Since high school I’ve wanted to go greek. My biology teacher was my idol. She was petite, perfectly coiffed, had two adorable children, and also went to Ohio State. She had been in a sorority. From the moment I found out which chapter she was in, I was hooked. I learned their Lilly pattern, their chants, their history, founders, and significant alumni. She was my idol, I wanted nothing more than to follow in her footsteps. On top of that, one of my best friends from my junior year, who had just finished her freshman year at OSU was also in that sorority. I was sure that when I rushed in January of my freshman year, I too would follow in their perfect footsteps.
This made recruitment the worst experience of my life. The process is what you make it, and I made it brutal. The first two rounds I tried desperately to fit in with the girls but quickly realized that I was nothing like them. I loved their house, but little did I know, the peppy, petite, perfect little girls were nothing like me. I smiled, ooh-ed, and ahh-ed at the girls I hoped would be my sisters. But then I was cut in the third round. I was destroyed. I cried, I whined, and then I latched. I latched onto the chapters that most resembled it. The girls were pretty and sweet but I was lost. This was another horrible decision.
Preference round came and I was cut from even more chapters. I was left with Alpha Chi Omega and one other sorority. After sobbing through the entire round, I realized that Alpha Chi was my perfect fit, but I was afraid to admit it. I had attached myself to my teacher’s sorority for so long, and I knew nothing about Alpha Chi. I had never even heard of them, and I was scared to make the wrong decision. So I dropped out. At that exact moment, I knew that this was the absolute worst decision I could’ve made.
Several weeks later, by the grace of God, I was extended a snap-bid to Alpha Chi. I knew no one in my chapter, but I was thrilled. I met 150 girls that loved me immediately. They embraced me, they taught me, they changed me. My biggest regret from it all is that I had dropped out before Bid Day. They danced with me, watched endless episodes of Grey’s Anatomy with me, and I found my Big within a week. My sisters didn’t look like the cookie cutter girls I met during recruitment, they were all extremely different. They are timelessly beautiful, elegant, empowered women. They are perfect. They are exactly what I never knew I was looking for, and exactly what I needed.
When you go through recruitment, your Rho Gams will tell you to keep an open mind. If this is your first time seeing the chapters, you’ll be drawn to the bright, sparkly, loud things. Sparkly, loud things are great, but a lasting bond, loyalty, and unconditional love are greater. Find the sorority that can give you these things. Joining a chapter because your mom wants your to, or girls from your school are in it, or because they’re the “hot, fun girls on campus” are the wrong reasons to go greek. Find a chapter that will help you grow, that will teach you new things, and that will love you through it all. That is what greek life is all about. If you find one that has all of these qualities as well as the bright and sparkly things, you have found your perfect chapter. I happened to be lucky enough to find mine - my home at Alpha Chi Omega.
The most important thing for you to understand is that there is no perfect chapter. One may seem that way, but I can assure you that each chapter has their own issues. People on campus may rate your chapter as “top tier” or “bottom tier”, but these are petty terms used by small people. College is not about being on top, its about growing and learning. The tier system is a sham, and if that is what you’re focused on, you shouldn’t try out greek life. Go greek to advance, not to retreat back to high school ways.
Greek Life is also about cross chapter bonding. The girls that I had wanted to join so badly in recruitment are some of my closest friends. In fact, we’re closer now than before because we’ve been able to grow within our chapters, yet together. The beauty of Panhellenic love is that each chapter is unique, but the ties that bind us are the same.