Finals weeks are officially, irrevocably here. (You know you’re in deep when testing spans two weeks – yay Hopkins.) I contemplated going into gruesome detail about the highs and lows of finals season, perhaps even whipping up a classically JHU_Allison XYZ Survival Guide, but seeing that I only underwent one actual final my freshman year, I hardly feel qualified. And now, staring my three, very real finals in the face, I think I am the one in desperate need of guidance. Anyone willing to take pity on a poor Writing Sems? Bueller?
So instead of wallowing in the deep stress-pool of finals week, I’m going to hop, skip, and jump right on over them, past Christmas, New Year’s, and intersession, to a teeny light at the end of this wintry tunnel: spring recruitment.
I can see it now. The matching t-shirts, the themed dessert spreads, the aggressively catchy songs. After spending the semester preparing with my sisters, I feel as ready as I’ll ever be to take on the beautiful beast that is spring recruitment, in all of its late-night, color-coordinated glory. And though I expect I’ll have a couple of irrational jitters going into my first APhi party, I can’t wait to be on the other side of the whole experience and usher in a group of fabulous new members. (Let the Little search begin.)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with our recruitment process, let me break it down for you as efficiently as possible. There are three rounds on three nights: Icewater, Theme, and Preference, that consist of short “parties” with our five Panhellenic sororities. After each round, you narrow down your choices through a process of mutual selection, and BAM, by the end of the week it’s all “you get a sorority, you get a sorority, YOU GET A SORORITY.” Think Oprah. It’s a lot like Oprah.
You don’t have to really think about the logistics right now – even my over-zealous self can admit that it’s still far in the future – but it’s never too early to decide to give spring recruitment a try. This time last year I was firmly on the fence about joining a sorority, because, let’s face it, we’ve all been raised on pretty unvaried images of Greek life. And while I certainly think that whoever said orange was the new pink is seriously disturbed, I’m no Elle Woods. So, if you’ve left a spot on your wall for wooden letters since move-in, a) you rock, and b) stop reading now, because this post is for the good ole undecided.
Since I could ramble ad infinitum about how overwhelmingly lovely and positive my Greek life experience has been thus far, I’ll limit myself to the four biggest reasons why joining a sorority has been one of the best decisions of my college career.
The perks of sorority membership are not purely measured in baked goods and embroidered sweatshirts. There’s something about the unbreakable ties of sisterhood that can turn perfect strangers into best friends within minutes, regardless of alma mater. By joining Alpha Phi, I not only became a member of the Zeta Omicron chapter, but a national empire that has been around for a hundred years. I’m now a part of something enormous, and that puts me in contact with incredible women across the country who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. And, judging by the amount of connections made thus far, the opportunities to get your network on with fellow APhis are literally endless.
At the core of each Panhellenic sorority is a philanthropic cause, and our cause, women’s heart health, gives our chapter a sense of purpose and direction. It’s honestly wonderful to come together as a community to support a charity that we’re all dedicated to, and I look forward to our philanthropy events, like the Pancake Brunch and the Red Dress Gala, more than any others.
I have the very best time with my sisters. Everything we do together, from study dates to chapter meetings, turns into something unbelievably entertaining just because we’re with one another. With all of the stress of schoolwork and my often-overwhelming commitment to extra-curriculars, Alpha Phi has turned into my escape from all other pressures. It is the one thing I do on the Hopkins campus that is purely for fun and therefore has unquantifiable value.
It sounds so cliché, but sisterhood really is the best part of joining a sorority. Overnight, I gained a support system of over a hundred girls, and it has transformed my life at Hopkins. I know I can go to my sisters and phamily for anything and everything, whether I need philosophy help (frequently) or an ice cream night after a bad week (even more frequently). My big, Krista, has especially become entirely indispensable – I literally don’t think I could function without her. If nothing else about Greek life appeals to you, sisterhood should, because that’s what it’s all about.
I understand the indecision. Trust me; I do. But spring recruitment gives everyone the chance at a fresh start and a new, exciting journey. And if I, a girl who constantly second-guesses herself and over-thinks her decisions, can make the choice to go Greek, you certainly can too.