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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Not rushing is OK

    The summer before my freshman year, my mom encouraged me to rush for a sorority. Two of her friends had been in Chi Omega during their college years — one at Texas A&M and the other here at the UA — and they both offered to write me a recommendation, saying I’d be “perfect” for Chi-O. I considered it for a while, but ultimately decided Greek Life wasn’t for me. Two years later, I don’t regret it.

    I initially decided not to rush because I didn’t want to have to prove I was worthy of someone else’s attention or be forced to fit into a preconceived type. In my opinion, the entire rush process involved wearing very short dresses and heels all day, sucking up to current sorority girls, and hoping that someone thinks you’re good enough for them. And if you did get a bid, you would spend thousands of dollars to hang out with girls you could meet in class.

    That’s obviously not the entire truth of Greek Life. Many girls love the rush process, find their experience fulfilling and form lasting friendships with their sorority sisters. There are great benefits to being involved in fraternities and sororities, but if you’re cynical about the process or don’t have anything in common with other pledges, then it’s not worth rushing.

    My twin brother didn’t consider rushing at all before coming to the UA, but when we went home for spring break in 2011, he surprised my entire family by showing us his bid. A year-and-a-half later, he is incredibly involved in Greek Life. Like most members of fraternities and sororities, he has found leadership opportunities and a group of friends who share his same values and passion for the organization.

    Still, these same benefits can be found outside of the greek system. For example, dorms are a prime spot to find friends. If you’re forced to see your neighbors every day, why not introduce yourself?

    Or you may find yourself with a group of friends in your major, especially if it has a difficult curriculum. I was an architecture major freshman year, and after a month of working in the studio until 3 a.m., spending all of our free time (and savings) in the art store buying supplies, and lamenting the fact that all of our other friends had abandoned us due to our perpetually busy schedules, we had all formed close friendships.

    As far as finding leadership opportunities, campus has hundreds of organizations other than fraternities and sororities, from Residence Hall Association to intramurals to performance groups. If you have a specific passion or a hobby, joining a club might be a better fit than rushing.

    Greek Life is great for some, but it’s not for everyone. If you act upon what interests you and are also open to new experiences, then making friends and getting involved isn’t difficult. Rushing is not the only option to have a great college experience or an amazing freshman year.

    Lauren Shores is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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