Chi Omega Sorority Girls

Do I Regret Not Joining a Sorority?

Deema & Yasmin here to answer the question: Do we regret not joining a sorority at KU?

Deema’s Take:

 

Going into college I knew little to nothing about sororities.

In prepping for my first year of college (which when you are reading this I will have just about completed! WOO, survived:); the idea of joining a sorority didn’t even cross my mind, I didn’t think I’d be excluded from anything I’d want to experience in college. But when I got to campus I realized it was a little bit of a bigger deal than I thought. 

Cardi Okurrrr

Friends from high school or people I would meet would ask me what sorority I was in, and when I responded with “none, why?”, it was always followed by an “I don’t know, you just seem like the type to be in a sorority?”.

The more I got asked these questions, the more I started to wonder... should I join a sorority? 

 

I first started to feel like this as I transitioned into fall semester, which was a little difficult for me mentally, because I feel like I hadn't mentally been prepped for the different classroom environment on campus. 

Monica Stressed

→ I hadn’t decided my major yet, so I felt unimportant and lost within random KU core classes, in big lecture halls; where because they were classes that only lasted a semester, of all assortments of majors, nobody really made an effort to talk or get to know the people around them. I could go entire days without talking to anyone but my roommate or single friend at the end of the day, which was an immense shift from my senior year of high school. (But hang in there, because second semester I was able to declare a major & make friends in smaller, more specific classes particular to my areas of interest! It took a while, but it slowly gets better, don’t worry. :)

People on Campus

The first few weeks of school I began to learn more and more about sororities as my Instagram feed was flooded with girls from my high school, posting bid day photos, and looking like they had transitioned into this new era of life seamlessly. However, it’s important to remember that social media is all curated.

With transitioning into college (and I feel like this is really evident with sororities and the communities they form online for freshman), there is a pressure nobody discusses about wanting to make it look like you are doing perfectly fine in a new place, with new people, and have already made endless new friends from day one, but the reality is it’s quality over quantity, and everybody deals with their own struggles in adjusting academically, socially, or mentally - those just don’t make the highlight reel. Social media is curated & you WILL make great friends eventually.

 

→ The idea that “you won’t make friends in college if you aren’t in a sorority” simply isn’t true. I can’t deny that you might make more friends right off the bat going into college if you do, but once again friendships, like any relationship, aren’t about how many you have to show off & post about, but how many actually mean something to you, and benefit your life positively. 

 

You will make friends if you are not in a sorority, I promise. It took me a little bit, but good friends, regardless of whether you join a sorority or not, are worth the wait. You’ll make friends in smaller classroom settings, discussion groups, and through the dorms, or through your roommates’ friends in any living situation!

→ Plus, there are endless clubs, fraternities pertaining to majors (business, pre-med, engineering, etc.), events, jobs, and organizations on campus for you to get involved in that will allow you to find a community and friends within! For me, that was @hercampus.ku hehe :,). 

 

I looked forward to meetings every week, and as I became more comfortable, made an effort to talk to the lovely girls around me that share common goals, interests, and badass energy! I also love that everyone has such different majors and academic interests outside of @hercampus.ku, I always have something to learn!! All in all, this community has given me a sense of belonging & is where I’ve made most of my friends!! 

Friends Excited

There’s also no timeline or deadline for making friends as soon as you get to college.

Definitely don’t settle for just anyone either, value yourself, protect your peace, and share your energy with people that reciprocate! 

 

If your worry is not making friends if you don’t join a sorority, I can assure you that is not the case, though the first few weeks on Instagram might make you feel otherwise. Sororities do a lot of great philanthropy work, build lifelong friendships, networking opportunities, and provide its members with fun events & campus involvement!

 

→  However, the main thing that unsettles me about sororities is how I hear outsiders rank the “pretty people” sororities to the “not so pretty people” sororities, as if it’s even anyone’s place to rank a girl on a scale and determine her worth solely based on her physical appearance?

 I also do know a lot of my friends that struggled during their rush process with their self-esteem and confidence in being rejected from houses with certain stereotypes and reputations. Sororities do eliminate and rank, but I do also know everyone I’ve talked to has loved the houses where they’ve ended up.

 

In the end, it’s all about a community, so I’m sure there’s a place for everyone, but the idea that appearance and surface level impressions might dictate more than actual connections in the rush process also worries me; would that align with my values?

Happy Fun Laughing Girls

→ Sororities, at least on my campus, also seem to lack diversity to me. I feel like I don’t see myself among predominantly white houses- would it make me feel out of place culturally or pressured or uncomfortable? I guess I’d have to try to find out. But I think there is room for improvement there as well, especially since sororities are expensive too. This might reflect who is able to join!

 

A part of it feels strange to me, but I have not been through it myself, and would not be opposed to ever joining a sorority!! I’ve considered it & my friends that are in sororities, love it for the most part! No shame to you if you do, nobody is better than anyone else for choosing whether to be in a sorority or not!!! Do it for you! 

Meryl Streep Yes Gif

As of now, I don’t regret it, but I don’t disprove of it either!  It has its pros and cons but you will not miss out on making friends & gaining great experiences in and out of class if you don’t join. :)

You got it!! -Deema <3

 

Yasmin’s Take:

The summer of my incoming freshman year of college was a time of frantic dorm room packing and a lot of pondering on what was yet to come in my first year of true independence.

 

Lea Michele new years gif

My feelings going into college were fairly neutral. I wasn’t going to be too far from home and I had a solid group of friends from high school coming to my same college that I had by my side.

 

However there were a few things that I felt unconfident in- one especially being my decision to not rush for a sorority. But as I reach the end of my second year of college, a lot has changed in my life that's comforted me in my decision to not rush, and I'll tell you exactly why.

 

For most girls at my high school, not rushing was unheard of. In fact, half of my super close friends all rushed their freshman year. 

 

Both my parents went to college in Egypt where Greek life is only occasionally heard of in American movies- so I really had no family influence telling me to rush, unlike most of my friends who did. 

 

But time and time again, people would always ask me what sororities were on the top of my list. To which I always responded with “none ! I am not rushing:)” .

 

I’ve never been the type of person to feel pressured into following the norm, but as I got closer to move-in day I kept thinking to myself, maybe I should join a sorority? College was uncharted territory and maybe I wasn’t making the right decision by avoiding greek life.

 

But the recruitment process didn't sit well with me.  What made me worthy of being accepted into my sorority of choice? What were their standards? Wouldn’t I feel offended if I didn’t meet those standards?  Glitch Man

But there was a huge factor that ultimately dictated my decision- money. Naturally, paying thousands of dollars in fees didn't sound smart especially when I didn’t feel convinced that sorority life was for me. 

 

The possibility of maybe making genuine friendships was not justification enough to make college a lot more expensive than it already is.

 

Beyond the financial barrier, the lack of diversity in my school’s biggest sororities was odd to me. From what I could tell, all the sororities that everyone wanted me to join, didn't look like they were making more of an effort to recruit/accept women of color into their sisterhood. 

 

But... a slight part of me did want to rush. For me, the root of the pressure was the possibility of making friends. I couldn’t help but worry if I was going to a state school with a million other faces, wouldn’t I have trouble meeting new people?

 

However, I surprisingly found friends a different way-through a co-ed, professional, pre med fraternity-Phi Delta Epsilon (a mouthful I know). 

 

Sitting in Budig 120, of my 600 person Bio 150 class, a current member of Phi De E told us to all come out to the first night of recruitment. Phi De E being exclusively targeted for students on the pre med track was a real point of interest for me. 

 

The whole recruitment process was condensed into four days rather than the usual week long recruitment process for your average sorority/fraternity. By no means were these four days easy though, of the 150 of us that applied, only 30 of us were accepted.

 

Essentially, in the first main night we had a two hour speed recruitment- similar to speed dating. A few potential new members were at a table paired with a few current members where we were asked a mix of questions about why we were interested in pursuing medicine, coupled with some more that delved into our personalities more. 

 

A few more nights were part of this recruitment process-a social night, and the interviews. 

 

Overall, I'm so grateful that I took this leap of faith to rush for Phi De E, in fact I made most of my closest friends at college through this organization. 

 

What I’ve Learned:

 

You're not crazy if you don’t want to rush for a traditional sorority-in fact there are SO many other ways to make friends. Getting involved in organizations that are specific to your interests can be the most effective way to establish a network of meaningful friendships. 

Michael Scott You Complete Me gif

So to answer the question- no, I don’t regret not joining a sorority. 

 

My biggest fear going into college was feeling isolated. 

What kept me from feeling this way was putting myself out there in ways that felt genuine to me. I became involved in things I was truly passionate about, and said yes to a lot of opportunities. 

 

Whether it was an impromptu crying session at 3 am in the library(those hit WAY different) or tagging along to a girls night out, I found the people who made me feel most at home and loved.

 

The golden girls hugging eachother

-Yaz & Deem out <3

*high five*

Monica and Rachel high-fiving