My Sorority Was Shut Down but Why I Still Recommend Going Greek

Monday, June 17, 2019

For most high school seniors, graduation has come and gone and now everyone is looking ahead to college. You've found your roommate and are planning out how to decorate that small shoe box you will soon call home. You may be looking into sorority recruitment and deciding if you will "Go Greek" this fall.

I've shared about my sorority experience in the past (read about what I wore for recruitment as a PNM, my freshman year bid day, when I got my big, freshman year formal, what I wore for recruitment on "the other side", bid day last year, when I got my little, and my sophomore formal) as it was a large part of my college experience the first two years. As I explained in this post, my chapter was shut down in November so my Greek experience ended at the end of my sophomore year.

As many of y'all know, I attend Clemson University in South Carolina (can I get a Go Tigers?), which has an undergraduate student population of about 16,000 students. Coming from a small high school out-of-state, I could literally count on one hand the amount of people I knew at Clemson and going through recruitment was a no-brainer for me as I had always wanted to be in a sorority (fun fact: my high school superlative was "Most Likely to Go Greek"). I signed up for recruitment and couldn't wait to go through the process the day after I moved in.

Recruitment at large southern schools can be pretty overwhelming: you're talking to people all day and it seems like everybody around you is more ahead of the game than you are. After a literally crazy and emotional week, I found my home in Theta. On Bid Day, I found out one of my friends in my Pi Chi group was now my sister and Ashley (she used to blog at A Little Ashley) who was a Pi Chi (recruitment counselor) the year I went through recruitment literally gave me the biggest hug before we ran down the hill to Theta (and that was literally the first time I met Ashley in person!).

A cliche piece of recruitment advice is to join the sorority where you can be 100% comfortable with the girls and you can see yourself with no makeup on and hair thrown into a messy bun and you're eating ice cream out of the pint in your pajamas. It sounds ridiculous as a PNM but the way you present yourself in recruitment is not what you'll be looking like everyday of college (I have yet to roll into a class with full hair and makeup with a dress and high heels on) and the goal is to find your people that you have genuine and real friendships with.

As a PNM, I knew that was Theta for me when I talked to our Recruitment Chair and the girl who would become two of my best friends' big about spilling coffee on our computers. It wasn't just a recruitment conversation where you want to make yourself sound perfect but it was just real and comfortable. Ever since the day my freshman year that I ran down the hill on Bid Day, my sorority experience has given me real, genuine friendships with people that I don't know I would have met without my chapter. I met my roommate at a new member meeting, I'm incredibly close with both my big and my little, this year I became close with one of my friends as she lived next door to me on the hall, and another one of my friends and I became friends as we had English together and would walk to class together.

Over the last semester, I've had conversations a few different times about if we could go back to freshman year, what would we do differently. Obviously having your sorority shut down while you're an active member is not ideal in the slightest and was not a fun experience at all but we all said we would do it exactly the same way as even though I may of lost the sorority undergrad experience, I didn't lose the friends I met from it.

Going Greek honestly made my transition to college so much easier. A family friend of mine who was Greek in college told me that recruitment is crazy and stressful but once it's over you're not even homesick as you don't have time during recruitment to be homesick. My freshman year, we had our new member meetings on Sunday afternoons, which took up a big chunk of your day, and with football games on Saturdays, your whole weekend was busy, which definitely helped me adjust. Having a community of people to support you also helps so much as it makes a larger school like Clemson feel smaller.

Even back in high school, I knew I wanted to join a sorority and hold an officer position so being involved in my chapter helped so much. I held two different positions in my two years (Service Director as a freshman then Fundraising Director as a sophomore) and learned so much in both of them. Being Service Director helped me get to know different people in the chapter- partly because I had to get paper service hour forms from every chapter member haha!

I think holding the office of Fundraising Director was the most rewarding as honestly it was such a large job. I planned our last philanthropy event from scratch as it was a completely new event. It was stressful at times and some weeks when I was up to my eyeballs in Cookout for CASA to-dos, I had no idea how I was going to do it. I learned that you're never going to please everybody, sometimes you have to make hard decisions, how to deal with the unexpected (like the caterer showing up with no utensils and not enough rolls for the barbecue sandwiches), how to delegate, and that, at times, you just have to stick with your gut. In all honestly, I was a bit disappointed when I was slated as Fundraising Director as I was hoping for a different position but I am now so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve my sisters in that position as it taught me so much as a person. When I had alums that I've never met arrive at the event and immediately give me a hug as they recognized my name from my emails or when we announced how much we raised at our closing ceremony, it was so rewarding and made me realize that I didn't do the job for myself but rather to represent my chapter in serving our philanthropy.

Without my sorority, I wouldn't have been as involved on campus. I wouldn't have been encouraged to apply for positions outside of my chapter, even if you don't always get them. I wouldn't have had practice with public speaking by giving presentations at our chapter. I wouldn't have had the memories of watching away football games in my pajamas in the chapter room with a good portion of my pledge class. I wouldn't be as confident in myself as I am now.

Being Greek isn't just frat parties and functions and oversized t-shirts with Greek letters on them. Yes, those things are a portion of being involved in a sorority but to me, it was so much more than that. It's finding your "people" and growing as a person in a positive way. It's a connection with people you just met because you have the bond of ritual and similar values.

Even though my experience in a sorority as an active collegiate member was shorter than I anticipated, I wouldn't trade it in for the world. That's why I would still recommend Going Greek even if it didn't work out for me the way I expected it to.

Are you in a sorority? Let me know in the comments!


  1. So so sorry that your sorority lost its Clemson chapter during your college experience! That is a really hard thing to go through. It sounds like you did make the most of your two years though! An unexpected positive though is that now you'll have more time to get involved in other things on campus! Maybe there is a cool club or organization that you wouldn't have had time for in Greek life, but can now be involved in. :)

    xoxo A

  2. I'm sure it is incredibly difficult to walk through your sorority chapter's closure but you won't lose those friendships. I had friends who deactivated before our senior year that I am still best friends with and we graduated more than 7 years ago. Those friendships and memories will continue on.

  3. I am sure it was hard for you girl, hope yopu have a good Monday

  4. You'll always have those amazing memories. Even though your sorority is shut down, those girls are still your family!

  5. Greek life was a huge blessing for me and my college career!


  6. I really enjoyed my sorority experience in college and would recommend it to others as well. Greek life is not for everyone but it is worth giving it a shot to see!

  7. Interesting post! I was never in a sorority as I knew it just wasn't for me. As much as people say it's a lot of fun, I'm quite introverted and that much social interaction would tire me out! I'm sorry your sorority was shut down though. I think I saw that on the news last year and I remember thinking that that would be such a bummer for the people actively involved and passionate about their chapter!

  8. I was in a sorority in college as well and absolutely loved my experience! It really helped bring me out of my shell. I am so sorry your sorority was shut down. That must've been difficult.


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