Prior to arriving at Drake, I planned what my first few months here would look like. I was going to become best friends with my FYS, join lots of clubs, and of course participate in formal recruitment. I pictured myself to be the perfect sorority girl and could not wait until I was proudly wearing letters around campus! When it came time for recruitment, I had furthered my plan for the first few months at Drake and thought I knew exactly which chapter I wanted to join. The first night, sporting a cute bow and colored pants, I walked myself into what I thought was my dream sorority. I had wonderful conversations with the women, laughed a lot, and by the time the event was over, I was certain that was the chapter I was going to join. However, that certainty quickly disappeared when I received my schedule for the next round of events and found that I had not been invited back to what I thought was my dream chapter.
Maybe it’s needless to say, but I was not a happy Potential New Member. However, after a bit of encouragement from my fantastic Rho Gamma, I was ready for the second night of recruitment events. After round two, I found a new favorite chapter. I came back the following morning to find that I was not invited back. After this happened a second time, I was very discouraged. I took it personally and felt that the rejection was the chapters saying that they plainly did not like me. I debated dropping out of recruitment, however once again, my amazing Rho Gamma gave me a pep talk and not before long, I found myself taking part in two very special preference day ceremonies.
Preference day was, by far, my favorite day of recruitment. That day, all of the PNMs had the privilege to take part in a ceremony that is very special to each chapter. Both ceremonies were beautiful and I could really feel the passion, dedication and love that the woman had for their particular chapter. However, in the chapter I am now a member, I remember there was a moment during the preference day ceremony where it all clicked. Prior to the ceremony, I spent time talking and laughing with two amazing girls. At one point, I dropped part of my snack on the ground and was very embarrassed. However, they instantly made me feel better and even had me laughing about the situation. Then, during the ceremony, one of our amazing seniors was standing behind me to guide me through. I could sense how much she, as well as the other women, wanted me to join their sisterhood. I felt comfortable there. I felt like I belonged. Walking out of the house, I tried to contain my excitement because of my previous recruitment disappointments but instead I ended up running up to my Rho Gamma yelling “I KNOW WHERE I BELONG!”
Bid day was pretty scary. I sat there in anticipation with my recruitment group as all of the bid day cards were passed out. After what felt like a year we were all able to open our envelopes. Inside of the envelope, I found the beautiful Greek letters I was hoping for written across the top. I was home.
The rest of bid day was actually the best day of my life but I will not even try to explain that because it is a day you need to experience for yourself. Now, what advice do I have for you, a potential new member? First off, go through recruitment. The worst thing that will happen is that you will meet some fantastic older women you can look up to. The best thing that will happen is that you will find a sisterhood that you truly belong in. You will find dozens of new role models, gain leadership skills, form amazing friendships, and be part of something so much greater than yourself. I can 110% say that my sisters motivate me to become a better friend, student and leader each and everyday.
Second, keep in mind that on Drake’s campus, the definition of a “sorority girl” is much different than my original depiction of a “sorority girl”. Here, the definition of “sorority girl” is a woman that is dedicated and hard working, passionate and loving, and wants to be involved in a million and one activities on and off campus. You do not have to love boys, make up, formals, or be an expert crafter. On our campus, Greek life is honestly for everyone.
Lastly, when going through recruitment, try your hardest to avoid going in with a plan. Be open-minded and let it take you where it may. I later realized that I had a feeling of comfort in my chapter the entire recruitment week, however I was too close-minded to actually see it. I also realized that not being asked back to a chapter does not mean that I have a terrible personality. Rather, it means that those chapters feel that my values and personality would fit better with a different group of women. Now that I have been in my chapter for the year, I see how well my values and personality meshes with the rest of my sisters. They bring out the best, the weirdest, the goofiest, and the most passionate parts of me.
Looking back on the first day of recruitment and my original plan, I did not even foresee an alternative future being so amazing. But yet, here I am, a member of the chapter I did not expect to join and I could not be more grateful that my plan changed.