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Friday, June 19, 2015

Should you rush?

On Instagram, I've seen a lot of recruitment buzz lately.

Many girls are posting pictures of them with their sorority sisters encouraging girls to sign up for recruitment for this fall. There are a lot of pros and cons to Greek life, and I know that some of you aren't quite sure if it's worth it.

Side note, if you're already in college, you can totally rush as a sophomore or junior. Yes, I realize it isn't as common as going through recruitment as a freshman, but you can still experience Greek life at whatever school you attend.

You will meet tons of people.
College can be a bit tricky to navigate (socially that is) at first. If you choose to go through recruitment, even if you don't pledge, you'll meet a bunch of girls that are both in your class and older than you.

You can get involved easily.
A really cool thing about sororities is that there is a lot of room for leadership. Someone has to be on executive council, and it could be you someday! Also, if you love philanthropy, Greek life in general strongly emphasizes giving back to charitable causes. Different chapters have different organizations that they support, and that could have a great influence over your decision.

You can network.
One of the internships I have this summer is because of one of my sorority sisters. She nannies for my boss, and when she said that she was looking for interns, my sister put it in our Facebook page. Greek life extends beyond your particular house at your particular school though - a lot of girls I went to high school with went KD at different schools, and now we bond over the sisterhood we share and we can swap t-shirt ideas. ;)

You will make tons of great girlfriends.
You really will. If you jive well with your pledge class (that's for a whole other post - coming soon!), you will make quick friends, and you can be workout buddies, study partners, and some of your sorority sisters will be the ones who motivate you to sprint a little faster or study a little later.

But, as with any organization, there are cons.

There is a solid financial commitment.
I will not lie to you - Greek life can be expensive. When considering if you want to go through recruitment, you need to understand that if you receive a bid and decide to pledge, you will be financially obligated. Each school and each sorority handles finances a little differently, but you need to be aware that it is a financial commitment and that there are penalties for not being able to make it work. However, usually, if you approach the Finance chair, you can more often than not work out a payment plan to allow you to pay your dues and maintain an active status.

You may not get the house you want.
The first night of recruitment, I was more or less tied between KD and another house for my first choices. The next morning, I found out that that other house dropped me. I was really upset about this for a little while, because I felt like I had nailed my conversations at that house and that the girls really liked me. It is important to recognize that just because a house drops you, it doesn't mean they didn't like you. They are looking for girls that will best represent and fit in with the girls they already have, and sometimes they have to make tough calls like that.

I know on bid day, some of my friends were not happy with the house they ended up in. Should you choose to rush, you need to be prepared for the fact that you may not end up with a bid from the house you really want. However, it almost always works out for the best, I promise! All of those friends are now incredibly happy in their respective sororities.

It is a hefty time commitment.
It is important to note that this varies from school to school. For example, I know that the University of Tennessee at Knoxville takes Greek life much more seriously than Rhodes does. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with either Greek system by any means, but in general, the bigger the school, the more important Greek life can become. Personally, I think this is because at schools that big, Greek life helps make the school smaller, but hey, that's just me. Either way, no matter if you're at a teeny tiny school or a huge one, Greek life takes time. It's a balancing act, if you will. If you already know you'll be playing a sport and double majoring and working, you might not be able to pull it off, and that is completely and totally ok.

There are chapter meetings, philanthropy events, study halls, formals, swaps/socials, committee meetings, and lots of other functions to attend. You will work together with your sisters to achieve a common goal, whether that's raising money for an organization or dancing the night away.

The bottom line is that Greek life isn't right for everyone. It may not be right for you for a myriad of reasons, and just as it may not be right, it could be the best thing that's ever happened to you.

Ultimately, you have to ask if you can see yourself holding up letters and being proud of who you are when you do that. And hey, you can always rush and not pledge if things don't work out.

If you want to read more about my thoughts during recruitment, read here. If you want to read more about my recruitment and KD experience, read here. If you have any questions about Greek life, feel free to email me!

xx, Victoria

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xx, Victoria