Like many of you, both of my parents were Greek. When I was a little girl, I would flip through my mom’s college pictures of huge groups of girls wearing these strange letters. It never meant very much to me though. At least, not until my senior year of high school.
As I began touring universities, my mom started telling me about her sorority experience and explaining exactly what it meant to be in a sorority. At first I thought she was crazy. “What the hell are socials? You mean people intentionally dress up like retards and go get hammered? Sounds like a year-long Halloween. And I’m supposed to get along with 150 girls all of the time? You’re nuts.” But the more she talked about it, the more I fell in love with the idea of being in a sorority.
I decided to attend my mom’s alma mater and it took her two seconds to dig out everything from her sorority past. She told me about all of the sororities and fraternities at the university, what they were like when she went there, and what she had heard about them recently. The biggest point she made was that I was a legacy for her sorority. “Legacies are almost always accepted,” she told me. “There is no way they will cut you. It’s nearly impossible and they wouldn’t cut you anyway. If you don’t like them during recruitment, that’s okay–but I’m sure you will.”
By the end of summer, I had become so confident that I would be in her sorority. I had no worries about recruitment at all. The first day of recruitment I woke up to an email from my mom expressing how happy she would be if we became sisters. Over the next few days, I went to other houses and enjoy myself, but nothing compared to the excitement I felt when I walked into that house–her house. I cut other great sororities because I didn’t want to waste their time, thinking I wouldn’t pick them. However, I had gotten too confident during the summer and firmly believed that my mom’s sorority would love me just as much as I loved them. Looking back, I am sure I came across as a little bit of a snob. And then it happened.
On Preference Day I got dressed and went to the Greek office to pick up my schedule for the day. I looked at my schedule and what I saw devastated me: they had dropped me. I was scheduled for the one other sorority that I really liked and one other house.
Long story short, after a conversation (sob-fest) over the phone with my mom, I ended up going to the other house I liked during the week and I fell in love. When I started paying attention to what I really wanted in a sorority, I realized that this house was exactly where I should be. The women in her sorority were great, but I realize now that I had nothing in common with them. I see them on campus and sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if I was wearing their letters instead of mine. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my letters for anything, because they brought me some of the best friends I could ever wish for. Looking back, I really just wanted to join my mom’s sorority because I wanted that bond with her, not because I wanted to be part of that sisterhood. What I’ve come to realize is that just by both of us being part of a sorority, we have a special bond and something we can talk about.
Don’t turn down the chance to be in other great sororities just because you think being a legacy makes your decision for you. It might be a fantastic sorority, but it might not be fantastic for you. Recruitment is about finding your home and the women who will make you the best version of yourself. Don’t turn down all of the options until you know what you are looking for.