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Why sorority recruitment shouldn't define your college journey

In the winter of 2022, I found myself navigating the intricacies of Miami University’s sorority recruitment. The hybrid model allowed me to speak to different chapters on Zoom from the comfort of my dorm room and, yes, wear pajama pants all day instead of heels.

An unexpected snowstorm threw in a few curveballs and additional days of Zoom recruitment, leaving only the preference round and bid day in person. I found this to be surprisingly comforting as someone who isn’t that outgoing. I couldn’t imagine talking face-to-face to girls for two weekends in a row.

I won't downplay it — the sorority recruitment process is mentally taxing. The continuous flow of conversations, coupled with the anxiety of potential rejections each round, can significantly impact your well-being. 

While sorority recruitment can be fun and has the potential to enhance your college experience, it's crucial not to let it define your four years. Don't take it too seriously or overthink it; it's not the end of the world if it doesn't go the way you want it to.

Though I was so happy to have ended up where I did at the end of the process, there were days following when even thinking about answering a FaceTime call from my mom or little sister seemed overwhelming.

The sheer exhaustion from the constant interactions left me drained, requiring days at a time to recharge my social battery. Even now, having been on the recruiting side for the past two years, I still find it essential to take some time for myself to recharge.

My biggest piece of advice is simple: Don’t let the end result consume you or control your college experience. It's meant to be a supplementary, enjoyable facet of your academic journey, not an all-encompassing identity.

While I've found some of my closest and most meaningful friendships from sorority life, it's crucial to recognize that genuine connections can flourish in various extracurricular activities or even classes. 

At Miami's mid-sized campus, you'll likely have familiar faces in your classes throughout your four years. I've formed close bonds in my major and minor classes simply by saying hello to the person next to me on the first day of class and then seeing them in many other courses later on. 

Meaningful connections are also possible through a part-time on-campus job, even if it's just a few hours a week for extra cash. In this environment, you can participate in friendly banter with coworkers and get to know people you might not have expected to meet otherwise. The key is to initiate friendships by getting involved on campus or simply by greeting the person next to you in class.

Stepping back and evaluating the Greek life experience from a detached standpoint can give you a different perspective. Looking at it from the outside when I was going through recruitment helped me recognize that at the end of the day, it’s really not that deep. We're on the brink of entering the real world, where these group names and planned events quickly lose their over-hyped significance.

Being a part of Greek life can be undeniably fun, but only if you approach it with the right mindset. It’s a supplement to your college experience, not the defining factor.

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As we navigate our four years here at Miami, it's important to remember that these extracurriculars, whether hugely time-consuming or not, are just that — a temporary, fun addition to the college experience.

So, if your recruitment process didn't go as planned, don't let it shake your world. It's not the be-all, end-all. The friendships and memories made along the way will far outweigh the initial hiccups.

Halle Grant is a junior majoring in strategic communication with minors in marketing and journalism. She has been writing columns for The Student for three years and also teaches spinning classes at the recreation center.