The year is 2013 and I’m a college Junior. I’m proud of my academic accomplishments and accolades, the student organizations and clubs I’ve aligned myself with and the community service projects I had the opportunity of assisting with. I had a wholesome group of girlfriends who kept me grounded while still having fun, a loving and budding long-distance relationship with a guy from New Orleans and solid path into the career of Graphic Design and my Senior Thesis in preparation for graduation. Ultimately, I had accomplished everything I wanted to do when I set out to attend college; it was a blessing I was grateful for.
Yet, one experience I still longed for..being a part of Greek Life.
So, that Summer I signed up again for NPC Sorority Recruitment. Despite me going through this process twice (which I later learned, was not uncommon), I can say that both experiences were very different from one another. For one thing, my grades were the highest they had ever been, as I took time to focus on the real reason I went to college..to get a degree. So, excelling in my academics was a high priority and my transcript reflected that. I went into recruitment with a strong 3.8 cumulative GPA. A big improvement from my previous scores as a new Freshman. In my heart I felt that, despite my involvement in other campus organizations, I still had something special to give in one such as this. I knew I could be an asset to whomever chose me. I decided to enter in to recruitment with NO preconceived notions of the organizations and to put my best foot forward, while also opening my heart to every option available.
This was my last chance to check this box on my list of accomplishments. Growth and maturity had set in for me and although I think I made the best decisions for me in the past concerning Greek Life, a small part of me was afraid I had missed out on my dream.
I took a deep breath and prayed the same prayer I lean on til this day.. “Lord, let your will be done.“
Day 1: Greek 101
If you know anything about the college experience and organizations, you know that a campus’ atmosphere can change with each incoming group. As it is with Greek Life.
Greek 101 had the same concept it did the last time I experienced it, but this time it was different. For one, the environment was much more relaxed and promoted fun interaction amongst the PNMs. During this day, PNMs received a special t-shirt to wear for recruitment which made the guess work of What do I wear? out of it. I feel as if this new addition allowed each girl’s personality to really be the focus; instead of comparing outfits.
I was nervous about being the only Junior status participant but to my surprise, there were plenty of upperclassman going after the same dream as I was. I even came across a few transfer students who didn’t have Greek Life at the previous colleges who wanted to give it a chance. My Rush group was a mixed bag of girls with varying stories that brought them to their interest in Greek Life and I really enjoyed that. My Rho Gamma (Recruitment Guide) was a compassionate, sweet and peppy girl named Kristen. As before, the Rho Gammas disaffiliated from their sororities to be guides for potential new members (PNM). I wondered what sorority Kristen was in.
Day 2: Philanthropy
I do remember being solo for a lot of the downtime in the Student Union between parties. The schedule was different for me and I remember having classes during the day before recruitment activities started. For Philanthropy Day, I had a full schedule and got to visit each sorority.
The Violet Sorority
I was super nervous to visit this group knowing full well that I had turned down their invitation my previous Rush. Nevertheless, all my interactions were cordial. In fact, I distinctly remember having the exact same experience I had the first time. I felt crowded and like I was having to repeat the same information to a revolving door of girls who didn’t stick around long enough to really get to know me. I was very much disappointed by this, but still tried to make the best of my time there.
The Carnation Sorority
I entered into this Rush period with an open mind, but I’d be liking to you if I didn’t say I still had high hopes for The Carnation sorority. I still was very much smitten with the idea of this organization and what they stood for. The conversations in this group were great and I even knew a few of the members, as they were art majors like me. I felt confident because my grades were a lot higher this time. I was hoping I’d get invited back!
The Rose Sorority
What immediately stuck out to me about my conversations in the Rose sorority, was that I was paired with a girl who was not caucasian. It is not uncommon to go through the entirety of sorority recruitment and not see much diversity; this didn’t bother me, but it was nice to have a person of color representing! Conversations with this sorority girl (Victoria) were natural, easy going and in general about college life in the sorority and out. Once again I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my time with the Rose sorority girls and hoped I’d get invited again.
- The Carnation Sorority
- The Rose Sorority
- The Violet Sorority
Day 3: Sisterhood
I made it to the second day of parties without a call back the previous night; which meant I hadn’t been cut from recruitment entirely. This made my breath a sigh of relief, but not for long..
I was only invited back to ONE sorority party that night!
My heart sank. My mind went in worry mode wondering about the million reasons I could have been cut from my favorite group..again! I had to pull myself together quickly and reassure myself. I knew the odds may not be in my favor, but I still kept hope. I was happy that I was going to visit The Rose sorority again!
The Rose Sorority
Funny enough, I got to chat with the same girl as before; Victoria. She was really different from all my other interactions. She was honest with me about her doubts with Greek life and college in general. She was a real person and wasn’t afraid to show it; she didn’t let the sorority girl glamor hide the truth. I really liked that about her and I realized these were the type of women I wanted to spend my time with and dedicate service to the community with. I hoped with everything in me that they felt the same and that I could last the rest of recruitment.
The Rose Sorority
Day 4: Preference Night
I literally held my breath the night of Day 3, praying that I didn’t get cut from the list. After all this time, I still wanted so deeply for this to come to pass. However, I calmed myself and reminded myself that even if this was not meant to be my chosen path, it is no reflection on my character or worth. There are hundreds of great women to choose and the decision can’t be made easily.
Preference Night came around and I was able to breath. I didn’t receive a sad call so I was super excited! Thoughts of becoming a member of the Rose danced in my head all day and it was hard to concentrate on classes.
The Rose Sorority
Preference Night finally arrived. This was my first time experiencing the special ceremony for The Rose sorority. I got to speak to Victoria briefly before being ushered into a small circle of a dimly lit room that sparkled with fairy lights. The members of the Rose were dressed in black satin dresses; a drastic difference from the all white attire of The Violets that I saw a year before. The girls sang like angels and a few girls stepped forward to share their deepest feelings about the sorority, it’s sisterhood and what it meant to her.
This time I didn’t cry, but I was mesmerized. I wanted to have this story of my own to share one day. There were many great girls there that night along side me; worthy of an invitation to be a Rose.
I just hoped I was one of them.
That night, I filled out my Pref Card for the very last time. Usually, listing one sorority as your preference is not recommended. There is a (horrible) slang term for this called Suicide Preffing. In any other circumstances, you drastically decrease your chances of getting a bid by doing this, however in my case it was the only option. I just hoped that The Rose sorority wanted me to be there as much as I wanted to be there. I kept hope alive that the myth of “If you’re invited to Preference Night its a good chance you’ll get an invitation” was true.
The Rose Sorority
Day 5: Bid Day
At last! I had officially made it to Bid Day. No matter what sorority girl I talked to, everyone could agree that Bid Day was one of the most exciting and rewarding days of Recruitment. I hadn’t received a call the night before so I was confident that by the end of the day, I would be a Sorority Girl.
Yet, somehow, a tiny bit of fear crept inside me. What if there was a mistake? What if I really didn’t get an invitation? How embarrassing would that be after going through all these days of recruitment. I pushed it out of my mind.
Unlike most of the YouTube videos I’ve seen for the big reveal of new members, getting your Bid was very different at my school. You’re called into the Director of Student Affairs office, one by one and given your envelope. This allows the PNM time to make their decision with no pressure or prying eyes.
I was so happy to open my envelope and see this…
Once I accepted, the Director stood up from her desk with arms wide opened and said, “Welcome to our sorority!” It turns out, a lot of the school’s staff are Greek too and the Director (who I later learned to be the sweetest of campus leaders!) was a member of the Rose, too.
The Rose..of Delta Zeta!
Soon after, it was a spiral of fun, laughing, dancing, snacks, drinks, music and all-out celebration. Once all the new members made it to their sorority homes, the Rho Gammas were revealed and affiliated back with their sororities.
I cried when I saw Kristen walk through the doors! I learned later that the other Rho Gammas that I took a liking to, like Hilary, were also members of the Rose. It is no coincidence that my type of friends all were members of the same sorority..the same sorority that I now can call my home, too.