I went through formal recruitment my sophomore year looking for a place to call home, and I found my dream house on preference night. But come Bid Day, I was devastated to find out that I didn’t get into my top sorority.
But I took it all in stride. I did what my Rho Gamma, my friends in other sororities, and even this very website told me to do: I trusted the system. I decided to accept my bid to my second choice house and went through with initiation, knowing that accepting their invitation into sisterhood meant that I wouldn’t be able to join another sorority. Ever.
After two semesters of trying to get in the swing of things with my second choice house, I took a leap of faith and moved into the house. Everyone said that it would be so great. I’d be closer with my sisters and there would be late night movie marathons and Taco Bell runs. I couldn’t wait to finally find my niche and get close with the other girls in my pledge class. Maybe this is just what I needed to finally feel like I belonged.
Even better, our house had just joined a housing group, which meant our facility would be going through major renovations. So I moved in to a home where I shared a tiny room with one girl and slept in glorified army barracks with 40 more, still holding onto the hope of one day genuinely calling them sisters.
Then, I waited. I waited for a click. An “a-ha” moment. A bond to form with someone. But nothing. I couldn’t have felt farther away from these women that lived right next door to me. There would be moments that made me question my entire decision to join this sorority. For example, one evening I walked in the front door to find both of the living rooms full of people. The living room on the right was filled to the brim with people watching the Republican national debate. The living room on the left was filled with a Bible study group. I have never felt more out of place in my life.
I’m sure some people would think that I didn’t try hard enough, or I should’ve gotten involved in my chapter more. When it comes to being in a sorority, you get out of it what you put in, and I knew that.
I was social chair for my sorority for one semester and in that time I changed more things for the better than most members do in their entire college career. Because of this, many sisters urged me to run for president. I was more than eager to oblige, because I had bigger changes in mind.
But then our chapter advisor found a small rule about holding positions for a complete school year and forbade me on a national level from running for the presidential position.
That was it. I couldn’t agree with these women on even a national level. The values that this organization held were not my own. I was done.
While some of the women I met in my time as a member of this chapter were exceptional women, they were not like me. I admire them and call them my friends, but I couldn’t stand here today and tell you they were as close as my own sister. I felt more at home going to my boyfriend’s fraternity than walking into my own home.
So I guess the moral of my story is this: if you don’t feel at home in your sorority — leave. I loved being Greek with all my heart and it hurt me to leave, but I did not love wearing the letters that chose me. I will always love the Greek community at my university, but I wish I could have realized sooner that my house was not my home. So don’t be afraid to suicide on pref night, or to turn down your bid, or to say no if you know it’s truly not what you want. .