None For Gretchen Weiners

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Sororities

As if I didn’t give you enough reasons to judge me, let’s just keep the ball rolling and go for broke: I’m in a sorority.

Get on my level real quick:

For many reasons, one being that they filmed this movie at my school, I find very little difference between the life of Elle Woods and my college experience – except she is at law school, which I want nothing to do with. I also hate Chihuahuas.

No.

For the purpose of the post, we’re going to focus on the sorority aspect.

I’m pretty sure they modeled Legally Blonde after USC sororities, so this is a great visual example to give you further insight as well as further deteriorate my integrity as an intelligent human being.

Despite the clearly hyperbolic stereotypes, the film does a pretty good job depicting life in a sorority house. Something that LB doesn’t cover, however, is one of the most crucial aspects: Sorority Rush.

Without giving away any secrets, I will tell you that participating in rush (both as a rushee and as an active member) is the single event in my life that has pushed me to the edge of aneurysm (go ahead, judge me)… Except I kind of liked it.

Imagine 100-150 girls screaming some kind of song in your face while doing this:

But actually.

After abrasively “greeting” you with “songs” screamed at a decibel level comparable to a Boeing engine, they invite you inside so you can talk to a few sisters on a more intimate level. You’ll have some deep conversation like, “what’s your major? What dorm do you live in? On a scale of one to Prada backpack, how much do you love fro-yo?”

And try that 10 times, back to back.

It’s kind of like going through a high-stress interview process 100 times in a row. And when you’re on the active member side, there are more rules for this process than ever imagined possible – who would have thought up guidelines on how you garnish a glass of water?? I know who. Panhellenic.

There is a rule in sorority recruitment that both of your feet can not leave the ground at once. Yes I’m serious. There’s also a rule that if a rushee leaves your chapter house with a napkin, the napkin is considered a gift, and your chapter is fined. Super realistic. “Hey, we really like you, so here have this dirty napkin.” Tooootal gift.

Amongst this slew of heinous rules, you manage to get through all your “parties” and whittle the number of girls down to about 60 to form your chapter’s new pledge class.

Then the girls go wild. Not that way, you creep. Imagine this: 600 young, eager, overzealous college girls. Give them the bid from a sorority, and then tell them to run to their new chapter. ALL AT ONCE. It’s like putting Mentos in Diet Coke. 600 Mentos.

Some genius actually caught it on video:

In all seriousness though, I actually loved flipping my hurr back and forth, despite the fact that I suffered a minor concussion this past year. And I also loved getting to know a handful of the 1,000 girls that came through each year. Some of them ended up being my best friends (awwwwww).

Back to Legally Blonde. The sorority house depiction is pretty accurate (mentally flash back to the first five minutes of the movie. Or go buy it. Your choice.). There are a LOT of girls. And you’d think that after living here for a few years with 64 other girls, that I’d want to kill myself (FF to 1:06 in this video for reference). Well, if living in a three-story mansion with a full-time chef, in-house gym, rec room, study and music rooms, brand new bathrooms and full-time cleaning staff induces thoughts of suicide, then yes.

Example of the chef’s wonderment:

in and around my mouth.

Joking aside, I have loved every second of living in my sorority (not just because of the grilled cheese days). My sisters are hands down some of the funniest and most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met (even if their shoes cost more than some people’s cars). But seriously. Much like the first few minutes of Legally Blondeintro – there are girls in the background at the sorority house, low-key studying. Remember how hard Elle worked for the LSAT?

Look at that party she’s missing at 0:40. Looks like the most fun EVER.

They don’t always flaunt it, but there are plenty of girls in my house who could blow anyone away with their intelligence. Girls with a 4.0 in neuroscience, girls in engineering and architecture, writing music, curing Alzheimer’s (you know who you are), and winning awards in journalism or art.

These girls just choose to have a really bitchin time by augmenting their social schedule via Greek life.

Remember when everyone thought Elle Woods was a total retard, and she was like, “Hey look, I’m actually smarter than all of you. Oh and by the way I’m better looking, too. Cheers. Xoxo, Harvard Law Valedictorian.” How’s that for a slap in the face to stereotypes.

Another major stigma surrounding sorority culture is the “hazing” process, which at least in my case (despite my best efforts), was nonexistent. I personally wanted to get hazed. Not in like, a weird, aggressive way. Not with alcohol. Nothing dangerous or embarrassing. I’m not talking about the awful stuff that gets put in the news. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do so I felt like I earned something. I think it would have made initiation more meaningful (although initiation was special in its own way). I would have gladly done someone’s laundry, studied sorority history, or tried to get signatures from the older members.

I’m not the only one who feels this way. Psychologically, we all want to prove our worth and feel like we earned and accomplished something. In one study, researchers found similar conclusions:

“Regardless of whether you call the process of joining a Greek letter organization pledging, rushing, or membership intake, it is obvious that there are students who do value Greek letter organizations, and see some sort of pledge process as desirable. Likewise, it is apparent that when students’ perceptions of Greek letter organizations are uncritically positive, they become susceptible to hazing activities. The challenge is to thoroughly educate students about the positive and negative aspects of the Greek experience, so that the students can make fully informed decisions about participation[1].”

Sorry to get all academic. I forgot that I’m a sorority girl and need to get back in the kitchen or something. Hold on.

Yay cleaning!!!

There we go. Phew. Cookware.

Anyhoo… I think I was trying to make a point in this post, but now I forgot what that point is. Ultimately, I am an advocate for sororities.

My rant/stream of consciousness probably didn’t dispel any of your preconceived notions nor convince you that sorority girls are actually highly-intelligent, respectable members of a proactive society. I’m probably the worst possible spokesperson for that campaign, since I can’t even take myself seriously. But I do actually believe those things, and because of my involvement and the people I met in the process, I know I became a better person. At least better looking.

Hey everyone, come see how good I look
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3 comments on “Sororities

  1. Anonymous
    May 2, 2012

    my god i'm going to miss this place

  2. TeeHay
    June 7, 2012

    TSM….article

  3. Pingback: I Dream of Lilly « None For Gretchen Weiners

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , .
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