Deciding to Join a Sorority—Trust Yourself
Ann shares her first experiences as a sister in a sorority.
By Ann Mallick
June 14, 2012
The day of Big/Little Reveal was hot. I remember because we were all wearing dresses; it might have been the first day of the semester where no one had chosen to wear pants. I and five other newly initiated girls gathered outside of my freshman dorm to drive over to the venue together. For this occasion I had borrowed a friend’s car and volunteered to drive. We outnumbered the seats in the car by one person, but it was a short distance—we didn’t even have to leave campus—so the other girls piled into the backseat as I turned the key in the ignition.
We were all excited to discover the identity of our Big, a girl from the year above who had been sending us gifts for the entire week leading up to Reveal. After this event, we would be part of a Family; next year we would have Littles, and the task of supporting a newly initiated freshman would be in our hands.
I hadn’t been driving for more than ten minutes before we reached a stoplight, and I obediently braked for the red light. Music was still playing, and one of the girls was telling a story that invoked a peal of laughter from the back seat. I laughed along as the light turned green again and pressed on the gas.
The car wouldn’t budge. I immediately tried again—no luck. “It’s green,” my friend in the passenger seat said, stating the obvious as I tried to explain in a voice filled with disbelief. “I think the car just died.”
Immediately, there was chaos in the car. Girls were yelling out possible theories, offering advice, asking me whether I wanted them to try. All the while, I kept turning the key, praying that the car would magically start up again, to no avail.
Behind us, cars were starting to honk impatiently. “We need to get off the road!” Annie said, frantically waving the cars behind us around our vehicle. “I’ll help push!” Megan added.
This seemed as good an idea as any, so while the five other girls clambered out into the street, I remained in the driver’s seat to man the wheel and direct their pushes in a straight line. The nearest parking lot was just on the next block, Joanna pointed out, so we aimed our sights at the far side of the street and set off across the intersection.
Cars honked, paused, and slowed at the sight: five girls in sundresses and sandals, pushing a car across an intersection in the middle of campus, with one girl in the driver’s seat laughing hysterically. I couldn’t help it—turning behind me to see girls I had just met a few weeks earlier, pushing a car with me at the wheel? Hilarious.
I don’t know how they managed to push the car the entire way while laughing just as hard as I was, but somehow we succeeded. Luckily the street wasn’t on a hill, and after the initial push, the car seemed to move fairly easily towards our destination.
By the end of it, we were all in high spirits, but still had no idea what we were going to do. I volunteered to stay behind with the car while the rest of the girls made it to Reveal on time; there wasn’t much point in all of us being late.
Soon after attempting to manually pour gas into the car myself, I realized there was no other option: it had to be towed. I sadly accepted the fact that I had missed Reveal and would meet my Family another night. But about ten minutes after the tow truck arrived, so did my Family. Three generations of girls, the youngest being my Big, showed up in the growing dusk with flowers and read me a poem by the light of the tow truck’s flashing red lights. It was far better than any Big/Little Reveal I could have imagined. To this day, one of my fondest memories of my friends and Family includes a tow truck, a gallon of gas, and a bouquet of sunflowers.
Since then, my experience in Theta has been exactly what I wanted it to be: my own. I choose what events to attend, and have my own friends within a larger sphere of girls. Apart from my Family, the girls in my year are some of my closest friends. We’re an eclectic bunch: a high-strung club lacrosse player from the East Coast, a New Zealander who has been abroad in Africa and Egypt for the past year, and a tall Brazilian who I spend the majority of my lunches, dinners, and evenings with when I’m not studying. These are the girls I’ll keep in touch with long after we graduate college together, women who are already accomplishing great things and have only just begun.
If you’re having second thoughts about joining a sorority, I would suggest going through recruitment. Maybe you’ll make a connection between some of the girls and end up joining. If you don’t, at least you’ve widened your horizons and met new people. Your college life is your own, and if being in a sorority doesn’t fit your character, trust yourself. If it does, I can tell you that it’s an amazing and rewarding experience, and I can’t wait to hear about it.
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