This is not the story of a beautiful and fabulous girl who was popular in high school, went to college, joined a top house and was the same beautiful, fabulous, popular girl all over again except with more pictures and strange hand symbols.
This is the story of a girl who mocked Greek life and everything it stood for until one day, out of boredom and need for change, she rushed, accepted her bid, and never turned back.
See, my experience with girls was always a lot like 2 Girls 1 Cup: awkward, emotionally scarring, and full of shit.
In my primitive years, girls just didn’t like me (I mean, I was ugly, weird and ate pickle sandwiches for lunch, so I don’t think anyone did), and so I became terrified of them. This then became a self-fulfilling prophecy where when approached by another female, my fear would turn into an uncomfortable bitchiness that, surprise-surprise, made girls not like me, and blah blah blah cycles and whatnot.
I did formal rush my freshman year. That was equally terrifying. I was surrounded by hundreds of girls skinnier, prettier, and better at interacting with other girls than I was, and I couldn’t take the pressure and the threat of failure, so I dropped before I could be rejected by my own gender yet again.
I settled down with a group of really close guy friends and, aside from having no one to talk about periods and Gossip Girl with, I was essentially content.
About midway through my sophomore year, my group of guys kind of fell apart. Some people left, most rushed frats, some got wifed up, and some just…fell off. It became evident with me that I needed something new to do with my life. So, when a new sorority announced they were doing informal rush, I thought, “eh, why not.”
The first steps of the process gave me the same anxiety from years past. I didn’t know how to talk to these creatures. What did I say to make them like me? Would they think I was too blunt? Could they smell my fear? A lifetime of avoiding female relationships for fear of rejection had left me with no knowledge of how to interact with these group-oriented and emotional creatures…so I thought.
I made it to Bid Day, and was still panicking. I had talked to some people and put up a good front like I was confident and knew what I was doing, but internally I was still hysterical.
In a moment that seemed trivial to most, but actually took most of the courage I possess (and made twelve-year-old me hold her breath in anguish), I approached a group of girls taking pictures with those giant-wooden-letter-things and asked, “hey, can I hop in that pic with you guys?”
Low and behold, they didn’t laugh. They didn’t make fun of me. They didn’t invite everyone at our volleyball practice besides me to a sleepover (yes, I remember. And yes, it still hurts). They said yes.
My experience since then has been one and the same. While I acknowledge I might still rub some the wrong way, and there still exist girls who might really just not like me, going Greek has been life changing for me.
I’ve started leaving my past experience with girls behind, and embracing a sisterhood that I previously mocked.
I take more risks, and attempt more personal and intimate connections with people from my gender, instead of hiding behind guy friends simply because they intimidate me less.
While I still hate skirts and think that glitter is for arts&crafts and not blowing at cameras, I understand the hype now.
Greek life has given me a safe place, a family, and new outlook on my fellow women.
It has broadened my social and occupational horizons.
It has increased my confidence, my intimacy, and my acceptance of others.
So, though it’s not worth much, to all my GDIs still out there bashing the system: I was there once, so I get it. But there is much more to Greek Life than parties, cliques, and slanderous YikYaks and news articles. There are more of us than those who get taken away for alcohol poisoning and accused of sexual assault. There is a family.
It might not be for everyone, but I’m glad I figured out that it was for me.
My sisters are some of the strongest, most eccentric, beautiful women I have ever met. And while fake-laughing pictures and matching Halloween costumes still make me cringe, I can say without regret that I have gone Greek.