Picture this: it’s late August/early September, and you and about fifty other girls are all milling around in your best dresses and heels on the front lawn of a massive brick house. You read through the questions you prepared between dabbing your sweat beads and fixing your melting mascara. Soon, a crack of a megaphone sends the frenzied crowd into a neat, straight line. Silence falls over the once chatty group. You take a deep breath to steady your nerves, and the door opens. You are participating in sorority recruitment.
Now, if you’re anything like I was in my senior year of high school, I bet you’re sitting there shaking your head vigorously.
“I’m not a sorority girl,” you adamantly state.
Sorority girls are rude. Sorority girls are dumb. Sorority girls love pink. Sorority girls are superficial. Sorority girls are fake. Sorority girls are blonde. Sorority girls are white. Sorority girls are shallow. Sorority girls are entitled. Sorority girls are all the same.
I thought the same things up until I was initiated into my sorority. It’s not our fault; these are the things people outside sororities love to say, but the truth is there’s no such thing as a “sorority girl.” There are just girls who happen to be in a sorority. I spent countless hours in the summer before my freshman year tossing around the idea of going through recruitment in my head. I was researching each sorority, studying #BamaRush TikToks and annoying all my friends with my questions. The more I thought about it, the more I leaned towards just giving it a try. After all, it seemed like something I would be interested in. There was only one thing holding me back: the fact that every time I brought it up to one of my friends, I would get the same shocked look followed by the words:
“Oh, I never really imagined you as a sorority girl.”
Ouch. I didn’t either, but I wanted to see if I would like it so I decided to go for it. Fast forward to primary recruitment at the University of Kentucky, and I was so glad I decided to rush. Whether it be waiting in lines outside the houses, walking from round to round or in each round themselves, I met so many amazing women who continuously proved the “sorority girl” stereotype wrong. More importantly, on my last round of open house, I met the women I would one day call my sisters. Despite it being nearly 8 p.m. and all of us going through a full, exhausting day of talking, I still felt like they cared about me as just me. I felt at home.
I wish I could go back to the summer before freshman year and slap myself around a little and tell her that none of the women she will meet during recruitment will care about all her tattoos, piercings and vaguely emo appearance. Despite what #BamaRush makes you think, to be a sorority girl you don’t have to fit in a cookie-cutter mold. I told myself I wouldn’t edit myself during recruitment and would be 100% authentic. After all, the entire process is built to align you with a chapter that is full of girls like you, that can’t happen if you aren’t being yourself. Being 100% authentic is how I found my place among the ladies of Delta Zeta, and I couldn’t be happier. So, if I leave you with one piece of advice, it’s this: If you think you might like something, try it. Don’t let others' preconceived ideas about you limit you. You are not who other people think you are.