Growing up with Legally Blonde and Sydney White as some of my favorite movies I knew about sororities early on. At least I thought I knew them. All the girls were blonde, tan, skinny legacies. They were best friends and sisters for life. As I grew up and met sorority girls and went to school with future sorority girls I realized that although that definitely is an accurate depiction of some sororities, some are very philanthropic and are very focused on school and some girls you would never guess were involved with the Greek system.
As a senior, I watched the class before me rush, mostly at the University of Arizona and mostly to the same sorority. I contemplated if I wanted to rush. I am not a legacy, I don't come from money, I'm certainly not blonde and I am a girl of color. I am basically the opposite of a pledge. However as the time to choose colleges began, Greek life was an aspect I took into account in my decision.
The people that know me well would probably question my decision to ever consider Greek life. I am the poster child for anti-sorority, however it is an organization that does volunteer work, gives you a "home away from home" and allows for a social and academic life. The stereotypes are prevalent and slightly accurate when it comes to sorority girls, however not every girl fits the bill. After applying to five schools scattered across the country I made the cut down to two schools. In the fall I would either be attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ or University of Portland in Portland, OR.
While my parents pushed for in-state school, NAU, because tuition was cheaper my mom began to realize that I was considering Greek life heavily. I had begun talking to a friend who rushed at NAU about all the recruitment and sorority details and even went to a Greek life seminar on my campus visit in Flagstaff. So my mother, being the smart woman she is, told me that if I stayed in state I could rush and be in a sorority. Of course tuition would be less if I stayed in state and that extra money could cover my rush fee and my dues in the chance I joined. That deal weighed heavy in my decision making.
After an amazing weekend in Flagstaff in October I fell in love with NAU, knew I wanted to rush and was positive that was where I was going to end up after I graduated. It was the obvious choice, especially considering UP was my "random app" that I filled out on a whim. However, when I got home from Flagstaff, on the counter was a letter from UP giving me the scholarship that would let me go out of state for college, which has always been my dream. So the decision was now mine to make instead of knowing where I was headed.
I knew if I went out of state I wouldn't be rushing unless I paid for it. Both colleges had majors I was interested in, but University of Portland had majors more specified to my goals. Going to NAU, I would be close to home and I could rush. However going out of state had been my dream since the 7th grade and now that I had the opportunity I didn't know if I was ready to pass it up.
As badly as I wanted to rush and be a Delta or a Kappa, or a Phi or any other Greek letter you can think of, I knew that my education had to come first. It took me weeks to think. I could be close to my parents, have cheaper tuition and rush. Or, I could follow my dreams and go out state, somewhere I had never been and knew no one with a higher tuition and not rush. As easy as that decision sounds, it wasn't.
On November 12, I let go of my surprisingly large urge to be a sorority girl and committed to the University of Portland. They have a more specialized sociology and criminology program that was geared to exactly what I wanted and would help me in the long run more than "sisters for life" could. It is out of state and it is more expensive and the school doesn't have Greek life at all.
As my move-in day gets closer and I watch my friends rush, I wonder if I made the right decision given that I still have the urge to be a sorority girl. After the painstakingly long decision process and although I still have my doubts about my decision, I am overall glad that I decided to take a chance and find a more specialized program for my major, rather than putting a possible sorority membership ahead of my education.
Lead Image Credit: Millennium Entertainment