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The Highs and Lows of Being a Rho Gamma

If you went through recruitment this week, you know one of the essential parts of the process was your Rho Gammas. We tried to be there for you for your highs and lows, your good days and your bad ones, but did you know that we also experienced our own sets of highs and lows?

Disaffiliating can be hard, and recruitment week can be tiring for so many more reasons than PNMs sometimes realize! It’s also a really rewarding experience that none of us would trade for the world. Here’s a peek inside what our week looked like…

High: You Learn to Appreciate Panhellenic as a Whole.

 

The Panhellenic community gets to know each other throughout the year, but the best time to really come together is when we disaffiliate. Emily Snider says, “Before being a Rho Gamma, I didn’t fully understand the concept of Panhellenic harmony. I knew that chapters should get along and I had friends in other chapters, but when I started getting to know PNMs and helping them find their homes, it clicked. I am so genuinely happy for each of them with their choices, whether or not they end up being one of my sisters.” That’s the true definition of why we do what we do! Disaffiliating is hard, but we’re reminded why we wanted to be in the Panhellenic community in the first place.

Snider says it’s not about finding out who is going to be her sister on bid day, it’s more about making sure everyone has a place where they’re happy in the community as a whole. “I just want them to have a home and love being a part of this community as much as I do! I may be biased, but I had the best group of PNMs,” she claims.

Low: It’s Hard Not Being on Facebook!

You probably heard your Rho Gammas talk about how disconnected they felt from society over the last month. We deactivated our Facebooks a month before Bid Day, so we haven’t even been able to communicate on the sly with our sisters. Kristina Pouliot felt the struggle, “Honestly, this is kind of silly, but I really struggled without a Facebook! Not only could I not say hi to my sisters, but I felt totally disconnected from all of my friends’ lives during recruitment.”

We couldn’t be in communication with anyone. There are so many day-to-day messages you can no longer send. Pouliot felt the absence: “The disconnection really made me appreciate how much my chapter means to me, and really affirmed the reasons I became a sorority woman.”

High: Meeting Your Potential Little!

As hard as it is to be away from your sisters, you also meet potential new sisters! In Catie Koraleski’s case last year, she actually met a girl during recruitment who would later become her little. “I aggressively approached my current little [then a PNM] and I was staring at her name tag and said, ‘Well, I see you’re from Nebraska… So am I.’ And then it was a done deal.”

Rush crushes are a real thing, and when PNMs crush on you back it’s the best feeling… and when if you end up in the same chapter, sometimes she even becomes your little!

Low: Missing Your Little.

Of course, the other side of that is if you already have a little, you miss her like crazy when you disaffiliate. Tori Meschino met her little when she recruited her last year, but had to disconnect with her this recruitment. “It’s been really hard because we’re each other’s go-to for everything. Any time I’m having a good day or a bad day, I tell her all about it,” she says.

Even harder is seeing her in photos or around the student center. But Tori says the most difficult thing is not knowing how she feels about recruitment: “I just want to know what she’s thinking. Are any of my PNMs her rush crushes? Did she meet her future little?”

High: Meeting Your New BFFs!

 

Girls going through recruitment aren’t the only ones making new friends that week; the Rho Gamma bond gets pretty strong when you spend ten hours a day together. “[I’m] appreciative of this experience because I’ve gotten to disaffiliate and meet girls in other chapters, I’ve met girls that I will be friends with for a long time,” says Taylor Bodman, who was particularly close to her fellow Rho Gammas.

It doesn’t mean you don’t miss your chapter though! Bid day is an exciting time for PNMs but also a reconnecting time for Rho Gammas and their chapters. Bodman goes on to say, “I’ve learned to miss my friends in my chapter. As a senior I feel really connected to those girls and running home will mean so much to me for my final bid day!” It’s almost a full-circle feeling. We all ran to places that have truly become our homes.

Mixed bag: Appreciating Your Chapter Even More.

 

 

When you’re extremely involved in your sorority, you can sometimes take it for granted. When you have distance from your chapter, you remember what made you fall in love in the first place. Michaelina Ruffolo found this to be the defining part of her experience. “Being a Rho Gamma has made me appreciate my chapter in ways I never thought I would,” she says, “I miss them so much more and I cherish our ritual and the times that we spend together.”

While being a Rho Gamma was a rewarding experience, it’s easy to see why, as a senior, Ruffolo would be broken-hearted on missing out on her last recruitment. “It’s sad to not be a part of recruitment, but I’m glad I get to help PNMs in a different way.”

When we help PNMs find their homes, it reminds us why we disaffiliated in the first place: to help girls who were like us years ago find their homes like we found ours.

Tori Meschino is a lot of things with a lot of majors. She's a macaroni and cheese lover, a sorority woman, obsessed with Michael J. Fox, a binge-watcher, an editor-in-chief, the HerCDM president, a woman in tech, and a writer. She majors in Interactive and Social Media and Media and Cinema Studies, and minors in General Psychology (and a minor in Never Graduating). So basically she's everywhere. Oh, and she's one of the Campus Correspondents for Her Campus DePaul!
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