needs to pull his or her own weight. From a young age, we learn what we’re good at, and we become the best. If you have a knack for scoring, you play offense. If you’re intimidating AF, you play defense. If you’re somehow that freak of nature who doesn’t get tired, lace up, because you’re playing midfield. Sports allow you to find your niche and run with it (literally). Sororities are no different. You’re super organized? Congrats, you’re VP of programming. Really into school? Thank God–you get to be in charge of academics. You’re really protective and somehow have decent patience with drunk people? You’re now trusted with managing the risk that is us in public places while we’re intoxicated.
Hazing: Touchy subject, I know, and I don’t mean this in a violent or demeaning way. But let’s be honest–the rookies are in charge of setting up the field, ball kids, bat boys, and the water person. In Greek life, the youngest girls are involved in Homecoming “pomping,” painting of paddles, sober driving, and so on. Sisters allow newer members to show their skills, earn the veterans’ respect, and set up the continued cycle of hierarchy for years to come. Nothing brings people together quite like bonding by doing things you don’t want to do..