As I’ve mentioned before, being chosen as a Rho Chi is an honor and a great experience. What I didn’t mention, however, is the less great experience of the leadership retreat that most schools require us to attend before they place innocent freshmen girls in our hands. During retreat we’re whisked away from our beloved campus and forced to “bond” and learn leadership and team-building skills before we give up our letters. This is kind of how mine went…
7 am: Bus is leaving. Fuck, am I tired. I hope this venti triple skinny vanilla latte kicks in soon. Wow, a lot of these girls look like they’re one bump in the road from vomming. Thank God I’m not them.
8:30 am: We arrive at the hotel and it’s continental breakfast time. THANK GOD. I’M FUCKING STARVING. I wasn’t drunk last night, so I didn’t drunk eat…meaning I didn’t eat at all. Look, a buffet table! I’m about to run train on these…Mini muffins? That’s it? Fuck my life.
9:30 am: Leadership activities begin. We’re all in the big conference room, sitting in the chairs lined up around the perimeter. The fat lady with unruly curls and a guitar that the University hired to do this leadership conference orders us to move around so we’re not sitting next to our own sisters. We all move approximately one seat to our left or right. It’s still too fucking early to be playing musical chairs and feigning interest in strangers. I’m cranky. Is there more coffee anywhere? Can I leave? ICEBREAKERS!? Really? Bye.
10:30: Everyone has introduced themselves by now. A bunch of Comm and Education juniors and seniors. Fucking duh. I could’ve told you that in my sleep…which reminds me, why am I not still sleeping? Oh, we’re splitting into two teams now. That’s cool I guess, cause I’ll still be with like, my own sisters. Oh, SHE’S on my team? I was reeeeeally hoping to avoid her since I just slept with her roommate’s boyfriend (totally by accident). Do you think she knows who I am? Wait, definitely. Everyone does. Oh, fuck.
11:30 JUMP ROPING?? ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW!? Like, ACTUAL physical activity? I haven’t jumped rope since I was five, and that is no exaggeration. I don’t even know how…hey, I did it! Cool I guess. Doesn’t change the fact that I really don’t want to be here. I can’t figure out how not tripping over the rope relates to helping PNMs through the recruitment process. Okay, so, if one person trips on the rope, we all start over…GOD DAMMIT, THE FAT GIRL KEEPS TRIPPING! WHAT THE FUCK!? Is it really that hard??? At least I’m getting some kind of cardio out of this. That girl is totally gonna throw up. Yup. Six girls just ran to the bathroom to puke. Guess there was more than one crush party last night. Sucks to be you. BAI.
12:30 pm: Lunch. There better be something besides mini muf…OMG, CRUDITES!!!!!! Ranch dressing with a side of veggies. I’ll take five.
1 pm: More leadership activities. Now we are in a group with our own sisters. Yay! We’re making a poster and we have to write stereotypes on it. This should be interesting. And then everyone stands up and presents what they think their own stereotypes are, which shouldn’t be awkward at all…
*** girls stand up. They are all blonde and skinny. “Well, we wrote…blonde…(true)…cokeheads…(definitely true)…slutty (yup)…stuck up (So stuck up)
Now *** “Well…um…some people say we’re ‘dogs’ or ‘fat’ (both true) and are ‘virgin prudes’ (still half true) and it is REALLY hurtful.”
(insert name of my sorority here)!!! Its your turn!!!
Oh shit, my chapter. We stand up. “Okay, uh, people say we drink a lot (true) we’re pretty (obviously) and we care about social more than GPA or philanthropy (doesn’t everyone? No? Okay).”
Time to launch into a whole discussion about why stereotypes are bad…
I actually start to get slightly emotional. Like, yeah, some of the stereotypes are a little (or close to 100%) true. But when I think about everything my sisters have done for me, and how much stronger I am because of this sorority, it does kinda hurt when people reduce us to one word like “slut” or “alcoholic.”
Okay, crazy leadership lady, I get it. Point taken.
After a few more bonding activities, it’s time to get our room assignments which I’ve heard is the worst fucking part of this whole debacle. They put four girls in rooms with two beds with people they MAKE SURE don’t know each other. I end up with girls from sororities that we don’t mix with, ever. The only thing we have in common is the frat houses we frequent. Wonderful.
7 pm: Dinner. We’re “highly encouraged” to sit and awkwardly mingle with our new roomies, and at this point I am so exhausted from lack of sleep and excessive jump roping that I could be sitting with Barack Obama and probably not even realize it. After a while the food comes out…caesar salad, pasta, chicken, potatoes, rolls with butter…they have FINALLY decided to feed the sorority girls today. I take a plate of way too much food, eat most of it, and we all head upstairs to watch TV and pass out. My complete exhaustion overshadows how weird it is that I’m lying in bed with a complete stranger, which I’ve never done before sober. Or with a girl.
The next morning we officially give up our letters and are placed into groups that we’ll be with for all of recruitment. My partner is in a bottom-tier sorority but we have a couple of mutual friends in common through classes and stuff. She’s bubbly and super sweet and I feel really guilty for previously judging her chapter. Maybe that’s the point. Anyway, after getting to know each other a little bit we finally head back onto the bus to go back to campus, where I realize that not only is it Sunday afternoon and I’ve spent the entire weekend sober, but that I would have to seriously plan my outfits this week since I’m forbidden from wearing letters until Bid Day. It was going to be a long ride.