During the second semester of my freshman year, I made the brash decision to rush a sorority. I had never considered Greek Life, especially at Northeastern University, where it’s pretty much nonexistent. But something in me wanted to try it out, and I genuinely felt like I wanted to be a part of this “sisterhood.” Later I learned that I didn’t really know the sisters of the sorority and I had pretty high expectations of what I thought sorority life would be like.
So I went through the rush process. I met up with girls for coffee, talked about myself in a few informal interviews, and went to a few rush events. Then, lo and behold, I got a bid! I got a phone call saying that I had received a bid from the sorority, and this would begin my process of becoming a sister.
I’m not going to go into much detail about what happened next, but let me just say that in my complete honest opinion, it was not worth it. At least for me. It’s not just that I had little-to-nothing in common with the girls around me. Some of them I actually did feel a genuine bond with, and I still talk to. But I just didn’t like how being in a sorority isolated me in ways that I didn’t expect. For example, I stopped going to church on Friday nights and I barely had the chance to see my church friends — the people I’m closest with in college. I felt like I had to be someone I wasn’t; it kind of felt like a facade after awhile. And I couldn’t help but start feeling that my life was getting very repetitive: talking about sorority-related things, guys, going out to parties, drinking, the latest social event. As someone who calls herself a Christian, I started to have a huge disconnect between what I thought my faith was, and what it was actually becoming. After a while I definitely started to feel jaded and, in all honesty, life in general started to feel less meaningful. I was putting less effort in my interactions with people and my relationships. I had less enthusiasm and energy for each new day because nothing really excited me, and I was getting extremely frustrated with the meaninglessness of it all. Even academically, I started to lose the motivation to go to class because of lame excuses: I was too tired, I could cram, it would be okay if I just missed this one class, etc.
So. Why did I decide to quit my sorority? I’m certainly not trying to bash on all sororities, because I know people in Greek organizations who really love it and for whom it’s been a positive experience. But for me personally, being in a sorority caused so much heartbreak, stress and a real dilemma about who I was. I was a lot more isolated from the Christian community, had developed some unhealthy patterns of drinking and partying (which required its own discipline and effort to stop), and started to feel spiritually lifeless. I felt like I had to re-climb several mountains to get back in touch with God.
At the end of it, I just felt that it was a waste of my time. Thank God that I made the decision to actually quit, which for some reason was extremely hard. It took me about three times to actually go through with the disaffiliation process, because each time, I second-guessed myself and told myself that I needed this kind of security in my life — that if I quit, there would be nothing left for me. After having a conversation with a close friend, I realized that I had been so influenced that I couldn’t even make functioning decisions anymore — the simplest choices. I couldn’t will myself to turn down alcohol, even if I had vowed to stop drinking. Or to not go to a party, even though I knew what would happen and who I might end up compromising. It had become my lifestyle. And that’s when I realized that it had become too much a part of me and, if I didn’t get out soon, it would completely take over.
Of course this is not true of every sorority but, in general, I don’t think being in a sorority is a good idea if you’re a Christian and you’re serious about your faith.
And of course there were some things about it I enjoyed too. I liked having an active social calendar, I liked the stability it gave me, and I liked that I always knew what I’d be doing and who I’d be hanging out with. I liked how I was basically handed a bunch of people to get to know and to make my “group.” I liked having the label, if I’m going to be completely honest. It was kind of like a massive clique. But I also knew that it was (severely) affecting my relationship with God — not to mention how I viewed other people and myself. So I quit.
And to any Christians interested in Greek Life: think carefully about the pros and cons and be honest with yourself. What are the real reasons you want to join? If it’s for a community, and you’re looking for a genuine brother- or sisterhood who will provide you with love, support, encouragement, and acceptance, then you’re better off finding a church community. It’s important to surround yourself with good people who will encourage you and help you grow.