For my sophomore year of college I transferred from a small college in the middle of rural Georgia to one in the middle of Atlanta. I started looking for housing too late and ended up in a one bedroom by myself that was walking distance to campus. After a couple of weeks in my new (slightly terrifying) apartment I realized that the one downside to such a big school is that it is much easier to be anonymous. Actually this turned out to be great once I had some friends there, but not when all you want to do is meet people and go to parties in the city. Parties that didn’t involve prayer or bible study (GCSU has a pretty religious student body for the most part, you can’t walk three feet off campus without running into a church). So I figured I would do something that would force me to interact with other lost, friendless souls.
While sororities don’t tend to attract…my kind of people, I thought it could be interesting. At the very least I might meet someone to hang out with. When I went through recruitment I made sure to dress and act the part. After all, if I was going to do this, I might as well do it right.
Each time I entered a new sorority’s room I was accosted by 50-75 girls, dressed in matching outfits, singing pop songs with lyrics that were changed to be about their sorority, clapping (there was so much fucking clapping), each with a smile plastered on that said “I am so fucking over this shit, but hey let’s talk sisterhood, girl.” It was very clear by the end of the first day (yes, this was a four day event) that one of the sororities was, well, the underdog. They weren’t as loud and clappy as the rest, their outfits weren’t as cute, and the room wasn’t as nicely decorated. Whatever, it didn’t really bother me because I was only there to meet people, not to judge someone’s ability to color coordinate wardrobes and rewrite bad songs.
On the last day of this recruitment nonsense I had to wear all black and go to some weird secret ritual thing. This time, instead of the clapping and yelling there were candles and flowers and everyone looked like they they were so excited to let me in on this creepy seance.. First, they announced my arrival. Yeah. Let pause for a second. They announced everyone by their first and last names…and it was uncomfortable. Have you ever had to stand in front of a room full of girls–who are also singing a slow and creepy song, just to set the stage a bit more–while they present you to everyone. Do you smile? Look equally as somber as they do? After all your feet are killing you from four days in heels, so you could probably pull off some authentic looking stoicism..at least for a few minutes. Do you wave at them, Miss America style?
I chose to curtsey.
It was weird.
Luckily I was quickly seated at a tiny table with a blonde girl wearing pearls who looked like she had probably done pageants or something. We started talking and this blonde girl went from pageant queen (yes, she actually did compete in beauty pageants) to someone who seemed to get my weirdness and sense of humor. That was when I realized that maybe I could be a ‘sorority girl’ for a while. Maybe there will be more of them like this blonde girl.
After a year and a half, my weird, didn’t rive a fuck sorority quickly became less unique. Mission accomplished to most of the girls; the ones who joined for the mixers and intramural sports and sisterhood retreats and football games and initiations. But I found myself unable to give a shit weather or not we ‘made an appearance at Sigma Nu’s bid night,’ or came in first in fraternity charity competitions, or frat parties or tailgating at football games, all of which eventually became mandatory as result of this normalization.