Well, I’m glad that’s over with. At least the first part is over. The rest should be enjoyable. No, I didn’t have dental surgery or climb Mount Everest. My youngest daughter just went through sorority rush. She is now sister to a group of wonderful girls. But what an ordeal! And not just for her. Her mother was going nuts, and in the process, making me nuts too.
I didn’t do the fraternity thing in college so all of this is a little foreign to me. But here’s how I understand it. It’s all about having fun. Or is it? Before school actually starts, the girls who are interested in being sorority sisters report to their school for a week of the selection process. A process that is a double-edged sword.
There are lots of parties to go to. Several every day as each sorority hosts the candidates daily. You get to dress up and spend all day on your feet in uncomfortable shoes. All the while trying to keep a smile glued to your face, not sweat in the sweltering summer heat of the Deep South, and make meaningful small talk. All of this to make an impression. Mainly it’s the hopefuls trying to impress those who are already in.
If you fail to make a good impression because maybe you’re a nerd, or you don’t wear the latest fashion trends, or you’re a little shy, not supermodel gorgeous or not peppy enough, well, then a fate that to some is almost worse than death. You get cut. You’re no longer under consideration. Each sorority makes their own decisions so you may not impress one, but another thinks you’re swell.
Bear in mind, that some of these young ladies, at the ripe old age of eighteen, have spent some significant portion of their life just waiting to be sister in ABC sorority. No other one will do. Grandmother and mother were both in ABC so the young lady is a legacy. That improves your chances of being in ABC. But it’s not a guarantee. Amazingly, it can even be a detriment.
All this dicing and slicing is done at night, behind the closed doors of the sororities. They go through the list of names of those girls who attended their party that day and vote yea or neigh. Yeah means you’re invited back for another party. Nay means you’re not invited.
It’s a winnowing process. Day one everyone goes to all the parties. Very tense. And intense. The sororities make their lists and in the morning the girls get the rundown of how many sororities want them back for a second look. Some are invited back to a lot of parties. Others not so many. Some will be distraught that ABC didn’t want them back and drop out of the process at this point. Others will drop out for other reasons. Just not for them.
This goes on for several days. The candidate pool shrinking each day. At the same time the girls actually get to decide which parties they want to go back for. Maybe they thought ABC was a bunch of geeks. Works both ways. But in the end, the sorority gets to say to those lucky few they have selected, “we’d like you to join us, please accept our bid.”
My wife tells me that there is a possibility that you can go through the whole thing, invited back to parties everyday, but somehow still not receive a bid. And therefor left to be an independent. Lumped with those who didn’t make it through the process at all. Believe me, there is a lot of crying that goes on during this endless series of parties.
Now I remember why I wasn’t in a fraternity- I thought parties were supposed to be fun. They say it’s worth it in the end though. All those new sisters, the opportunity to do service to the community and to gain leadership experience. And the parties get to be more fun. Everyone has their thing, and that’s cool with me.
My daughter was thrilled to get her bid. She texted to her mother and me, “I AM AN ABC! All caps. I’m very happy for her. She wanted to do this and worked hard to succeed. You go girl! That’s part of her personal history, and mine. Mainly hers. What’s your story? Write it down for the future. www.personalhistorywriter.com