I come from New Jersey where sorority life is more of a notion you see on television than in reality. Most of my family didn’t attend college, and other than my sister and a few people from my high school, I never knew anyone who had been in a sorority. My idea of sorority life mostly stemmed from the dramas I had seen on TV. I imagined all sororities to have a crazy recruitment process (which I think we all do and is horrendous, but I luckily didn’t have to undergo it). I also imagined that all sororities had houses and girls had to wear dresses and pearls to football games, as I knew a girl who had rushed in the Fall at FAU in Boca Raton, Florida and they were very strict on those policies. I didn’t want to be a part of something that would require me to change who I was.
My freshman year of college, if you were to have asked me to define what a sorority was, I would have told you it was a group of pompous rich girls who buy each other’s friendship and isolate those who can’t afford it. I was completely against everything I believed sorority life stood for. They were not the kind of girls I wanted to be friends with, I told myself. I couldn’t afford to be one of them. I don’t own anything Lily Pulitzer so I won’t fit in. I have tattoos and a half-shaved head so they’re all going to drop me after the first day of rush. The list of reasons sorority life was not for me goes on and on.
Fun fact, I am graduating college in three years so my Sophomore/Junior year happened all at once. So it was during this time that I decided to go through rush and see what it was like. After two days of absolute hell, and yes I mean rush was literally one of the worst experiences of my life, I dropped rush and had once again decided sorority life was not for me. I had met some nice girls, but a lot of them still fit the initial impression I had of sorority life. My hair was “too dark” to be an SDT, and I wasn’t skinny enough to be a Zeta.
About a week after I had dropped recruitment, I was contacted by the recruitment chair of Chi O because they were interested in me for Spring C.O.B., also known as informal recruitment. I wouldn’t have to go through that torturous rush process and I could just go and hang out with some of the sisters and get to know them. What was there to lose? As I sat down and talked to the girls I met that night, I couldn’t believe how real and down to Earth they were. Each one of them brought a different perspective of life based on the lives they had lived. Every sister came from somewhere different, had a different story to tell, and made me want to get involved. I’m not going to lie, it SUCKS that I did not get to be a part of bid day. I also didn’t really make many friends in my new member class because of this and spent my first semester in Chi O considering dropping. I had gotten a big I didn’t know, and she is super nice, but we never really did anything together.
Now, my senior year, I couldn’t think of a better place to call my home. I have a community of girls to borrow clothes from and to go to parties with. I have people I can network with for future job opportunities. I have a TON of new clothes and crafts covered in my letters, and I couldn’t be more proud to rock them. Being a part of sorority life has shown me that paying dues is not buying friendships, but rather paying for everything the group offers you. If you play traveling soccer, you have to pay fees to cover the cost of referees, uniforms, and other necessities. This is the same as we have to pay dues to cover the costs of our mixers, semi-formal and formal events, our philanthropy (shout out to the Make A Wish foundation), our suite maintenance, as well as countless other expenses that we endure.
College has changed me a lot. I came into college a naïve 18 year-old with a half shaved head who had recently gotten her first tattoo. I was living my life in hopes of chasing adventure and an adrenaline rush at every possible moment. Two years later, I am a senior who has literally had every hair color: pink, platinum, lavender, blue, purple, etc. I am still chasing adventure, but I now I call that adventure my future and I am excited to see what the world has in store for me. I was very closed to the idea of becoming a sorority girl because I was afraid I would lose myself to fit the mold, but it has honestly been one of the best decision I made in college. I fell in love with a cause, with a group a girls; I found a home and I’m sad to say I’m going to have to leave so soon, but Chi Omega will always be my home and it will always have my heart.