When I was a senior in high school, all I wanted to do was graduate and rush a sorority. I was fixated on the South, in particular SEC football games and Greek life. I wanted nothing more than to be a southern sorority girl.
So, when I graduated and geared up for my move to the South, I prepared myself extensively. I watched YouTube videos on sorority recruitment tips, looked on Greekrank to see which houses were cool and which ones were weird and prepared my letters of recommendation.
I thought I was set, I even had a few houses in mind that were "perfect" for me. LOL, boy was I wrong.
When rush started, a wave of emotions hit me. I was nervous, overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. On the first day, we were introduced to our Pi Chis and the other girls in our recruitment groups. For those of you who did not go through recruitment, a Pi Chi is someone who guides you through the process. They help you pick out your outfit, show you where your classes will be and, most importantly, listen to you and support you during the stressful, emotional process.
I didn't know it then, but my Pi Chi's ended up being my rock. When I ran to my group, I was taken back by how beautiful and welcoming they both were. I started to think about which house they were in, as a PNM (potential new member) you are not allowed to know your Pi Chi's, or any of the Pi Chi's, affiliations.
As the first few round of recruitment went by, I got asked back to some of the houses I thought were perfect for me, and didn't get asked back to others. I was OK with that, because although I wanted to be in those sororities, I didn't have my heart set on one in particular. However, as the number of rounds dwindled and I finally got my list back, I was shocked to see only two houses left. And, they were the "worst" ones.
I started to cry. I ran to my Pi Chi's and talked to them. They were surprised too. They asked me if I missed a party, I said no. They stayed with me and talked to me. In the end though, I decided to drop out of recruitment because I didn't have a connection to any of the houses I had left.
It wasn't because of their reputation, in fact, I ended up falling in love with one of the "middle-tier" houses. I knew I loved that house during the philanthropy round. All of the girls wore white dresses and cowgirl boots. The theme was red, white and blue. When I left that house after that round, I was sold.
Making the decision to drop was not easy for me, in fact, it was devastating. I didn't know what I would do at school. I didn't know if I'd make friends or even have a social life. So, as I sat in my dorm, by myself on bid day, I cried. I cried for hours. I waited for my roommate to get home. I hoped that she got the house she wanted.
When she finally got home, she was so excited. I knew as soon as she walked in that she got a bid to her favorite house. I was so unbelievably excited for her. We both laughed and jumped around like stereotypical srat girls, we planned to celebrate the next night. She didn't know it then, but that moment meant a lot to me. Even though I dropped I knew I still had at least one friend.
That night, I actually went to one of my Pi Chi's house and hung out with her friends. I finally found out which house she was in, Kappa Kappa Gamma. As you may have guessed it, that was the red, white and blue house.
A week went by. Then, I got a call from my Pi Chi, she was nervous on the phone, I could hear her voice trembling through every word. I was driving back to campus from lunch with my friends, and could barely hear her, so I told everyone to quiet down. Finally, after beating around the bush, she asked me, "Do you want to be my sister, for real?" "Would you accept a bid to Kappa?"
I'll never forget that moment. I said yes, of course. Annie started to cry a little bit, so did I. I was shaking, I hung up the phone. Everyone asked what had just happened and I told them. My friend turned around and said, "How fucking cool is that, that's awesome." I just sat there and said, "I can't believe it."
I learned a lot through my rush experience. I learned not to judge a house by a few girls in it. I learned how important friends are and how important keeping an open mind is. More so, I learned how to adapt. I was so set on being in a sorority, that, when it all crumbled away - I was lost. I didn't know what the fuck to do. I realized that I didn't need a sorority to define me, I was enough.
As for my Annie, my Pi Chi, she ended up being my big. She graduated later that year. I still talk to her everyday. She ended up being my best friend, my role model, and my mentor.
As for my sorority, I'm so glad I joined. I became a better version of myself there.
It just goes to show, you never know where the wind will take you.