This is the fourth in a multi-part tale of my experience with Greek life and sororities. This is not meant to offend, put down, or upset anyone about being in a sorority or being Greek (I was one too!). It is just my recount of how I became Greek, what happened once I became Greek, and how I ended my affiliation. Please do not take this offensively in any way.
After struggling for over a year with trying to find time for my sorority and become closer with the girls, I finally found a group of girls within my sorority that were the most like me that I really “clicked with” instantly. It was all so easy and I had no idea that all it took was for me to make a small effort with our chapter’s President.
It was a Saturday in the spring, close to summer. I was out doing some errands and realized that I had absolutely nothing planned for the rest of the day. I had spoken with our President a few times before regarding taking a trip to Disney World, so I had her phone number in my phone. I called her while I was in the Wal-Mart parking lot and I think she was surprised to hear from me, asking her what she was doing. We soon met up and went shopping for a few hours and had lunch. That small effort that I made with her turned into a deep, close relationship that I hadn’t had with someone so similiar to me in many years.
That one afternoon later turned into sleepovers at each other’s houses, going out to the local college bars during the week and weekends (me as the DD, of course), crying over lost boys together, drinking wine coolers in my brand-new-no-furniture-in-the-living-room townhouse, pretending my new jacuzzi bathtub was a hot-tub in our bathing suits after nights at the bar, trips to Disney World since she worked there and could get us in for free, and even a weekend getaway to West Palm Beach to The Breakers. We shared our deepest secrets with each other and knew so much about each other’s lives. She was raised so similar to me, had the same morals and values in life, and was there for me like no one else. I vividly remember spending a late night in the Underground Blu parking lot in disguise spying on a certain boy that I will not name. It’s those little memories about sorority life that they’re right when they say, you never forget them.
Before I was an official sister in my sorority, I heard time and again from everyone the saying that was proven to be so true in my life as a sorority sister: what you put into it is what you get out of it. I made one leap into the dark essentially, and what I got out of it was a best friend and a group of girls that knew me so well and were so supportive of me in every aspect of my life.
In that same spring semester (2007), during chapter one Sunday evening, an announcement was made about the upcoming formal recruitment. Evidently every chapter on campus is required to have a certain percentage of girls apply to be a “Rho Gamma.” Rho Gammas are essentially the “leaders” of recruitment. Each Rho Gamma is assigned about fifteen girls in their group that they take around to each house during rush. The Rho Gammas are there as support to the girls to answer questions about rush, offer advice to girls, and to guide them along in the process. No matter what Rho Gammas did during recruitment, anything sounded better than being inside the house with the chapter until 5am going through recruitment procedures as a chapter. It is grueling being “on the other side” of recruitment. Chapters tend to form a strong bond during this time because they are together for nearly 24 hours a day during recruitment. Truthfully: I hated it. S0, it an attempt to escape, I decided to apply to be a Rho Gamma. The application was rather extensive and also included an interview. I figured the odds of me being chosen to represent UCF Greek Life as a whole were stacked against me, but since a certain percentage was required to apply, I decided to do it.
My interview wasn’t the best. I didn’t know how to answer a lot of their questions and I was interviewed by two girls representing the “true sorority stereotypes” on campus. I sat at a big conference table of about fifteen chairs–me on one end of the table, and the two of them on the other. They were very hard to read and were good at remaining objective and showing zero emotion during the interview. After asking detailed, thought provoking questions, they each smiled for the first time and said, “Okay. For the last question. If you were a shoe, what kind of shoe would you be?”
I sat there thinking of not only my answer, but what kind of question this was. Obviously, whatever kind of shoe you answered you’d be, was symbolic of a personality trait. Perhaps stiletto meant you were classy and liked to be the center of attention and tennis shoe meant you were low-maintenance and easy-going, or something. My answer? A pink glittery flip flop. Beachy, yet girly.
About a month or two later, the list of accepted 2007 Rho Gammas was read allowed during a Panhellenic meeting at the Kappa Delta house. All of the girls from my sorority who had applied sat so nervously in the folding chairs as, at the end of the meeting, the list was read. We held hands tightly and congratulated each other quietly when we heard another one’s name. They read the list fast and asked girls not to clap until the end. My sister who sat to the right of me was one of the accepted names, but the girl to my left was not. Finally, toward the end, I heard my name. I felt so relieved and I don’t know why; I didn’t even really want to be a Rho Gamma when I thought about it, but again–anything sounded better than staying in the house for 20 hours a day. At the same time as my relief, I felt so terrible for the girl next to me who was one of two girls from our chapter that applied that did not get accepted, who were so genuinely happy for the rest of us.
Little did I know what hell I was getting myself into, very quickly.
Coming up–Recruitment on the other side: My Experience as a Rho Gamma, Part 1.