To the non-Greek, a sorority girl looks like a Stepford Wife in training and is just at school to get an M.R.S. degree. In reality, the life of a sorority girl is filled with secrets held within the chapter from the outside world. What the outsiders do not know is we also hold secrets from our own sisters, and we know too much about other chapters on the row. What happens on the row, stays on the row. Until now. This is my life and these are my stories of how I survived sorority row.
See you on the row.
*Names have been changed to keep what little dignity some of the people have left.*
Running down the Row in heels: totes appropriate
Rush. That was the scariest week of my life. To this day the word "rush" gives me a literal rush of anxiety. Technically, it is inappropriate to call that horrifying week "rush," because as our adviser puts it, "Ladies recruit potential new members. Only fraternities rush." News flash, just because the name changed from “rush week” into “recruitment week” doesn't make the word sound less dirty... Because it is.
So, this is how we begin the twisted adventure of Greek Life at a major southern university.
I remember rush like it was yesterday. So many rules to think about. Avoiding the 3 B's; boys, booze, and bars. Constantly thinking about if your dress is appropriate... how should I wear my hair? What if they don't like me?! Do I fit in?!?
The week began. I’m standing in alphabetical order waiting in the humid, August afternoon to go into a house to sell myself to a bunch of girls I don’t know. Thinking of backing out and ending the torture before it began, how is this not illegal? This whole institution sounds extremely sketchy, but then again I’m the one running from house to house in heels because I only have twenty minutes before I get the chance to make another impression on a different house... and the sad part is I liked it.
I was oblivious before I entered the secret and misunderstood world of greek life. The only thing I knew about rush came from corny TV shows and movies. My knowledge was so limited. I even asked an older girl if it was like “Animal House.” Needless to say, she laughed at me. Not only was that awkward, it probably cost me a bid.
I felt like a barnyard animal being bought at fair. Each house asked me the same questions, “where are you from, what’s your major, are you excited about school?” I couldn’t hear anything of major importance, because each house was echoing with hundreds of voices colliding and trying to talk at once. It was a blur, but it was amazing.
Just as each house judged me, I just judged them. I got a good sense of the character of each house when I walked through the doors. Each house extremely different, some looked like they stepped out of a J Crew catalog with their patching pastels and nude pumps. Other houses had hair bigger than Dallas. Honestly, I think big hair was a requirement for some of the houses! Some sororities had girls prettier than others and those were, of course, my top houses. And anyone who said otherwise, was just pretending. I loved the girls in my top houses because they made me feel unique, and like we were meant to be friends. Maybe one day I could get some mascara tips and boy advice from them, my potential future sisters.
As the days continued, people dropped out of rush, because they were cut from a house they loved. I knew they were gone when I could hear screams coming from everywhere. Its almost like the Hunger Games when someone dies and a cannon goes off. Yes, that intense. I should have felt bad for them, but I wanted the best house so I had to continue the charade of trying to be perfect so I could one day become a barbie doll like the rest of these girls.
Anxiety levels of everyone, myself as well, continued until bid day. For some twisted reason the girls rushing aren’t allowed to talk about rush with anyone else rushing. You know nothing. They get in huge trouble if they are even caught talking to anyone in between houses, or as Panhellenic called it, "parties." Trust me, rush is anything but a party. Strictly no alcohol involved.
But, that didn’t stop girls in my group from breaking the 3 B's before the final round of rush. Pref night (the last night of rush when you pick your preferred sorority) they still smelled like an ashtray and looked like they just rolled in the sheet with a few of the frat boys. We didn’t get in the same house and I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.
Don't judge me, but I cried tears of joy when I got my bid card. It was the most beautiful piece of paper I have ever seen, almost holy. Today I have no clue where my bid day card is. I don’t need the card to remember the day I met the most beautiful pledge class at the world’s best university.
Rush sucks. Girls are two faced and your heart will be broken. Getting through it and finding the perfect house is priceless.
See you on the row.