The Reasons I Joined a Sorority for a Semester
When you think of the quintessential American college experience, one of the first things that come to mind is Greek life. For me, it was one of the aspects of UNC that I was most looking forward to, mainly because I wanted to see how accurate movies and tv series portrayed fraternity and sorority houses at colleges, but also because I admire the focus on ‘sisterhood’ and making strong friendships. I wanted to get to know some people beyond GLOBE whilst at UNC, and this seemed like the perfect way to do so.
Therefore, when I was accepted into GLOBE, I started researching the sorority recruitment process and whether I could even apply as an one-semester exchange student. Representatives from Panhellenic, the organisation that oversees fraternity/sorority affairs at colleges, informed me that they would definitely encourage me to join recruitment and that my status as an exchange student wouldn’t matter, since joining a sorority chapter was a lifelong commitment and bond. It seemed that there was little to lose in this situation and I didn’t want to close a door to a potentially exciting experience, so I signed up.
Recruitment started almost immediately after we had settled down in our dorms and, after just one day in the process, I could already see that this was the right choice. During recruitment you speak to many, many girls, so I had the chance to hear lots of different perspectives in why joining a sorority was so important to them. Some said it was because their mothers had encouraged them to, for others it was because of the philanthropic events that the sororities are involved in, but they all, in one way or another, made it clear that friendship- sisterhood- was the main attraction to sororities. Of course with friendship comes many social events and, for me, lots of local guides to help me find my way around Chapel Hill and the different events going on around campus.
Beyond this, I also felt that joining a sorority, even if just for a semester, allowed me to get a taste of unfiltered, American culture. By attending New Member meetings at my Chi Omega house, eating meals with my ‘sisters’ in our dining hall and going to the many mixers and socials, I had the opportunity to build up a better understanding of what it meant to be a girl at an American college- whilst also living it to the fullest.
I’m not sure if sorority life is for everyone- I’m not even sure if I would have committed myself to it for a full 4 years- but there is no doubt that I’ve loved every bit of it this semester.