This week was sorority rush at most of the colleges in Alabama. This can be such a stressful time and most girls get their first taste of “rejection” during this time. We are talking about girls who have probably never heard the word “no” in their lives. Now, this is not true for all of the girls, but it is true for quite a few.
As I was scrolling through Instagram, I was reminded of my own sorority rush experience. To put it quite honestly, it was terrible. I was from small town Alabama and my mom did not rush and was from up north. Let me just tell you, I have two strikes against me right there, because my mom knew nothing. She had no words of wisdom to pass down to me to help me get through this treacherous week. Plus, I went to a country high school, where hardly anyone went to college, must less rushed a sorority.
In preparation for rush, I had gone and bought some of the best dresses. I went to Pappagallo and bought one that I knew would just be a real “attention getter”. It was a pretty floral chintz. It was one shoulder, hey they do say styles come back around! It looked like a couch! But it was what was popular back then. I wanted to make sure that I had the best accessories and that I was ready for this rush experience. I had a dress picked out for each day of rush, that was 7 days. We had 6 days of parties and then bid day. I was ready.
I got to Auburn and I was excited for rush. I had been told that you have to act happy everyday of rush. You cannot act like you don’t want to be there, even if you really don’t. This was okay for the first two days, but by day three I was exhausted. I was so tired it was not even funny. I just could not fake it. We had ten parties that day. That was ten times telling people your major and all about your hometown. I was over it.
The next day we went to get our parties for that day. We were supposed to have eight. I just knew I was going to look on there and be excited. You see, before I came down for rush, I knew the sororities I was interested in and I was pretty sure they were interested in me. I opened up my party list and I had four. My heart sunk. Now out of the four, I did have my top choice, but the other three, they were not even on my radar. I cried a thousand tears and I really should not have, because I had a party to go to right away. I remember sitting in the lobby and I just could not stop crying and a girl looked at me and said, “I have seen many tears this morning.” I am sure she had. I went to the party and then had a two hour break, because I did not have all eight parties and I ran home and called my parents, bawling. I even remember a friend of mine saying, ” I had such a hard time because I never got cut.” You know, just what you want to hear.
Let’s go back to how I felt opening up the party list. My heart not only sunk, but the rejection completely bit me in the behind. I had been told “no”. I had people tell me I was not good enough to be in their group. I went from being someone who was in everything to flat out pushed aside. That feeling stunk. Who were these girls to tell me I was not good enough to be in their group? Why did they think they were better than me?
Now as the years have gone by, I realized more and more that this was not rejection. These girls did judge me based on a 20 minute visit, but it was not actually “judging” me. They just did not get to know me, the real me and they had to make a decision based on that quick amount of time.
You see, there are only so many sororities and only so many spots in them each year. Sure it would be great to take every girl that wanted the sorority, but that just would not work. You see a sorority is a sisterhood. You form a bond with these women over your four years at college. These women do become your lifelong friends. If you had say, three to four hundred in your pledge class, you would never form these bonds. It would just be too hard. So, this is where the cuts come in.
I saw a lot of tears cried this year by girls who did not get what they had their hearts set on. They did feel rejected. I read an article tonight and it said that at Auburn, 34 girls were completely cut out of rush. They did not get anything. I thought how they must have felt to be told you did not get one sorority to pick you. The hurt and heartache they felt, especially those that it happened to on bid day.
I want to tell these girls that you are not being rejected. It does feel that way at the time, but you really are not. It is kind of like a job interview and you are being told “no” and directed into another direction. You might be directed to a different sorority, one that you did not even think about before. One where you could really stand out and be beneficial. You might not even be directed to any sorority at all. You might find something else that interests you where you can better donate your time.
For me, I only had the one sorority that I was interested in and that turned out to be a blessing. You see, if I had a few that I really liked, I might have had a hard time choosing and whow knows what would have happened. I feel like I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be. I have heard others in similar situations say the same thing.
So for the girls who maybe heard “no” this week. For the girls that cried many tears and had their hearts ripped out. You were not rejected, so I hope you never feel that way. You were redirected. You were put on a path that will take you straight to where you are meant to be. So hold your head up high and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone make you feel embarrassed or bad. You remember all that you have to offer and get ready to take it on your new journey. And who knows, you might end up becoming friends with some of the very people who didn’t give you that chance the first time around.