Sorority setbacks should not discourage students from on campus involvement
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to take part in Villanova Greek
Life’s Spring Formal recruitment in a unique way. I disaffiliated from
my sorority and became a Rho Gamma, a recruitment counselor who
receives a group of Potential New Members (PNMs) to guide and aid
through the grueling yet exciting week that is recruitment.
Going into the process, I was anxious about leading a group of girls
through such a sensitive week, encouraging them constantly to keep an
open mind and to try not to take it too seriously. Recruitment week
can be emotionally overwhelming, and I wanted to protect them from
getting hurt in case the results of the week didn’t meet their
But unfortunately girls did get upset at the outcome. Many dropped out
of the process, tears were shed and PNMs were consoled.
And it broke my heart because of the sheer naiveté the PNMs exhibited
when the week didn’t go as they had planned–many thought their social
lives at Villanova would now be nonexistent, and that their time here
would take a dramatic turn for the worse.
As an active member of a sorority, I certainly value the expansion of
my social life due to my involvement in Greek Life-I value the bonds
I’ve made and the experiences I have as a result of being a sister of
But there’s more to me than just Greek Life. And there’s more to the
vast majority of those involved in Greek Life than just what letters
they wear on the bags that they carry to class.
As a writer for The Villanovan and a member of Minor Problem, an a
cappella group, I see firsthand the fantastic groups on campus outside
of just Greek Life. And this is the solace I attempted to provide to
any of my girls disappointed from recruitment–you’re going to be okay,
we are so lucky to go somewhere where going Greek is not the only
route at all.
The message I’m trying to share here is that I watched girls become
distraught over Greek Life. I comforted those who cried and tried to
help them map out plans of where they’ll go next. But I was comforted
by the thought that there’s so much more to Villanova than Greek Life,
and so many additional and equally enriching outlets for individuals
to invest their time.
I think that recruitment week and the results of it can be related to
life, before and after college. It is inevitable that we will face
immense disappointment in our lives. There are always people who can
run faster, jump higher, think quicker and seemingly live better. But
if we can take that thought with a grain of salt, if we can consider
that there is so much more out there for us, waiting to be discovered
and invested in, then the pain will subside. The questioning of our
self-worth will end and the exploring can begin. The rejection may
seem life altering at the time, but there’s always something else
waiting in the wings.
It’s been my time at this incredible university that has taught me
this lesson. You don’t have to ever feel alone at this place, not with
all of the options around you to get involved in. Greek Life is just a
part of that. Experiencing recruitment from the advisee perspective
revealed to me just how fortunate I feel having a foot in different
groups on campus, and it’s made me more passionate about encouraging
others to do the same.Get out there. Embrace all that this amazing
place has to offer us. We don’t attend a school where you must do one
activity or the other in order to find happiness–there’s a plethora of
choices and the memories are just waiting there for you to make them.
And when setbacks occur for you later in life, which they
unfortunately most likely will, remember that the world isn’t
ending.Seniors who are desperately searching for jobs, juniors for
internships, sophomores for great grades and freshmen for some kind of
routine, stay positive. The anxiety will pass. Any disappointment you
face will ultimately fade.
I’m thinking about a relevant quote from “The Sound of Music,”and it’s
when Maria is at the convent and thinking about her life and the
impending changes she’ll be facing. She speaks about God, and says
that when He closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. And she’s
Don’t think about the closed doors. Think about the windows letting in
the sunlight and opportunity.