by Celena Chong
Northwestern University Brand Ambassador
“You see sorority girls all over campus wearing Louboutins and Jimmy Choos. Like everywhere.”
“At U of I, they sacrifice virgins,” one of my friends said. “In a barn.”
Awesome, I thought.
Obviously, I knew in my mind these things weren’t true. But Greek life to me was like how pre-pubescents are when they wait for the new cooking Barbie to come out. I had already decided in my mind with sort of a strange finality that I would, wherever I went to college, become part of this cult life. It sounded kinda fun.
My school has a time period that restricts freshmen from venturing to any house with Greek letters on them. Of course, it only added onto more speculation. If Greek life was a horse, now it became a unicorn. It was untouchable. A world of fairies, dragons and a lot of winged animals that shouldn’t be winged.
The week before rush, since I went through it in the winter, was so intense that I could have probably cut the air into blocks. While some girls panicked and others chittered about the horror stories, most of the people I talked to were surprisingly serene and eerily calm about it all—the fact that the rest of their college lives were about to be shaped by this upcoming week (and really, it was true to a certain extent if you thought about it that way).
What if I really, really like two of them?! I thought. Like, I can’t be both Gryffindor and Slytherin. This was slightly devastating to me.
If anything, rush week was the most accurate aspect of Greek life by far to its description, given to us by veterans who had already survived that battle. Sure, some people cruised through it, but I witnessed some teary messes, some girls shouting their moms on their cellphones, and some utter anchor-in-the-stomach disappointments that I had myself. It wouldn’t be apt to say that rush is like the survival of the fittest however, because at least at my school, most people ended up where they liked. It was quite nice.
I trust the process and don’t—it’s safe to say that I still hold reservations about the fundamentals of Greek life today, however being in it. There are quarterly costs involved, and a potential for people to twist it into how it’s like in the movies, quite unfortunately. However, the benefits of it far outweigh the negatives. It’s an overall satisfying, insular community that allowed me to do many things: eat food that aren’t the greasy dollops of mush that I find in cafeterias, hang out with people who think I’m funny, steal clothes from many, many people’s closets and become involved with philanthropy. It feels like cheering for yet another team that you really care about, except you do it even when there isn’t a game on. You also aren’t going to be close to everyone, but that’s okay, because you still learn to have that acceptance which you carry on outside of Greek life.
After one year of being in a sorority, I would say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in college. That sounds pretty cliché, but it’s a pretty self-sustaining community that threw so many unexpected, yet cool opportunities in my way. So go ahead and memorize your sorority and fraternity’s creed like it’s a religious text, flash the hand symbols everywhere like they’re gang signs and even overuse this annoying phrase: “throw what you know”. It’s worth it.
To learn more about how to save BIG on textbooks, visit www.packbackbooks.com!