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You Didn’t Join a Sorority, and that’s OK!

During your freshman year of college in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the worry about not making friends couldn’t be worse. One of the most promoted ways to help new students find a virtual community with ease is going through sorority recruitment. At Loyola Marymount University, those interested in joining a sorority or fraternity were able to attend Zoom recruitment meetings at the beginning of the Spring semester.


Despite how many Instagram stories you may have seen on bid day of girls happily sharing which sorority they chose, know that there are also a less visible number of girls who didn’t go through recruitment or didn’t join a sorority.


Here are 3 tips on how to connect with others and build friendships if joining a sorority wasn’t the move for you:


1. Reach out to a classmate through social media. 

People who know you or are at least familiar with who you are exist! Maybe there was a partner you had in a breakout room that seemed friendly or gave a presentation that you were especially fond of. If they are also freshmen, they are probably welcome to any opportunity to make friends too. Don’t be shy, simply send a message and be yourself because that is precisely the thing that could lock in a friendship. Acknowledge the fact that no one you contact will think it’s “weird” of you to start a conversation when you no longer share a class or have a reason to speak. It displays courage and can only be beneficial to yourself and even the other person. The worst thing that could happen is you receive a simple decline, and that’s OK. A “no”’ from one person is not equivalent to a rejection from the entire freshman class. Keep in mind, there is no pressure for you to make friends in your first year of college while you’re stuck at home during a global pandemic that discourages social gatherings.


2. Locate safe places to check out nearby, either by yourself or with a plus one. 

This could mean you grab brunch at the crepe place down the street or you go for a run at the closest beach. If you’re like me and moved to an apartment in L.A. to get away from home, you want to explore your neighborhood. Other freshmen are more similar to you than you might realize. They most likely also want to test out a new restaurant or find a workout buddy to motivate them. My roommate and I have done three class packages each at SoulCycle, Cycle Bar, and Barry’s Bootcamp, which are all within a short driving distance of our apartment. As long as you practice mindfulness and wear a mask properly, this is a safe suggestion to experiment with.


3. Join another organization or club. 

Who says every girl has to be in a sorority? At LMU there are dozens of clubs and organizations to be a part of and perhaps one could become your virtual community. As an aspiring photojournalist, I sought out to find an organization that fit my interests in digital art and writing. After attending a few introductory meetings on Zoom and also chatting with one of my orientation leaders who is currently the secretary of Her Campus, I decided to join this brilliant community of passionate writers. Being a part of Her Campus gives me something to look forward to when I do return to campus and can finally go and meet my fellow members and connect even more than we already do just by being in the same organization. 


Do not feel discouraged to put yourself out there and try to make friends. As first-year college students in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we are all in this journey together regardless of where and how we are with our individual progress of finding a community. The best thing to do right now is to keep your chin up and be courageous in your ability to make others want to gravitate towards you for who you are.   

Freshman at LMU from Oahu. Photography, yoga, and alternative music enthusiast with a passion for writing.
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