By Emily Harris
Elm Staff Writer
After returning to Washington College, I was ready for this semester to be just as crazy and busy as the last one. One highlight that many students were anticipating came just a few weeks in: spring recruitment. Before coming to WC, I had nothing against Greek life, but I didn’t really see myself becoming a part of it. All of that changed last semester for a couple of reasons.
One, I realized that even for such a small school, Greek life plays a big part on campus. The various sororities and fraternities were holding events all the time, most of them helping out a local or national cause. Becoming a part of that seemed like a great way not only to become more involved and connected to the school, but to the community as a whole. Second, I decided to rush because I liked a lot of the people I met who were a part of Greek life.
These reasons were enough to motivate my best friends and me to go through the craziest week of our entire year at WC. On top of my regular schedule, meeting a bunch of new people every single night and learning so much information was overwhelming. But more importantly, it was fun.
I began to realize how much I wanted to be a part of a sorority, because of the reasons I’d had before, but also because of the connections I was making with so many of the people I met. After a long week and an agonizing wait, bid day came and I was lucky enough to become a new member of Alpha Omicron Pi.
Here we are, a few weeks later, and I could not be happier with the way things turned out. Greek life has its critics, just like any other organization, but I am definitely not one of them. I have met people who I would never have had the opportunity to be friends with otherwise, and I feel comfortable and at home. Even within my pledge class, so many of us are different, but the love and traditions of AOII are bringing us together.
One important thing I’ve realized since joining a sorority is that your new friends do not immediately replace your old ones. In fact, within my close group of friends, all three sororities are represented. Greek life has not made my life more exclusive, it has simply added to it. I’m looking forward to everything the next few weeks have in store, but more importantly I’m looking forward to the rest of my college years and spending time with all of the great people I’ve met.
Becoming involved in the community is an even bigger part of Greek life than I realized before recruitment and so is leadership. Members from all the chapters hold leadership positions both within their organizations and in others on campus. To me, this seems to be one of the strongest characteristics of Greek life, because you learn how to represent yourself and others in the best way possible. It becomes more important to uphold the image of a group of people you care about, and not just your own.