Dear Aunt Izzie,
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about Greek life, and I don’t know how I feel about it. Should I join a sorority?
Considering Going Greek
Dear Considering Going Greek,
It is indeed that time of year again. Facebook newsfeeds full of events and profile pictures advertising dessert or breakfast or horseback riding (is that one of the options? I can’t say I keep up) with various sororities. Lunches on organized lunches with an approved list of conversation topics. Freshman girls endlessly ranking where they want to be and upperclassmen girls ranking who they want to recruit. Greek is in the air.
One of my biggest beefs with Gettysburg College is the skewed Greek life statistic they offer potential students. While only 33 percent of the population is in either a sorority or a fraternity, 50 percent of those eligible to join (freshmen can’t rush) have done just that.
It’s undeniably a massive part of our campus culture. I don’t think a weekend has passed since the end of rush without someone asking me which sorority I’m in. And my answer, that I can quite happily call myself sorority free, is always met with shock. “Why?” Because I didn’t feel that rushing was for me. I couldn’t see myself in any of the sororities that Gettysburg has to offer. That really shouldn’t be as consistently surprising as it seems to be.
If you’re a girl and you’re independent people assume you’re “chill”, you’re weird, you’re probably one of the boys. You’re a GDI or the ever-dreaded, ever-sneered “geed”. If you’re a girl and you’re in a sorority people assume you like to party, you’re high maintenance, and you’re obsessed with the letters you wear. Sort of lose/lose.
My biggest question for you, CGG, is whether or not your friends are rushing. If you have a close group of people and none of you are pledging your undying love and devotion to a cult donning Lilly, that’s great. But if most of the people you know are rushing, it’s going to be a rough fall sophomore semester. Trust me.
Waiting until sophomore year to rush means that freshmen form friendships (try saying that five times fast) outside the Greek system, and that’s totally awesome. Some of my best friends from freshman year joined sororities and of course I love them as much as I did before they became sisters without me on the family tree. But being friends with Greeks becomes infinitely more difficult when they’re busy having a “dinner party” every night of every weekend. In my case putting in the extra effort is worth it, because even though I’m not their sister, I am their friend.
I know it’s unfair that having a social life is harder outside the Greek system, but that’s what I’ve seen in my year as a god damn independent. Whatever you end up deciding remember to be yourself (your mom told me to tell you that) and have a good time. Rush is not the end of the world.
Best of Luck,
Aunt IzzieIzzie Gibson Penrose, class of 2016, has 19 years of advice to give. She loves telling people what to do (but doesn’t take offense if they don’t listen) and lives as strange a life as possible so she has plenty of anecdotes to share. Izzie also enjoys making jokes and baking cupcakes. Email her with questions, concerns, or anything LITERALLY ANYTHING that’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org. She promises to read every email she receives at least once, probably six times.