No one really talks about it enough…you know, going through recruitment. Whether it be as a first-generation college student, a minority, or someone who holds her core beliefs close to heart, everyone’s recruitment experience is unique. So, here’s mine:
Starting out, I was unsure about going through recruitment. Questions like “will I be accepted?” and “will I fit in?” swarmed my head. None of my family had ever heard of Greek life. In fact, my parents did not go to college. It was all new to them, and me.
I submitted my round one video, and I was fully myself, without thinking much of it. The potential new member orientation rolled around in the fall, so I went to the O’Dome and found my Pi Chi group. With my heart beating rapidly, I found myself in a room full of thousands of girls. How am I supposed to stand out? I sat down and took a deep breath. I heard a voice from the girl sitting next to me, “what are you doing here?” in the most insolent tone. That broke me – her implying that girls like me should not be here. I wondered if maybe she was right. Not only was I being judged by her, but also by my own community, my own friends and my own family.
Immediately, I called my cousin and said I was going to drop. However, he convinced me to stick out the process, at least through round two.
Not knowing what to expect, I made my way over to Chi Omega’s house. I heard girls raving about Chi Omega’s round one video, saying how it was one of their favorites. I also loved Chi Omega’s video, but I still wanted to keep an open mind through recruitment.
The conversation I had during round two went well, but for some reason, I didn’t think I was going to see Chi Omega on my round three schedule. However, I made the mile trek in my platform heels to Norman Hall the next day, opened my schedule, and to my excitement saw that I would be walking through the front door of Chi Omega again during round three!
What came next was unexpected. I was greeted by Keila Hackebeil inside Chi Omega. Little did I know, this woman was going to change my whole perspective on recruitment. We instantly developed a strong connection. The next thing I knew, I was breaking down and crying to a random stranger I just met a few moments before. I was taken by surprise as we had deep conversations about things I had never opened up about.
After that moment, it was a deadlock. Chi Omega was where I belonged. Surely, Eta Delta has not disappointed.
Recently when I had surgery, I was super nervous the day of. I received comforting texts from Marissa Briggs, Jacqueline Kelley, Cassidy Jimmerson and Catherine McCarthy. Knowing I was in their thoughts made me feel so much better.
As I am typing this in recovery, I think back on Lauren Maya’s and Shailey Klein’s hugs. I think back on Sophia Castellanos, and the stupendous duo we form. I think back on Sydney Kollas and her fun-loving banter with me. I think back on my family, and how grateful I am to have the best gg-big, g-big, big and twin sister I could ask for. I think back on Samantha Sparks and Adriana Figueroa making my day when I see their beautiful faces.
The best part? It does not stop here.
I have met many strong leaders and kindhearted women who make me laugh, motivate me and get me through every day. If I were to list their names, it would go on and on! It is still difficult to be in Greek life as a minority and a first-generation college student. I know my experiences are different from others’ experiences. However, Chi Omega has made me feel at home, at peace, and loved because these girls are, in one word,