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How to Deal When You Feel Out of Place in Your Sorority

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You’ve finally made it! After days of waking up before the sun, strutting around campus in heels, smiling until your face was numb and meeting hundreds of potential new best friends a day, you received that beloved bid and pledged a sorority earlier this semester. However, after all the hype surrounding bid day fizzled out, you can’t help but notice that you don’t feel so at home amongst your new sisters. Maybe it’s the atmosphere of the house or the connections between all the girls who already seem so close, or maybe you’re just struggling to find your place. While dropping is always an option, you feel like you’ve come too far to throw it all away now!  

While finding your place in your sorority may seem overwhelming, there are some steps you can take to start feeling closer with your sisters right now.

1. Keep an open mind

Everyone always told you to keep an open mind throughout the rush process, but it’s important to maintain that attitude long after you’ve pledged.

“A lot of people go through a time of wondering if sororities are even right for them because it is really overwhelming at the beginning,” says Ellen Bankston, a freshman at Purdue University and a member of Phi Mu. “Keep in mind that you won't be best friends with everyone, but there are most likely girls that are similar to you that you could end up being really good friends with if you keep an open mind. Stick it out, because there was a reason you were put in the house in the first place.”

Remember: Your sorority chose you! Whether it’s your charming personality, witty sense of humor, willingness to serve others or your sheer likeability, they want you there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to branch outside of your comfort zone and be open to new experiences. College is a time for having fun, discovering yourself and building a foundation for your future—and being part of a sorority can help you do all of the above!

2. Get involved with a committee

After pledging a sorority, you probably learned quickly that there’s more to Greek life than just parties and social events. Being on a committee is a great way to gain leadership experience, work with charities or philanthropic organizations and meet sisters who share similar interests with you!

“There are so many opportunities that one can become involved in once in a sorority,” says Adrienne Holland, a junior at Purdue University and sister of Sigma Kappa. “In terms of leadership, someone can become active on the executive or cabinet board within the sorority or in leadership positions among Panhellenic. If an individual is not elected to a leadership position, they can still have a voice within the chapter through being a committee member for someone on [the] executive board. This way, they can help the executive board in making decisions on philanthropy or recruitment.”

If you’re overwhelmed by the size of your sorority, joining a committee can be a great way to make it seem smaller. Start by getting to know a small group of girls who share your interests—whether it’s arts and crafts, leadership, event planning or anything in between—and branch out from there.

3. Make plans with a sister

While grabbing breakfast, going on a run or struggling through calculus homework with a sister may not seem like a big deal, they can be great ways to bond outside of the sorority’s organized activities.

“Just making an effort to get to know everyone helps a lot,” Ellen says. “In my two months of experience in a sorority, I have found it really easy to get close to the girls in my house. Just getting coffee or eating lunch with my sisters helps me the most.”

While parties, sisterhood events and other social activities can be a great way to hang out with all of your sisters at once, it can be hard to get to know them individually in a setting with hundreds of girls. If you find yourself feeling shy or afraid to branch out, try making plans with a sister one-on-one or with a small group.

“Instead of sitting in your room alone at night, go to another person's room or go to the main area people hang out in and spend time with them,” Adrienne says. “The only way you will start to feel more involved and accepted in the group is if you are an active participant and are open to making friends.”

4. Tell others about yourself

While sororities are very group-oriented, they rely on the individuality and diversity of the members to make them special. If you’re struggling to find your place in your sorority, don’t sacrifice the qualities that make you unique. Instead, use your personality and past experiences as a way to reach out to others, start conversations and relate to your sisters.

“I recommend opening up yourself to [your sorority sisters],” Adrienne says. “If you are open to their friendship, then they will be open to you. When you live in a house with 80 girls, you spend every waking second together. Soon enough, you know each other’s habits, quirks and personalities. If you're willing to let your sisters get to know you, then the close friendships will come.”

Although it may sound clichéd, being yourself is the key to developing quality friendships that last long beyond your college years. Be genuine, approachable and always willing to listen to others as well, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by friends in no time!

While sorority life can be daunting, remember that you’ve already overcome the most difficult part. Now that you’re through rush, focus your energy on getting involved, reaching out to your sisters and keeping busy. Remember that your sorority chose you for a reason, and they’re there to ensure you get the most out of your Greek-life experience. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone and make the most of these precious years. Best of luck, collegiettes!  


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