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The Side of Recruitment No One Talks About

Rushing as a sophomore was not an easy decision after the experience of dropping recruitment my freshman year. I went into my second round hopeful that this time the system everyone told me I should trust would work in my favor bringing me the sisters and community that would shape my college years.I felt confident since I knew more girls involved in Greek Life and what each sorority was about. However, I only made it one round further than my freshman year and ultimately ended up with the same result. I dropped recruitment after waiting a year for the opportunity to rush a second time. Knowing that college was halfway over and I still hadn’t  found my place on campus made it even more difficult to accept. I did not realize how much it meant to me until I had to let go of my expectations again.

It seems like so long ago since I was in high school talking with my friends about all we hoped to do in college. While a sorority was not a priority for me once I got to school and saw how much people loved it, I wanted nothing more. It seemed like the perfect way to have the “college experience” I thought I was supposed to have. This in combination with the comments I would get like “just wait for college, you live with your friends and you hang out all the time, its the best time of your life!!!!” and the idealistic representations of young-adult friendships in movies and tv lead me to believe I would find my lifelong friends before I turned 20. However, that was not the case. That’s not to say I haven’t met some awesome people these past few years, I have, and I even thought I found those true deep friendships, but nothing stuck and it felt like everyone had their own community and affiliations that I could never compete with.

My most common response when I talk to people about my experience applying to both sororities and service organizations is “It’s not a big deal… there are plenty of other things you can join…you can get a job…at least you have your roommate and other friends.” For some girls, including myself, I didn’t have those other outlets. Trust me, there is nothing worse than hearing someone tell you to get over it and everything happens for a reason when they got exactly what they hoped for. I am here to tell you differently. You have a right to feel upset. You know what’s best for you and if that is applying for something else great,  and if not, also great. You deserve to feel like you belong on campus whether you’re a part of a single organization or not. I am also here to tell you that it might not make you feel better to be involved in other things if they don’t truly interest you. Personally, as soon as I dropped out of sorority recruitment and was rejected from service orgs for the second time, I immediately applied to other jobs and positions on campus. I got two awesome jobs that I am so grateful for, however I believe I would have sought out these involvements whether or not I had been successful during recruitment. While I enjoy my other associations on campus, I still feel like I’m missing the social community that I would have gotten in these other organizations.

The pressure to get the most out of my short time has basically set me up for disappointment. Every semester I hope it is the one that turns things around. I have been constantly waiting for something to come along and solve all my problems. If I join a sorority I will have friends, if I get a cool job or internship maybe people will see my value as a friend or member. But it hasn’t worked, every time I was rejected I was hurt but not surprised. It lead me to question myself and feel very anxious and insecure in all my relationships.

It’s tough accepting I won’t have that friendship I have craved for so long, not knowing who I will live with next year, spending virtually every weekend alone or back home with my high school friends and thinking a sorority would solve all this. Even though it feels like my solitude has been forced upon me I have learned to make the most of it. I am not defined by anyone or anything. I am free to live the life I want and spend the time doing the things I enjoy.

This article may be a little specific to my experience, but I know plenty of other people feel lonely and suffer from anxiety in college and I know the feeling of being rejected from something you really wanted can make it much harder. but I really promise that it is not a personal attack on you, your looks, your personality, or your values. Despite the fact that everyone deserves to feel they have a home and community, especially in college, these groups can only accept so many people. There is no point in blaming yourself or looking for reasons because you won’t find them, believe me I have tried.

Let’s be clear, I am not saying I dislike sorority life or the people in it, rather I just want to show empathy for the girls who feel lost during and after recruitment. I ended up just fine and so will you. You will move on, whether it is finding a job and getting involved in other clubs on campus, reaching out to friends back home, or just doing you. This may not be the sorority recruitment dropout success story you want to hear, and it may come off as resentful and hopeless but as someone who has been in this tough spot twice I want to be real with you, it sucks, but there are positive outcomes if you look for them. Although it is still something I struggle with, just know that you are all you need. Don’t rely on others for fulfillment and happiness, you can have a wonderful and meaningful college experience on your own.


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