It was never a question if I wanted to “go Greek” or not. I knew early on that I wanted to be a part of the sisterhood that my friends had always mentioned. Although the media portrays sororities in a sexist way, joining one was still something I wanted to do. I was excited to find my new best friends and an easy way to the parties.
Each morning of recruitment I saw fewer girls in my small group. Before my eyes I watched the once exciting experience cause more tears than laughs as girls looked at their schedules. I was confused. Why did so many drop out after one round? Why would old classmates hardly acknowledge my presence? It wasn’t until after I pledged a sorority that I realized I never actually had a choice in which house I went to.
My friends and I were always told to be ourselves and to choose the house we felt most comfortable in. However, most sororities were phony and each day at least one of us saw a favorite house disappear from our schedules. How can you choose the house you feel most comfortable in when they don’t invite you back?
I thought that joining a sorority was a mutual decision, but I re-evaluated my opinion when I heard more horror stories than happy endings.
This year, I was on the other side of rush, which revealed many frustrating things about the politics of recruitment. The first round is too short for meaningful conversations, and more than half of the young women must be cut that night. Most of the time, legacies, friends of friends or young women with connections are the ones to stay. I was not a legacy, I was awkward at times and I had below-average grades in high school. The one thing I had going for me was that I was involved and a Houston resident, meaning I was mutual friends with at least one person in each sorority.
I discovered that during rush those who didn’t know me saw only what I looked like on paper, and those who did see through my strained smile either immediately made me feel comfortable or chose not to help me. Many great young women slip through the cracks in the first few rounds for no apparent reason. They may be shy at first, but it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t make a great sister. And just because some had below average grades doesn’t mean they will bring down the chapter’s GPA.
It’s unfortunate that not everyone finds the sisterhood she hoped for, but the ones who do are lucky. There is no fair or mutual way to pick 50 young women out of 700 in four days, but no matter if you originally chose your house or not, try to let it be the right home for you.
Allison Branca is a sophomore strategic communications major from Houston.