Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Don't just shut your brain off during this post.
Give me the courtesy
I am not a stereotype.
I'm not the bimbo in that college show.
I'm not the girl that will get killed first in that horror movie.
Let me show you what my sorority means to me.
Age 14: I told my parents I wanted to join a sorority because it looked "fun". Parents laughed and said there weren't any sororities at BYU (where they thought I was going to go).
Age 16: Turned off by the stereotypes. Legally Blond and House Bunny didn't really have me appreciating blond girls with pink sweaters. I didn't want to hang out with a bunch of dumb girls who only cared about their nails.
Age 18: Freshman year, I missed rush week and I felt oddly sad, even though I hadn't thought about joining a sorority in a long time I felt like I had lost something. Next time.
Age 19: I see a few advertisements for rush week and toss the idea around. I go to the page, the $20 fee is enough of an excuse for me to let my fear of rejection stop me from going.
Then I met Shayla. Aside from being a wonderful friend, mentor and fellow christian she was in a sorority. Not only was she in a sorority but she was everything in my mind that wasn't "sorority". Independent, forward thinking, political, level headed, down to earth, and most of all REAL.
Years of exposure to third party information about Greek life had built up quite the stigma in my mind. Shayla defied all of it. She started telling me about her sisterhood. Her soft words spoke of a bond deeper than blood, a beauty beyond comprehension, a family, and a life style that carried such weight in not only her tone but her eyes that I wanted what she had. It was something so personal and so special to her that I felt almost as if I was discussing something holy.
I wanted it. I wanted the support, the bond that goes deeper than shallow relationships and the love that tried as hard as possible to be selfless. I wanted something unbroken by fights about boys. I wanted something real.
So I started the process. Shayla and I talked in the beginning of spring semester about Alpha Chi Omega and she recommended me to the chapter and I got my first invite to come and visit for a recruitment event.
Thoughts: Excited and scared out of my mind. I took forever fretting over my clothes and ended up leaving too early. I stood on the corner of street for probably a good five to ten minutes considering giving up or walking in until another girl walked up the path, then I felt like I could go.
Once we were let in (we were still a little too early) I felt like my heart stopped. The whole chapter was there, lined up and sang us a welcome song. The shyness in me made me want to bolt but I stuck it out. I don't know who I talked to or what we talked about that night. All I know is that I was turning in circles telling each new group about me.
Sometime that week (it might even had been that night, its a blur) I got a call offering me a bid. I was so shocked and excited because I felt like I had floundered at the house that I jumped up and down after accepting the offer and hanging up.
So I started to get to know them more. I went to activities, to new member education, to meetings. So much was a confused struggle to stay above water. I felt like there was so much I didn't know but there were so many nice girls to meet and get to know.
Slowly I became more and more comfortable.
I went over more.
I studied there.
I chatted there.
And suddenly Alpha Chi was home. I didn't want to go back to the dorms. I just wanted to stay at the house. I was comfortable, I didn't feel like the odd one out.
Right after this point was when we got geared up for lyre week and initiation. My fears were back. What if they did something weird? What if they hazed (even though we had a ton of anti-hazing meetings)? What if I would feel uncomfortable? I was a bundle of nerves all week.
Then the night finally came.
It was beautiful. I had no reason to fear at all. I felt like I was part of something so much bigger than me. I joined the bond. They were no longer the actives and us the new members. We were sisters. For life.
It has been the start of so much good in my life. I am so glad I didn't bolt the first night because ever nervous feeling and every mini claustrophobia attack was worth it.
I am uplifted by my sisters. I lift my sisters up. We move toward the good of our chapter and hope to benefit our philanthropy and those we come in contact with. I have gained more confidence and I have learned so much.
The opportunities are wonderful to network and gain career skills and the social events are fun but I would trade it all for ritual and sisterhood. It is the one of the most beautiful things I have experienced in my life.
The bond is something that is so hard to put into words. I would recommend this to anyone. Even if you think you wont fit in. I guarantee you there is a house for you.
There is just something so fulfilling and magnificent about the Greek system. There is so much good to be had, I just wish more people would see that. It is one of the best decisions of my life.