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  #31  
Old 10-03-2017, 12:36 AM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdyGreek View Post
One of the issues is that they don't fully disclose costs during recruitment. PNMs are prohibited from talking to members outside of rush, and they're not getting the information during the parties either.

I felt a connection to my sorority when I pledged. While I wasn't best friends with all of my sisters (and downright despised one of them), I was close with many, many of them. These are women that I still see and consider my friends. My daughter doesn't see those same bonds of sisterhood among even the upperclassmen. One of the sisters told her she loves hanging out at the house because she's always meeting new sisters she hasn't met before, which she didn't think sounded like such a good thing. How can you consider it a sisterhood when you haven't even met everyone?!

Maybe the issue is mega chapters that are bigger than a lot of high school graduating classes. I found "my people" in my graduating class, but despite sharing a lot of common experiences, I feel absolutely no connection to all the other graduates of my high school the same year. It starts to feel like random groups of people put together.
The information on costs is available BEFORE recruitment. No need to wait & wonder during recruitment.

Of course she doesn't feel a sisterhood yet. Of course, she hasn't officially met everyone yet. IT HAS BEEN ONE WEEK, for God's sake. She knows next to nothing about those girls. She has no idea what their relationships are. If she is not willing to give it some time and put in some effort, then perhaps sorority membership is not the right place for her.
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  #32  
Old 10-03-2017, 01:49 AM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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The reason we tell girls they will eventually be happy, if they want to be, is because college freshmen are super special snowflakes who can't accept that this is a process of making friends, not their ascension to royalty. Nobody is going to bow and scrape at their feet. When rush is over there is a very real sense that all the love that was showered on them for the last week is gone. So the other house, their second choice (or their first choice if they got their second, or that house that dropped them after day one) would have been way better because the girls there would still be screaming and crying whenever they approach the door. Rush isn't real so there is a transition as these girls adapt to real college life and sorority membership.

Sorority membership is a club. It's a great club with lifetime engagement. The connections, the opportunity, the leadership, the fun, the boys, all of it. It's fun. But it's a CLUB. There is way too much pressure put on the process. If they would just relax, accept the (admittedly lousy) process for what it is, an incredibly convoluted way to make friends and join a club, maybe that pressure to instantly have the most spectacular never-ending moment of their lives would ease the eff up.
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  #33  
Old 10-03-2017, 04:32 AM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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One way to look at this is like someone who is thinking about taking up golf --

1. Can she afford it?

2. Does she have time to devote to it?

3. Does she really want to do it?

Unless each question can be answered with an unqualified and enthusiastic yes, then don't get involved with either golf or a social sorority. If your child really wants a sorority experience, then (like a golfer) she will enjoy and have fun at any club she joins.
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  #34  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:15 AM
TriDeltaSallie TriDeltaSallie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdyGreek View Post
I felt a connection to my sorority when I pledged. While I wasn't best friends with all of my sisters (and downright despised one of them), I was close with many, many of them. These are women that I still see and consider my friends. My daughter doesn't see those same bonds of sisterhood among even the upperclassmen. One of the sisters told her she loves hanging out at the house because she's always meeting new sisters she hasn't met before, which she didn't think sounded like such a good thing. How can you consider it a sisterhood when you haven't even met everyone?!

Maybe the issue is mega chapters that are bigger than a lot of high school graduating classes. I found "my people" in my graduating class, but despite sharing a lot of common experiences, I feel absolutely no connection to all the other graduates of my high school the same year. It starts to feel like random groups of people put together.
I don't have any experience with being in a large SEC-type chapter. My entire chapter was the size of one pledge class there. Personally, I would not find the huge chapters to my liking at all, but that's because I like smaller and more manageable things. It's the same reason I would never attend a large church with multiple services or live in a big city. It feels incredibly impersonal to me. So in that sense, even though people will say you can find your people in a large sorority (and that is probably true enough), it doesn't mean that's the best fit for everyone.

Your daughter has to decide what's most important to her. If she likes her school and she wants to be Greek, then she needs to get on with it and make the most of the chapter she's in. If she wants a different Greek experience and she can find that at a different school with a smaller Greek system, then that's fine too. She can transfer and rush again next year.

I do disagree with the idea that a sorority is just a club. Clubs generally don't live together, etc. A positive sorority experience can make a big difference in a person's college experience. It did for me.

And I'll also say this. Those fees are ridiculous. I'm glad ours were reasonable or I would have missed out on sorority life.
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  #35  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:29 AM
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AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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Running a mega-chapter is costly, especially one with housing. Very, very expensive. In addition, the actives expect the social aspects of membership that are highlighted in those (shallow) videos. A t-shirt for everything, too. And clothes, shoes, jewelry. Oh, okay, you guys know where I'm going with this.

I don't get it, myself. It's definitely a completely different ball game than when I was an active (God was a baby when I was in college).

Hell, college is ridiculously expensive!

Stating the obvious: once more I think this particular thread comes down to the tier system. Would we be reading and discussing this if the OP's daughter (and ten of her friends) had gotten into "better" tiered chapters that they "actually wanted"? Or if there was a clear understanding about RFM and the genuine effort to establish parity across chapter sizes? There is a thought-provoking opinion piece in the NYTimes that hit home with me, and I see its relevance to sorority recruitment and these unhappy pnms and moms. Take the time to read it and think about the implications, if you're so inclined.
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  #36  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:44 AM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Y'all.

There is less magic to connecting with your sorority than you think.

It takes effort.

Unless a chapter has like, 30 women in it, it is highly unlikely that come bid day, you will have met EVERYONE.

Whether there are 50, 100, 200, you are going to have to make some effort to meet everyone.

You are very blessed if you had met everyone, and everyone came up to you to introduce themselves when you got a bid. That does not happen.

My chapter when I received a bid had like 45 girls in it. I had been meeting them informally over the course of 2 weeks and still had not met everyone when I got a bid.

I had to hang out to meet people in a small chapter. You are going to have to do it in a large one.
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  #37  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:26 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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NerdyGreek -

Aside from Greek life, how is your daughter liking the school itself?

If she loves it and the thing that she isn't liking is her sorority experience, she should probably cut her losses and move on and find a smaller, more intimate group she'll like better. Mega chapters at that school are not going away anytime soon.

But if she was relying on sorority to help her feel more comfortable at the school because she can't get acclimated, maybe she should think about transferring.
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  #38  
Old 10-03-2017, 11:20 AM
NerdyGreek NerdyGreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
NerdyGreek -

Aside from Greek life, how is your daughter liking the school itself?

If she loves it and the thing that she isn't liking is her sorority experience, she should probably cut her losses and move on and find a smaller, more intimate group she'll like better. Mega chapters at that school are not going away anytime soon.

But if she was relying on sorority to help her feel more comfortable at the school because she can't get acclimated, maybe she should think about transferring.
Before rush, she loved it. She was hanging out with girls in her dorm, had made friends with students who are children of alum and thus had a tent to hang out at before football games.

She wanted to drop out of recruitment after the first two rounds. I told her I thought it was a good idea (despite my love of being Greek, and her having heard repeatedly about it). But her friends talked her into sticking with it. It was surprising as she was worried about the number of houses she had left, and was finding out most of these girls had even fewer choices (some were down to only one choice after the first two rounds. Once I heard that, I talked to her about suggesting that they all drop out. They'd have each other. In the end, I think they all pledged somewhere, but it sounds like it's fear of not being able to have a social life that motivated a lot of them - not a desire to be Greek.
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  #39  
Old 10-03-2017, 11:26 AM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Thought: Even at one of the largest Greek schools in the country, the majority of the student body is still NOT Greek.

There are definitely social opportunities outside of Greek Life.
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  #40  
Old 10-03-2017, 11:39 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
The reason we tell girls they will eventually be happy, if they want to be, is because college freshmen are super special snowflakes who can't accept that this is a process of making friends, not their ascension to royalty. Nobody is going to bow and scrape at their feet. When rush is over there is a very real sense that all the love that was showered on them for the last week is gone. So the other house, their second choice (or their first choice if they got their second, or that house that dropped them after day one) would have been way better because the girls there would still be screaming and crying whenever they approach the door. Rush isn't real so there is a transition as these girls adapt to real college life and sorority membership.
Yes, this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TriDeltaSallie View Post
I don't have any experience with being in a large SEC-type chapter. My entire chapter was the size of one pledge class there. Personally, I would not find the huge chapters to my liking at all, but that's because I like smaller and more manageable things. It's the same reason I would never attend a large church with multiple services or live in a big city. It feels incredibly impersonal to me. So in that sense, even though people will say you can find your people in a large sorority (and that is probably true enough), it doesn't mean that's the best fit for everyone.
And this. NerdyGreek, your daughter knew the size of the chapters going into recruitment. If it all feels so impersonal now, why did she initially think differently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdyGreek View Post
Before rush, she loved it. She was hanging out with girls in her dorm, had made friends with students who are children of alum and thus had a tent to hang out at before football games.

She wanted to drop out of recruitment after the first two rounds. I told her I thought it was a good idea (despite my love of being Greek, and her having heard repeatedly about it). But her friends talked her into sticking with it. It was surprising as she was worried about the number of houses she had left, and was finding out most of these girls had even fewer choices (some were down to only one choice after the first two rounds. Once I heard that, I talked to her about suggesting that they all drop out. They'd have each other. In the end, I think they all pledged somewhere, but it sounds like it's fear of not being able to have a social life that motivated a lot of them - not a desire to be Greek.
at the bold.

First of all, you have no clue what those young women felt outside of what your daughter has told you. And secondly, did you really want your daughter to make important life decisions for other women because she's not happy with her options?

It sounds like your daughter was enjoying her time at school before recruitment. Her friends talked her into sticking with it, but it doesn't seem like that's what she wanted. Perhaps it's not the process and the expenses and the chapter from which she received a bid... maybe your daughter just doesn't want to be Greek?
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  #41  
Old 10-03-2017, 12:36 PM
BraveMaroon BraveMaroon is offline
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I think that so many people rush thinking they'll have a perfect rush, pledge the *best* sorority, and immediately be surrounded by instant lifelong friends.

Being in a sorority is work. It's a PR campaign, it's time management, and networking, and event planning. Sometimes it's arts and crafts, sometimes it's peer counseling, or first aid. You're an advice columnist, mediator, hostess, fundraiser, and negoitiator. This is on top of being a student. And any offices held or commitees joined...

But learning to work hard together builds friendships worth maintaining. I appreciate the effort I put into it, because I look at the work I did in the 90s and know it paved the way for the young women who will be initiated next month. And I know that I am part of something much bigger with an amazing history.

It's trite, I know. But you will get out of it what you put into it.
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  #42  
Old 10-03-2017, 01:27 PM
DTD Alum DTD Alum is offline
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She's talking about Ole Miss, just to be clear. The single most brutal recruitment in the US, maybe except for Indiana (just because of the bed rush quota). She's very lucky to get a bid, and from there it's just determining whether she wants to be greek or not.

The chapters that she liked probably had double quota (at least) of in-house legacies and close high school friends going through recruitment. Those chapters weren't really available to anybody without serious connections, and that's nothing on your daughter. That's just life there.

What that does mean though is she's landed in a pledge class full of girls similar to her, non-connected PNMs but who otherwise probably are very similar. The chapters at Ole Miss are ridiculously strong compared to just about any school, and the thought that she's in a sorority of 400+ girls and can't find anyone to connect with I think says more about her perceptions of the chapter's strength in a hierarchy than it does with the actual girls in the chapter.

As for the video you're talking about, that was discussed ad-nauseam
elsewhere and the chapter was instructed to not cheer until every name was read because there were so many names. You can see girls trying to keep in their cheers the whole time. They exploded after the fact. They probably shouldn't have put it public because it's an easy thing to misunderstand.
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  #43  
Old 10-03-2017, 02:16 PM
TXDG TXDG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdyGreek View Post
I felt a connection to my sorority when I pledged. While I wasn't best friends with all of my sisters (and downright despised one of them), I was close with many, many of them. These are women that I still see and consider my friends. My daughter doesn't see those same bonds of sisterhood among even the upperclassmen. One of the sisters told her she loves hanging out at the house because she's always meeting new sisters she hasn't met before, which she didn't think sounded like such a good thing. How can you consider it a sisterhood when you haven't even met everyone?!

Maybe the issue is mega chapters that are bigger than a lot of high school graduating classes. I found "my people" in my graduating class, but despite sharing a lot of common experiences, I feel absolutely no connection to all the other graduates of my high school the same year. It starts to feel like random groups of people put together.
Several thoughts while reading your posts:

1. I'm struggling with how you and your daughter are SO surprised by the dynamics within a 400+ member chapter. It's easy to find the new member class sizes over the past few years for her campus so why did either of you have the expectation that 1) she would instantly bond with her whole 100-180 member pledge class and that 2) all 400 women in the chapter would be bff's. Her sorority experience in a 400 member chapter is going to be completely different than whatever shall chapter you were part of in college.

2. Because the chapters are so large, there really isn't a "stereotype" for each chapter like the campus you attended. Even chapters that are "known" for "only" pledging girls from certain Mississippi towns or high schools now have 50% out of state members. That's why we say if you can't find a group of 10 girls to be bff's with in a pledge class of 100-180 women, it's your problem, not theirs. There are literally all kinds of women in each pledge class - partiers, academics, sporty, artistic, cheerleaders, philanthropists, Southerners, Northerners, etc. Your daughter just needs to put herself out there if she wants to have friends in her chapter.

FWIW, I was president of my large (not Ole Miss) chapter and even with 250 members, there were girls whose names I didn't know. If I looked at my 70ish member pledge class Bid Day picture today, I bet I would have trouble recalling the names of about 20 girls. That doesn't take away from the tribe of bff's I made in my chapter, my lil sis who I'm still close to, and the years of memories I made living in the house. It's just life in a big chapter.

3. Honestly, I think the upperclassmen are being truthful saying it's not always "love at first sight" on Bid Day. Rush week is very emotional and often PNM's feel a connection to chapters they don't end up in - that's because those chapters are exceptionally good at what they do, making every girl want to wear their letters. At the end of the day, the women in those chapter(s) felt other pnms were a better fit for their sisterhood than your daughter. That stings, but it's life. Every pnm at OM is practically perfect - grades, awards, social, gorgeous, etc. There is really no difference in the "quality" of women from one chapter to the next.

Unless you pledge a chapter where 20 upperclassmen and 5 of your pledge sisters were all on your hometown drill team, most new members - in ALL houses- feel anxious and unsure. They are starting to realize the upperclassmen won't be fawning all over them anymore (you know, because they have lives and midterms and other activities) and they really don't know anyone in their pledge class. That's where the real work begins. I'm sure your daughter didn't show up to kindergarten or 9th grade with a tribe of built-in bff's and sorority life is no different. It takes time, effort, and shared experiences to build those life-long friendship bonds. It's up to her whether she's up for the task.
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  #44  
Old 10-03-2017, 03:53 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveMaroon View Post
I think that so many people rush thinking they'll have a perfect rush, pledge the *best* sorority, and immediately be surrounded by instant lifelong friends.

Being in a sorority is work. It's a PR campaign, it's time management, and networking, and event planning. Sometimes it's arts and crafts, sometimes it's peer counseling, or first aid. You're an advice columnist, mediator, hostess, fundraiser, and negoitiator. This is on top of being a student. And any offices held or commitees joined...

But learning to work hard together builds friendships worth maintaining. I appreciate the effort I put into it, because I look at the work I did in the 90s and know it paved the way for the young women who will be initiated next month. And I know that I am part of something much bigger with an amazing history.

It's trite, I know. But you will get out of it what you put into it.
Well said, sister. I agree 100%.
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  #45  
Old 10-03-2017, 06:23 PM
NYCMS NYCMS is offline
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NerdyGreek, I'm struck by a number of things in your posts - and I agree with my Panhellenic sisters in their responses. A few questions:

1) Did you know how brutally competitive rush at Ole Miss is?
2) Did your daughter have any connections? If not, then being released by many houses is par for the course. No reflection on her, it's the way rush is. Even Ole Miss chapter legacies are cut now (try consoling an OM mom whose daughter was cut from her house...).
3) Re: costs. They were publicized so the cost could have been estimated just using the most expensive cost to be safe.
4) Are you from out of the region with little to no knowledge of Ole Miss and how rush works there? I'm curious what your information was, especially as to the sizes of the chapters. Seems like there were expectations that don't mesh with the reality of sorority life there.

Now, your daughter has the opportunity to learn the lesson of her life: that you don't always get what you want and that life is what you make of it. As others have said, if a girl can't find 10 members to bond with over a semester or two, she's not trying and she likely has an attitude of "I'm too good for this sorority."

I work with counselors in college student counseling centers and repeatedly hear one thing: that kids today expect everything to happen easily and immediately. They've been raised in a "trophy" culture so naturally they expect to get what they want. Technology has made all of us impatient, but kids have grown up with it non-stop.

This is your daughter's best shot at being Greek. Re-rushing as a sophomore at Ole Miss is rarely, if ever, successful, especially since many chapters have a "once cut, always cut" policy.

I hope she will stick it out (if you can afford it) because the benefits last for life and the lessons learned by going forward with commitment will pay benefits in the years to come as well.

Last edited by NYCMS; 10-03-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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