I looked around at the other girls surrounding me and immediately felt out of place; they wore colored shorts and fancy tucked-in shirts, while I looked like I just rolled out of a music festival in my high-waisted jean shorts and a white tank top. This was Panhellenic recruitment.
The first round of rush is called "Go Greek," where you go to each sorority house and they try to convince you that this could be your new family; the idea of calling these strangers my family was unsettling to me. When I walked into the first house I quickly wanted to run out. Eager, peppy girls clapping and singing greeted me as one grabbed me and led me to a seat. In the "Go Greek" round you are given 15 minutes to make a good impression. Unfortunately my cynicism takes years to get used to. The girl began to ask me generic questions such as: what my major was, if I had a dog, what I did this summer. I told her I went to Bonnaroo, to which she replied, "What is that?" The question made me shutter, but with a smile I informed her that Bonnaroo was, in fact, a music festival (located only 180 miles from where we were standing).
"Oh, I don't really listen to music," was her response. An awkward silence filled the space between us as I pictured the girl driving each day to work or running errands in utter silence.
The thought frightened me, and I began nervously looking around for perhaps a window to climb out when my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a knock on the door. The knock signified that my 15 minutes were up, and I was led out the door. The philanthropy round followed a few days later, where once again I was out of place. I met my Gamma Chi leader at Fiji Island to see the list of sororities I had left. A Gamma Chi is a girl who is in a sorority, but we are not allowed to know which one. She acts as our sorority guru throughout the process. As I looked around Fiji Island I was overwhelmed by all the girls sporting fancy new dresses, whereas I had just grabbed something out of my closet. I heard phrases such as, "I'm definitely going to get in because I'm a legacy," and "Girl-friend, I love your Lilly Pulitzer dress!"
"Who is this Lilly chick anyways?" I thought to myself as I once again began plotting my escape route.
As I went through more rounds, I felt that I was entering a dazed, dream-state. The more they talked, the louder the room was, and I was beginning to lose focus in everything they were saying. I felt like Charlie Brown whenever he heard an adult ramble.
Just then, I realized the girl I was talking to had asked me a question. Frantically searching her face for the right answer I blurted out, "yes!" She looked at me confused and then repeated the question, "Your favorite type of animal?" By the last round (the skit round it was called) I was really beginning to lose it. The girls constantly asked if I had any questions and I would stare blankly at them thinking of the right things to say. Finally there was one girl who just kept pushing me to ask a question. She told me to ask her anything; it did not even have to be sorority-related. So without thinking I blurted out, "How should the U.S. handle the genocide in Sudan?" The girl looked at me awkwardly.
To say the least, sororities aren't for everyone, and they are not for me. Going through the rush process is a great way to make friends, but if you do choose to join, you may want to invest in some Lilly Pulitzer attire. Or at least be sure you know who she is.
Kaila Curry is a freshman in English. She can be reached at email@example.com.