Posted On: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 08:21 AM, by Ashley Bolger
Ashley (bottom right) and her Lambda sisters
Fall or spring, formal or informal, there's no one right way to find your home!
In the years leading up to college, I knew I wanted to join a sorority. Formal recruitment at my school was at the end of the fourth week of classes, so I became involved with other things first. I joined the women’s rugby team, and my teammates very quickly became some of my best friends. I went through one round of recruitment and decided that being in a sorority wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I spent the whole semester bonding with and making incredible memories with my teammates and other friends, but … something was missing. I felt that I was missing out on a values-based organization, opportunities for community service, and a lifelong sisterhood.
A few weeks into my spring semester, I decided to participate in informal recruitment. During formal recruitment, you visit every chapter on campus and are likely receive a bid from one of them. During informal recruitment, you go only to chapters that you want, and there is no guarantee of a bid. While I had three choices of sororities during informal recruitment, I decided to go only to Theta because I had met members during that first round of formal recruitment, and I remembered how genuine and authentic they seemed. I could see myself at Theta.
I walked into the house the first night of recruitment and was a little intimidated. There were more girls participating than I thought, and I thought there was no way I would get a bid. All my nervousness melted away, however, when I heard a Theta talking about one of my rugby teammates with whom she’s also friends. I awkwardly inserted myself into the conversation, which ended up feeling so natural, as did ones with every sister I talked to after that. I even talked to a girl who remembered talking to me for just a few minutes at formal recruitment months before. I met a diverse range of girls and loved that Theta embraced everyone’s differences.
The actual recruitment process felt so natural and not stressful at all, but since I ended up loving Theta so much (more even than I thought I would), I was nervous that they wouldn’t like me as much as I liked them. Saturday morning was the last round, and we would find out if we were to get a bid soon after we left. Again, I had a great time meeting new girls and this time getting a tour of the beautiful house.
Of course, you know the end of this story. I have made amazing friends, met my wonderful big, and become a more driven and focused individual since joining Kappa Alpha Theta. I love being a part of two organizations – rugby and Theta – that challenge me, support me and make me a better person. I don’t regret how or when I joined Theta, and I would encourage anyone on the fence about joining a sorority to give it a try and find her home, whether it be formally or informally.
Ashley Bolger, Lambda/Vermont, is a sophomore at the University of Vermont.