Joining a sorority is something I was always a little hesitant about, because it’s such a huge commitment. I’ve been debating getting involved since my freshman year three years ago, when my best friend decided to join a sorority. I could tell that she really enjoyed it, and I even attended some of her events, where I got to see the bond that sorority members share with each other. I thought about attending an informal recruitment event that spring, but unfortunately everything was brought to a halt due to the coronavirus, leading to a new, virtual Greek life.
Because of COVID-19, I moved back home and took classes online. Although I was trying to make the best of the virtual year, doing so while dealing with a pandemic made it extremely difficult for me to make any friends. I joined a group known as CHAARG, a health and wellness group, and I met a few girls there who were all a part of Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII).
I was still actively involved in my Her Campus chapter, where I helped write “Sorority Saturday,” a feature where I’d interview sisters from our campus’ sororities. I asked questions about the specific sister, as well as their chapter values, and doing so gave me a lot of insight into Greek life as they shared their inspirations. A lot of them said that Greek life was so important to them because it helped them find a solid community in college. Since I had spent so much time going back and forth about joining, I’d often ask sisters, “What would you say to someone who’s debating joining Greek life?” They always said to just take the leap and see what it’s about, so that’s exactly what I chose to do.
I decided to try to meet more women from AOII, since I’d already developed connections with some of its members from CHAARG, and I’m unbelievably happy that I did. I went to a few of their informal spring recruitment events. At the first event I attended, we all played virtual Family Feud. The next event was a “speed dating” night, where I met sisters through breakout rooms. Even though it terrified me to reach out to a sorority through Zoom, every single sister I talked to was super sweet, and I felt so welcomed.
A week later, one of the sisters of AOII FaceTimed me and told me that I had received a bid, which is basically an invitation to become a new member. I had 24 hours to accept or deny it. Most people enthusiastically accept the bid that they want, but I honestly had to think about it. I was immediately stressed out, considering this was such a unique way to become a new member. In lots of circumstances, girls go through a formal recruitment process during the fall semester. It consists of several different “rounds,” and meeting each sorority. At the end of recruitment week, “bid day” happens, which is when you receive a bid from a sorority. Usually, the sorority has a specific theme for the celebration and everyone dresses up. There’s also continuous open bidding, which occurs in the spring. This is when sororities are still looking for a few new members, so they host more laid-back events to recruit. But no matter which way you join a sorority, there’s always been an in-person aspect to it. By accepting the bid, I’d lose the excitement that everyone that had ever come before me had gotten to experience.
After a while of my (relatively typical) overthinking, I remembered how amazing these women were. I knew that if I were to ever join a sorority, I would want to do it with them. They all had such a positive and vibrant energy, just like me. I pictured myself thriving in AOII, and as soon as I envisioned that I knew that it was something I wanted to do. I accepted my bid the next day, and I couldn’t be happier.
I attended meetings through Zoom every week. Although it’s not a chapter room where I physically speak to sisters, I’m still connecting with them! Since I’ve been initiated, I’ve FaceTimed many of my sorority sisters and established bonds with several of them. I’ve also met sisters in person now that I’ve moved back to my college town. Even though meeting people through Zoom can be slightly awkward, it’s still a way to build a connection, and I wouldn’t have had that connection at all if I’d declined my bid. I’m forever grateful for technology in this pandemic, even if my Zoom can be kinda laggy sometimes. It’s better than nothing at all!