So, sorority life isn’t for you, huh? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s pretty miserable seeing half of your freshman classmates go through recruitment and rush while you just sit back and watch. If there’s anything I learned, though, it’s that I stand by my decision to skip over Greek life. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t for me, and that’s okay.
While your roommates are getting glammed up for their sorority events, it’s so easy to feel jealous. As they gather their things to leave, that sense of FOMO probably starts to kick in. Cute outfits? Fun parties? Yep, okay, FOMO is in full swing now.
Don’t worry! While it may feel like everyone in the whole world is going Greek, you’re not alone! No matter where you go to college, there are plenty of alternatives for you to look into. During the spring semester of my freshman year, I picked up a job! Everyone else was dealing with stress from rush on top of school while I was relaxing at the commons desk getting paid. Working in college isn’t for everyone, but if you have the time and need a distraction, consider looking for a part-time gig with flexible scheduling. It’s great to make some pocket change.
At my school, there are countless opportunities for students to get involved. We have THON committees, clubs, intramurals and more. You can find them all here if you’re a PSU Student. If you’re concerned about financials, do not worry. Plenty of clubs are low-cost, free and some are even paid for by the university. I love sustainability and the environment, so I signed up to be an EcoRep my freshman year. Turns out, it’s a paid gig at Penn State! At the end of each semester, I receive a stipend that I can apply to my tuition or deposit into my bank account. It’s really cool to get paid to do something I love.
Two of my roommates are in sororities. At the beginning of the year, it was a bit odd for me. Every Sunday evening, I’d have the apartment to myself since they were at their chapter meetings. It felt a bit lonely at first, but now I really cherish that time to myself. Since our kitchen is tiny, I enjoy the luxury of uninterrupted cooking. I also hog the living room TV (as there’s no one to share with) and do some yoga in the common areas as well. My point here: use the space that you’re given. Your apartment or dorm may feel empty while your friends are at rush events, but trust me, you can find ways to fill the space!
I’ve been doing this for quite some time now. I felt isolated as all of my friend were creating their rush videos last year and sometimes I still feel like I’ve ultimately robbed myself of such a critical college experience. When I sit back and reflect, though, I stand by the choice I made a year ago. It’s okay to do something different than everyone else. The girl gang, the themed outfits and the letters are appealing, but I’m just not willing to sacrifice certain parts of myself for them. I said this once, and I’ll say it again, there is nothing wrong with going Greek. I even considered it once myself! As I looked deeper into Greek life at Penn State, I learned that my fiery and independent personality may not settle in with any sorority.
It’s tough watching your friends get all dolled up without you. It’s still hard for me sometimes, too. While the sisterhood seems enticing and inviting, I know in my heart that it isn’t the right place for me. College is a big place. If you feel like you may not find a home during rush, don’t sweat it! There are so many other ways to spend and enjoy your time at college. Hit the gym, take advantage of the library, intern on campus, attend involvment fairs and reach out! Advisors, professors and peers are your greatest resources during your four years of undergrad. Ask them for advice; you never know what activities they may introduce you to!