Ever since I was a first-year camper at the sleep away camp that I attended for ten summers, I knew I wanted to be in a sorority. First, I was introduced to the idea of greek life through apparel; I idolized my counselors who all rocked their chapter’s sweatshirts whenever the weather permitted them to. The strange symbols embroidered to their clothing fascinated me. I recognized some letters in the triplet, but the other shapes were a complete mystery. When I inquired what the letters stood for, I learned about what being in a sorority meant to each one of my counselors. They preached that being apart of a chapter was like being at camp all year round--that they felt as close to their sorority sisters as they did to their real sisters! Ok, all corniness aside, if you’re a camp girl like I am, this idea of sisterhood was totally appealing. Soon after, my counselors had my friends and me reciting the greek alphabet by heart. Real life. Naturally, by the time I was a rising freshman at U of M, I was a born and bred sorority girl.
While the recruitment process itself was certainly long and tedious, life as a sister has been nothing short of wonderful. I am a girl who does not adjust easily to change, and seeing as Michigan is seven times larger than my high school, I had a hard time transitioning. Finding a group of girlfriends I felt like I could trust was a struggle for me, and prior to recruitment, I really doubted that I would be able to quickly find a nook for myself. All of those fears have now subsided. The recruitment process introduced me to some truly awesome people, both inside and outside of my own chapter. During recruitment, I was able to bond with girls about how lost we ALL felt and how we each were seeking a chapter where we would feel at home. Enduring the two week recruitment process with girls who shared the same anxieties as I did was a comfort and made me feel less lonely.
My advice to freshman who aren’t sure if they should go through recruitment or not? Try it. I realize that Greek life isn’t for everyone, but you never know if it’s for you until you try. However, if you go through first sets and are certain that greek life isn’t for you, don’t worry! There are so many other ways to build a small community on your college campus. Intramural sports teams, academic clubs and pre-professional fraternities are some great examples of groups you can join to make smaller your seemingly overwhelming atmosphere.
To those girls that ARE going through recruitment, I have one piece of advice for you, and that is to enter recruitment with an open mind. I know it is difficult to erase your mind of previously known biases and opinions, but to the best of your ability, IGNORE THEM! As a college student, you are old enough to form your own opinions of each chapter based on your own experience, not your sister’s friend’s roommates. All I can say is let your heart do the deciding, because you will only be doing a disservice to yourself if you listen to all the little voices.