Piiiiiii, BeTA, PHI for you, Pi Beta PHI for Me
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Jonna has done it again. I don't how she manages to post blog entries that make me all introspective (and shit), but she does. Topic o' the day? Greek Rush.

I didn't have any preconceived notions about Greek Rush when I entered my university years. My sister had rushed, and ultimately deactivated. My mother attended nursing school, where is an entirely different social hierarchy - much like a sorority, but not technically greek. My father was in two different fraternities, and all I had ever heard were stories of parties gone wrong, hitchhiking to another college to find free beer, and how he and my uncle once got this stray dog really drunk.

I hadn't really put much thought into my own Greek ambitions (or lack thereof), but rather wanted to wait until I got settled at school and met some friends. But alas, I am a joiner by nature, so I ultimately found myself all dolled up, headed towards campus and loud, singsong previews of a life I wasn't sure I wanted.

My memories of rush are dim - I remember running into girls that I had danced with that previous summer, wondering if I wanted to be in a house with them - wondering if I'd even be given the option, truthfully. I vividly remember saying "no thank you" to tiny cups of snacks, wondering what they thought of girls who eat during rush. I had too many glasses of watered-down lemonade, and was forced to wonder what would happen if I needed to use the restroom. I mostly just remember being completely overwhelmed and very confused by what I would later find out is the largest Greek system in the nation. Guess I missed that section of the campus tour.

Flash forward to final stage - down to 3 houses, only one of which I was particularly in love with (this is almost always the perfect setup for a big disappointment in the rush process). There I stood, on the front steps of Chi Omega, trembling in my ugly gold heels (which matched my gold cocktail dress - very...interesting...like a reject from a Supremes audition - only white). I think I may have had tights on, but whatever, it wasn't the ubiquitous black dress that every other girl was wearing. I figured that the house that "got" my deliberate sense of fashion irony would be the one I would choose.

Thanks to the "mutual preference" system of scantrons, sweat, and tears, I ended up being "cross cut," or at least that is what we called it. My second choice had chosen me first, my first choice had chosen me second, so I automatically ended up receiving a bid from my third choice (who had chosen me first list). Confused yet?

The wackiest part of the whole thing is that in my confusion about what went wrong at Chi-O, I failed to realize that I should have picked Kappa Delta first (I would later have many close friends in that house). So Pi Phi it was. I spent my entire first year ambivalent, trying not to make TOO many friends, always leaving myself an out, if need be. I thought I'd hate it - thought I'd regret it forever.

Two years later, hell - 6 years later, I'm so proud that I stuck it through. Yes, sororities can be completely ridiculous, superficial, and not really rooted in the reality of life. Fortunately for me, I managed to wake up and open my eyes to the opportunities that I was given through my house: wonderful, SINCERE, warm friends and many nights of laughter - the kind that is silent, where you're laughing so hard that you're just shaking and not making any noise whatsoever.

To this day, some of my closest friends are my former sorority sisters, and not because of our love for one another "in Pi Phi" (gag). We're friends because we survived the weirdest, potentially most awkward phase of young adult life, and stil managed to come out swinging, metaphorically speaking. (Full disclosure: we are also still friends because we find one another refreshingly NORMAL, very down to earth.)

And so ends the fable of the reluctant Pi Phi. Apparently if you open your eyes wide enough to see past the rumors, stereotypes, and bad seeds, you will find that you make your own happiness in the Greek community. Another helpful hint? Make sure you're involved in an extracurricular that is heavily time consuming, so that you always have an ironclad reason for not having time to participate in Rush (thank you, dance team(s)! I owe you one. Mwah.). In the end, it's all a matter of getting lucky, and making the best of what you've been given.

This entry is dedicated to the house at 1005 S. Wright St - home for all women who, when they say they are Greek, no one believes them. Also to Laura, Heather, Megan, Emily, and Kimbo - the least "vanilla" ladies I have ever met.