By Emmie Weddell

At the start of my freshman year, I was sure Greek life was not for me and that I wasn’t a “sorority girl” type. I didn’t believe the stereotypes about girls in sororities, but part of me felt like sorority girls lacked a sense of identity and relied on sororities for belonging.

However, my university hosts recruitment in the spring rather than the fall, giving me a full semester to decide whether I wanted to give Greek life a chance. I was able to meet fantastic girls in different sororities and got a feel for Greek life at my school without being “rushed” into rush.

Despite my initial hesitation, I decided to rush. I still wasn’t sure whether it was for me, or if I would be a good “sorority girl,” but I thought it was much better to be open-minded than to miss out on something that had the potential to be amazing.

Rush rolled around in January, and I was as ready as I’d ever be. I bought a new necklace for the first day and a new dress for the last. But nothing could prepare me for the week in store.

Many people find recruitment fun and energizing. You go into “parties” for each sorority and make small talk with girls you’ve never met while wearing your nicest shoes. I put on my best smile and made conversation, but at the end of each day, I was drained. As an introvert, a full day of small talk isn’t my idea of fun.

At the end of the exhausting week, I received an invitation to join my top choice. Despite being tired, I was genuinely thrilled. I was happy to be done with the recruitment process, but I was also excited to be a sister in my favorite sorority.

Flash forward two semesters later and I am no longer a member of the sorority. But I am thankful I decided to give it a shot.

My time in a sorority showed me that my idea of a “sorority girl” was a myth. It introduced me to many bright, adventurous, intelligent, kind and strong women. It gave me opportunities to have fun at events like formal and paint crush. My experience challenged me by forcing me to put myself out there and manage my time.

I learned that Greek life really isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. It is a big time commitment and can be expensive, so if you have a lot on your plate and aren’t fully plugged in, it can become a burden.

I was so busy and stressed that I was becoming sick, and I knew that I had to cut something out of my life for my physical and mental health. It made the most sense for me to de-pin because I wasn’t thriving in my sorority.

Unlike me, many girls in my sorority, including my big and some of my best friends, were consistently excited to be involved in all things related to Greek life. Seeing how much they flourished opened my eyes to the reality that I can thrive more outside of the sorority than I could within it.

I harbor no negativity to the sorority or any of the girls within in. In fact, I am so grateful to have spent a short time in the sorority and have gotten to know what the women are really like—incredible. They have been supportive of my decision to de-pin and have continued to spend time with me since I left.

There’s no pressure to be in a sorority; find where you thrive best. Either way, Greek life taught me not to judge a book by its cover, or a girl by her sorority (or lack thereof).