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Life > Experiences

Why I Went Panhellenic (Again) During My Sophomore Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

Going through the rush process is not for everyone, but I decided it was for me. Twice. 

When one thinks about a sorority, what may come to mind is blonde, orange-tan, cookie cutter women that talk behind their sisters’ backs. Southern Rush TikTok amplified the stigma that girls going through rush have to prove that they are ‘good enough’ to be invited back to their top sorority picks. Just last year there was a documentary called “Bama Rush” released on Amazon Prime and Max that dives into the controversy of how girls are “picked” and sifted through in the entire process. 

With negative takes like these, it is hard to imagine how I found myself signing up for my university’s fall recruitment during my freshman year. I was already not in a great mindset, having just arrived at school and trying to “find my place” on campus, and my anxiety was getting the best of me. After the first round of recruitment, I was so drained that I dropped the process because I believed that I was not good enough. My mental health spiraled downward and I quickly lost my appetite and struggled to even get out of bed, sometimes skipping my classes. I was so worried about being judged for exiting myself from the process that even the thought of sorority life made me incredibly anxious. I was seriously considering transferring because I was so wrapped up in my depression and felt the need to leave campus. 

Even though my freshman year at Saint Louis University had gone horribly wrong during this period, something shifted inside of me. I realized that I shouldn’t have only relied on a sorority to make friends and give me things to do on or off campus. So, I joined clubs. Through Days for Girls, a club on campus dedicated to eradicating period poverty, I was able to meet like-minded women and give my time to volunteer at a women’s shelter to make reusable period kits. I joined Her Campus because of my love for writing as well as a desire for a sense of community. This process of involvement and picking myself up was not easy. I would often still have doubts about my place on campus, but my close friends were always there for me and I am forever thankful for their words of encouragement. 

As my sophomore year approached, I had a much better understanding of what I wanted out of my college experience and had regained my confidence. I decided to fill out the recruitment form again. 

I remember receiving the first, “Thank you for signing up for recruitment!” email of the year shortly after and felt a pang of anxiety inside of myself. What have I done? Am I ready for this? Although the days of recruitment this year were still anxiety-provoking, I knew that I had nothing to lose this time around. Sticking it out through Bid Day was worth the wait because of the pride and pure happiness I felt when opening that cream envelope with a chapter invite waiting inside. My mom and I exchanged a tearful conversation on the phone later that day. These were not tears of sadness but rather joy. There is no better feeling than having your biggest cheerleader proud of you after having walked with you every step of the way. 

Not everyone has an amazing rush week, and the process is often filled with sadness and disappointment. This is my own story with recruitment and everyone’s is different, but looking back I am happy that I had been able to overcome that hardship in my life and grow from it. The pain I felt had indirectly formed me into a better person, one that I am proud of. 

Writer, advocate and friend to all dogs. I am my own comedian as well as a coffee shop enthusiast. In my free time, I enjoy playing Animal Crossing and listening to Spotify's "Pollen" playlist!