I’m 23 years old and from Alabama. I’m finally finishing up my degree in medical laboratory technology and am spending my last semester of school interning at a hospital laboratory. Every day I get to practice analyzing bloodwork, running tests, and identifying bacteria. In my free time, I’m perfecting my skills as a makeup artist, working on my blog, or trying out new beauty products. I also play the ukulele and read tons of biographies. I’m addicted to guacamole, magazines of any sort, and prowling through antique shops.What were your perceptions of sorority life before you got to college? Had you wanted to be in a sorority growing up?
Being in a sorority was something I had NEVER considered, ever. Nobody I’ve known really well had ever joined, so it was completely foreign to me! My perceptions of sororities even when I started college were pretty stereotypical: sorority girls pay for their friends, do nothing but party, that sort of thing.What made you want to join a sorority when you got to college?
I transferred to a new school my junior year that’s in a bigger city, I didn’t really know anyone, and I wanted to meet some new people. Initially I signed up for recruitment (AKA rush, a process to check out all the sororities and see which fits you best) out of morbid curiosity more than anything, just to see what might happen. I didn’t really expect to get a bid or be invited to join, but I figured I would at least meet some interesting girls and have a weird new experience.
How did you choose which sorority(s) to pledge to?
Every girl interested in joining a sorority participates in recruitment. The whole process is different at every school; my school is on the small side and we have four different sororities in our Greek system. I can’t say how it works elsewhere, but at mine it was four days of different activity nights where each girl gets the opportunity to spend time with the members in each different sorority and figure out where she fits in best. There are skits, philanthropy projects, slide shows, and plenty of time for conversation to discover what each sorority is all about.
You get a feel for who you click with and who you don’t, and after the second night you start narrowing down to your top two choices. Meanwhile, the sorority members are doing the same thing! They’re selecting who they feel would be a good fit and an asset to their chapter.
The women in charge of recruitment are there to help you make a decision if needed, answer any questions you have, and guide you through the whole confusing process. It can definitely be overwhelming. They kept saying all during the week, “You’ll find a place that feels like home.” It’s kind of cliche, but it turned out to be true!
Before recruitment, I did a little research on my own about the four sororities on my campus. I learned the basics about each of them, like their motto, symbols, and philanthropy projects. One sorority in particular stood out to me more than the others, and it was the one I was invited to join. I also felt extremely comfortable with every girl I talked to, something that I hadn’t experienced with the girls in other sororities. It was like talking with genuine friends, rather than the awkward stiffness of an interview. I wasn’t expecting it, but I really did feel at home with them.
Can you tell us about the pledging process?
There was absolutely no hazing! The sorority members invited you to join, and they want you to stick around! Pledging honestly wasn’t that different than being an initiated member. We just weren’t allowed to attend rituals or vote for membership. During the pledging process, we attended a weekly class to learn about the sorority’s history, our founders, what we stand for, and lots and lots of details about how everything works. The hardest part was learning everyone’s name!
How did the people in your life react when you told them you were joining a sorority?
My mom was thrilled for me! My friends were amused and teased me a little in good humor, but were overall supportive and intrigued.
Can you tell us about day-to-day life in a sorority house?
I wish I could answer this! There’s some weird outdated city ordinance where my school is that states five or more women living together constitutes a brothel! So a sorority house is technically illegal. Who knew?! All the sororities have their own suite though, which is like a huge living room and kitchen where girls can hang out, study, and have meetings. We hold a weekly meeting called “chapter” where every girl has a chance to make announcements and keep all the members informed and updated on what’s going that week.
How have you benefited from joining a sorority? Have there been any drawbacks?
Joining a sorority has honestly been one of the best decisions I’ve made with my life. I’m an only child and have never had siblings, but I know I can count on my sisters for anything. I’ve enjoyed being in a sorority WAY more than I ever imagined I would. I’ve grown as a person and have been stretched out of my comfort zone. I held an office in our chapter and had to learn how to adapt to different styles of management and work as part of a team. I’ve learned how to organize and plan events and I’ve learned how to get along with lots of different personalities.
It got stressful and busy sometimes, but the benefits far outweighed the burdens. I am so thankful for the support, encouragement, and love I recieve from my sisters. I really don’t know where I’d be without them. Even though I’m about to graduate and now live about two hours away from most of my sisters, I still see them pretty frequently. I know that no matter where I go in life, there will always be a sister nearby. The support network is incredible.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to join a sorority?
Do a little research about the sororities at your school in advance. Don’t be intimidated, don’t try to be somebody you’re not, and don’t worry. Even if you don’t get a bid from the sorority you wanted, be open to the sorority that does invite you to join. You really WILL end up in the best place for you! Once you join, get as involved in your chapter as possible. You get out of it what you put into it. Most of all, enjoy it! Have fun with your sisters! Be open to their encouragement to try new things. They will be there for you no matter what.
Do you guys have any questions for Laura? Were/are any of you in a sorority?