When I decided to rush a sorority at the University of Arizona, I didn’t know a thing about Greek Life. I saw the TV shows; I knew what the stereotype was for the girls who wanted to rush. A girl from my high school who graduated before me convinced me to think about it. She said she didn’t think sorority life was for her and I had the exact same thought about myself. We both love it now.
For the most part, I love Greek life and everything about it, but there is one thing that bothers me a lot. With recruitment just around the corner, this is becoming something even more prominent. In a sorority, there is a lot of focus on what “tier” your house is in. Are you a top tier or a bottom tier?
From my perspective, it doesn’t matter.
How do we even decide who is top tier and bottom tier? It is how much money the sorority raises for their philanthropy? Is it how involved the girls are on campus? It it how high the chapter GPA is? Is it the sororities that get asked to spring fling and homecoming by the “best” frats? Is it the best looking sorority?
Let’s be honest with ourselves for just a minute: Sororities are supposed to take pride in making their members into leaders, not trophy wives (not saying you can’t be both). They are supposed to empower women and give back to the community. The focus is not supposed to be on partying and who has the “hottest” house. Parties happen but it’s college; you can find a party anywhere. Somewhere along the line, I think a lot of people lost the idea that sororities were founded on.
I’ll be honest, it’s fun to be asked to homecoming by your favorite fraternity. It feels good when you tell someone what house you’re in and they say something like, “oh I love [insert chapter name here].” But the things that I’m going to look back on, the things that make the real memories are the friendships I made in my chapter and the sisterhood events I attended. It is what you make of it.
When you rush, forget everything everyone told you about any of the houses. Do you get along with the girls you’re talking to or do you feel like you have to be someone else to fit in to a certain house? Focus on the things that make you feel like you’ve found a home away from home. Focus on which girls you can see yourself hanging out with outside the chapter. Focus on the things that can be the foundation of long term friendships. The parties end, the friendships don’t.
Remember, after you graduate, no one is going to care whether you were top house or not.