Valerie is now in her second week away at college and still wondering, “When will college start being fun?” She has been meeting people, but she hasn’t bonded with anyone who she thinks will be a BFF. Again, we remind her that she has only been there two weeks.
She definitely needs to have more opportunities to meet kids and get to know them, so the subject has come up about whether she should go through rush and join a sorority.
This is a tough one to advise her about; there are pros and cons to both sides.
I was in a sorority in college, so I know for certain that it does give you a ready-made group of girls to socialize with. And although I had friends who weren’t Greek, the ones who I am still in touch with today are all sorority sisters. Was being in a sorority important enough to me that I would be an alumnae advisor or do I care whether my daughters join the same sorority as me? No.
However, Valerie very much sees herself as an artist. She doesn’t understand kids who she thinks aren’t serious students. She is concerned that if she pledges that she won’t fit in. And that can give her another reason to feel miserable at being away from home.
The Greek application that she has to fill out online didn’t do much to reassure Valerie that sorority girls are deep thinkers. There were instructions about what to wear each day of Rush: “On Tuesday, wear a flirty summer dress.”
Although the percentage of kids who are “Greek” is only 25% according to the school, her perception is that there is a much larger number who join. Is that because they proudly show off their affiliation or she is just feeling left out?
We have been suggesting that she talk to as many students as she can, especially in the graphic design department to see if she can get a sense of whether joining a sorority would add to her college experience.
But even more importantly, as parents our job is to remind her that even if joining a sorority isn’t her cup of tea…or keg of beer…that she should be understanding of those who do. They are not better or worse than her, just different personalities.
And no, I won’t show you the Kappa Kappa Gamma secret handshake.