Rush scared me. Even the idea of rush scared me. There were a lot of paranoia and nervous sentiments involved with rush. For good reason, too—for every single event, I was expected to be on my feet, ready to put myself out there and present the best version of myself. And I was very aware of the fact that I would be judged, evaluated in a different way than I had ever been before.

Rush instigated many inner conflicts—the first one being whether I should rush or not, and if so, what. Initially, I considered rushing sororities. After the first meeting for “potential new members” in December, I found myself planning to lose weight over winter break and wondering what I should wear to these events. I gave it some thought over break as well, but neither of those two things happened. Sorority rush was still just an abstract concept in my mind, which wasn’t enough to motivate me to go to the gym and shop for the “business casual” dress I would need for recruitment.

I returned in January to find my hallmates freaking out about rush. They tried on different dresses, took mirror selfies, and texted their friends about what they thought the best option was. They talked about which sororities were the “best ones” and discussed which one they each wanted to join. Throughout this entire process, I can’t say that I wasn’t affected. What if I didn’t receive a bid? What if I did receive a bid, but it was from one of the “worse” sororities they were talking about? How would this affect me socially? How would I be labeled?

And I hated myself for asking these questions. I hated myself for being a part of the system, for giving into such things that didn’t actually matter—weren’t supposed to matter. I began questioning how secure and confident I was as a person, which had never before been a significant concern.

Rush also made me question my social abilities. The concept of consciously trying to make friends and maintain a social life was unfamiliar to me. I went to a small high school, which meant I knew everyone and that everyone knew me. I only hung out with the people I truly clicked with; there was no need to impress my peers, no need to make small talk and ask ten different people the same question over and over again. Whenever there was a pause in the conversation, I had to actively search for the next question—all while pretending I was having the time of my life.

Rush had its scary moments, but it’s over now, and I am now a part of an SLG.  But that doesn’t change the fact that rush made me question a lot about myself. It was the first time I felt the need to be “qualified” in a field other than academics. It made me feel insecure, shitty at times—but it did provoke a lot of questions that I otherwise would not have asked myself. I’ll spend the next three and a half years trying to figure out the answers.