By now, recruitment is over and, for the most part, the overwhelming amount of Bid Day pictures on Instagram have died down. And if you’re anything like me, even though 90% of your friends are in sororities, you still have no clue what recruitment is and how it works. What you do know is that there is a looming temptation to believe that because you seem to be the only one left without letters to wear, you aren’t living up to the potential that the University of Florida has to offer.
It’s pretty easy to believe the lie that if you aren’t in a sorority you’re not having the “typical college experience.” To quote one of the most inspirational people I know, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”
If for any reason you didn’t end up rushing, I still have good news for you! There are so many things on campus that you can get plugged in with.
Of course, sororities do so much for our campus and serve UF in a unique way that I don’t think could be replaced. But when I think about the roles sororities play on campus and overarching ideas of why girls rush, I think of both service and community.
More than ever before, I see college kids striving to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to serve their fellow peers and community. That ambition to do something can be channeled in so many ways.
The first one that comes to mind is Dance Marathon. It’s one of, if not, the biggest organizations on Florida’s campus and raises millions of dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital every single year. And if staying up for 26.2 hours may not be your thing, the Florida Cicerones are the student advocates for the school and have applications open each year. If the word Cicerones doesn’t look too familiar, just think of the tour guides you see in the white polos walking around with the doe-eyed high schoolers and their parents. And to let you in on a little secret, there are hundreds of seemingly tiny clubs on campus that have some sort of service you can be a part of!
Now, for the doozy. I feel like I’ve heard “sororities are just for girls who have to pay for friends” since the womb. Maybe it’s true, and maybe it’s not. But what I know to be true is that whoever you are and wherever you came from, making friends on such a big college campus is a feat. I still get nervous even talking out loud in lectures, let alone going up to some stranger in an attempt to be friends. Whether you want to admit it or not, all anyone wants in college is a community of people, a group of friends who will be with them through everything.
The good news is that community can be found all over the place. Whether you want to align yourself with other people of the same faith, gender, sexual identity or sports interests, UF definitely has a club for that.
Maybe it’s a good time to start actually reading the flyers you get handed in Turlington before throwing them away. As crazy and eager as those people seem, the bottom line is they want you to be a part of something. Just like sororities and greek life, those people who stand out in Turlington or Plaza of the Americas just want you to check their club out and be included. The only difference is there isn’t a week of constant recruitment, it’s just a friendly flyer on your way to class.
To the girl who never rushed, tothe girl who got rejected by every house, and to the freshman who dropped out at the last second—your college social life is not over.
Don’t give up now.
There are so many groups, clubs, organizations, sports teams, and so much more—that are just waiting for you.
Photo courtesy of the author.