Starting college is exciting––but let’s be real, it’s also scary, stressful and nerve-wracking. So, why add even more stress by joining a sorority? With all the rushing, outfits and talking, it can seem like a huge undertaking to go Greek, but it’s worth it.
Taking the time to rush your freshman year will set you up with a home away from home, which can be hard to find when you’ve suddenly been dumped on a college campus and left to your own devices. Without a sorority, you’re still guaranteed to find friends ––but with one, you’ll get a head start on not only finding friends but also on learning about college life (and your campus layout). So, to prove why going Greek as a freshman is a great idea, we asked current collegiettes and they told us the best parts of being a srat star.
1. You'll make friends
This is probably the reason everyone tells you to join a sorority. Collegiettes who are already in a sorority might tell you, “You’ll make SO many friends,” and, “Literally all my friends are my sisters,” and those statements can totally be true.
Blair Donovan, a senior at Miami University, found her best friends through her sorority. For Blair, getting a big sister meant finding her BFF as well. “Getting [a big] was something I always looked forward to in joining a sorority, and mine surpassed all expectations once I finally got one," she says. "She became my best friend and literal twin (we looked creepily identical). She was go-to person to get Mexican food with and vent about our lives. I can't imaging not having her in my life, and the bond that we formed was unlike any other!” But, there’s no rule that says you are confined to the pool of sorority girls that you are a part of.
In fact, you should also look for friends outside of your sisterhood. In college, you’ll meet friends on your floor, in classes and at parties. The great part about being a part of a sorority though, is having a group of girls you’re familiar with.
For Elana Golub, a junior at Northwestern University, joining a sorority introduced her to a whole new group of girls. “I hardly knew any of the girls in my sorority before I rushed, and now they are my best friends in the world," Elana says. "It would've taken me a lot longer to find them on my own!” Because you’re already grouped together, it takes away the awkwardness of finding common ground because (duh!) you’re sisters. Plus, with so much bonding, you’ll inevitably connect with certain girls.
2. You'll have sisters in class
Sometimes, deciding where to sit in class can feel like a life or death decision, but seeing a beacon in the form of sorority letters will wash an instant feeling of calm over you. Picking your seat on the first day of classes will be a dilemma for the next four years, so having sorority sisters is always a great resource.
This is all too true for Madeline Frisk, a senior at Oregon State. “I love that joining in my freshman year in my spring term I was able to make friends that were in my classes," she says. "You not only get to know people in your chapter, but you feel connected to anyone with letters you see on campus, which is a truly amazing feeling.”
Kristen Van Buren, a senior at High Point University, believes that finding friends in class is more than just having a neighbor. “My sorority sisters have helped me so much when I have had my rough times in life and when I have been stressed over projects and tests,” she says. Having sisters who can help you in class really comes in handy when you’re stressing over a physics question that would stump even the Einsteins of the world. Strength in numbers!
3. You'll learn your way around campus
Your sisterhood will be one of your best resources in college, because you automatically have access to girls that know all the ins and outs of the campus. One of the scariest parts of college is getting to know the school itself, but it doesn't have to be thanks to Greek life.
Sarah Westbrook, a junior at the University of South Carolina University, learned the ropes at her school from her sorority sisters. “Joining a sorority my freshman year helped me to figure out how everything at college works," she says. So, if you’re struggling to find that astronomy class that’s inside the gray building that’s adjacent to another gray building, you’ll have a huge resource to help you get through the literal maze of buildings.
Plus, some colleges will have recruitment before classes start, so you’ll get the opportunity to explore the campus before it’s overrun with students.
4. You'll learn about college life
Like we said before, being in a sorority will give you a direct connection to some older girls. In college, they will seem wiser than you could ever imagine. From recommending when you should buy textbooks to telling you where the best food places are, they have a plethora of knowledge. Use them wisely, collegiettes!
Additionally, your older sorority sisters will most likely take you under their wing and attempt to guide you through the crazy world of college. For Kayla Hanigan, a senior at George Mason University, this was definitely true. “I think joining my freshman year was amazing because it allowed me to experience the confusing and overwhelming parts of freshman year with other girls and a huge support system that I otherwise would not have had," she says. "We all stumbled, and the older sisters constantly looked after us making sure we were using all of our campus resources.” Although you will definitely be fine on your own, having a ton of older sisters will smooth the transition of going from high school to college.
5. You'll become a part of the entire Greek world
Joining a sorority doesn’t mean you’re just associated with the group of girls you share letters with. When you become a sorority sister, you also become a part of the larger Greek community. That means you share a bond with all the sororities and fraternities at your college or university. This bond can last beyond college and follow you into the professional world.
“Since I've joined my sorority I've been able to get involved in the recruitment process, numerous philanthropies, grown as a student leader, made professional connections, made life-long friends and sisters and as cheesy as it sounds I believe I've grown as a person,” Madeline says. So basically, when you’re applying for a job and the employer, who was a former KKG, sees that you were in Greek life too, you’ll already have an in. Connections are key in the working world and Greek life is one of the many ways to get a step ahead.
Related:8 Insider Tips for Sorority Rush
6. You'll find your home
Part of joining a sorority is recruitment, where you learn about each sorority at your school and find where you belong on your own. Going through recruitment places every sorority on an even playing field and gives you the opportunity to judge them on their philanthropies and sisterhood, not on passing rumors.
Going through the recruitment process as a sophomore or junior can make you biased towards certain sororities because of stories you’ve heard, or other people’s perceptions. Lexi Hill, a junior from South Carolina agrees, “I joined my sorority and it ended up being the best decision for me," she says. "My advice to incoming freshman is to keep an open mind.” When you come into the recruitment process as a freshman, you get to form your own opinions instead of relying on surface-level gossip you may hear.
7. You'll get involved on campus
Whether it’s community service or Greek organized philanthropy, belonging to a sisterhood will provide you with TONS of opportunities to give back. Not only is volunteering great because you’re helping others
Sometimes, it’s hard to find opportunities for community service and having Greek life as a resource makes it so much easier to find these opportunities. Many sororities have specific philanthropies that they support, as well as events they host that give you plenty of options for giving back. “We were given study hours, social opportunities and most importantly, leadership opportunities," Kayla says. "Our sorority was unique in which our new members were allowed to run for executive positions in our chapter. We all pushed one another to make ourselves better scholars, women and leaders.” With so many available options for leadership and giving back, being a part of a sorority will provide more opportunities to help others than you might find on your own.
8. You’re all in this together
One of the greatest parts of joining a sorority during your freshman year is that the rest of your pledge class will most likely be in the same boat as you. A pledge class is the group of girls that is in the process of becoming members of a sorority. “You’re surrounded by girls who are excited about you being in their sorority and want to get to know you, and they really helped with my transition [into college],” Sarah says.
Most of you will be freshmen that are making friends, learning about college and discovering what the hell you want to do with your lives. The feeling of togetherness will automatically bring you closer to your pledge class. If that right there isn’t community, then who knows what is.
Sorority life has so much to offer, whether it’s philanthropy, sisterhood, or first-hand campus knowledge, and joining your freshman year is sure to ease the transition into college life.