I’m ashamed to admit that, prior to coming to Hopkins, my view of sorority life was almost wholly derived from Legally Blonde.
The musical, of course, not the movie.
For the uninitiated, the girls of Delta Nu are much more of a presence in the stage version, seeing as they form Elle’s personal pseudo Greek chorus. They can always be depended on for some quality airheaded comments, shopping emergencies, and lighthearted slut-shaming. As stereotypical bimbos specifically designed to throw the stoic academic atmosphere of Harvard Law School into stark comic relief, they did a good job of making me distinctly not want to be one of them. College is supposed to mark the moment when you’re finally taken seriously. And it’s hard to take the sisters of Delta Nu seriously when they’re equally as yappy as most Chihuahuas. I find the opening number of the show, “Omigod You Guys,” rather exhausting to listen to.
So you can imagine my overwhelming relief when I came to realize that sorority life at Hopkins was the precise opposite of its irritating stage portrayal (In Legally Blonde’s defense, do we actually have high expectations for movies-turned-musicals? No, no we do not.) After meeting sisters across the five Panhellenic sororities JHU has to offer and attending various Pinterest-worthy events hosted in the fall, my decision to rush was an easy one. The week flew by (sort of) without any instances of yapping, and I finally found my home in Alpha Phi.
But you know all about that, thanks to JHU_Genevieve! Her rush advice was pure gold, and I’d advise anyone even considering involvement in Greek Life to give it a read.
I’m here to talk about what comes after the whirlwind week of girl-flirting, after the thrill of bid night and the realization that the next three years are forever changed with the opening of a single envelope. That’s all well and good. But I’m here to talk about what is arguably the best part of sorority life. Maybe freshman year in general. I’m here to talk about Secret Week.
Put simply, Secret Week is the week leading up to Revelation, the night that all the “Littles” (freshmen within the sorority) finally discover the identities of their “Bigs” (sophomores within the sorority). We become one another’s big and little sisters in one perfect night of gifts, hugs, and sorority-squat “Phamily” photos. Before Revelation, however, is an entire week devoted to the spoiling of Littles by their Bigs, through impromptu serenades, special deliveries, and secret room-decorating sprees. And no one was quite as perfectly spoiled as yours truly, as evidenced by the candy and cake still dominating my fridge. So I feel it is my civic duty to share why Secret Week may just be the best thing that has ever happened. To anyone. Ever.
From a purely surface-level standpoint, Secret Week is all the fun that accompanies daily surprises. This past week, I was bombarded with beautiful baskets, all with different themes (Snow Day, Beach Day, Spa Day, etc.) and all delivered by gentlemen in varying, um, “styles” of clothing. And by varying, I mean there was a fifty-fifty chance on any given day that my delivery boys would be in three-piece suits or sumo suits. My Big treated me to a ton of public displays of her affection, ranging from an impromptu dance party in the FFC to a gorgeous AllNighters serenade. (They sang “Let It Go,” and it was appropriately magical.) My room got an entire Candyland makeover, and I have enough Alpha Phi t-shirts to clothe the incoming Class of 2018. (CONGRATS, YOU GUYS!!!)
But I like to think all Littles would agree with me when I say that Secret Week means a bit more than homemade cookies and a new tote bag.
At the end of the day, it was my first truly overwhelming experience with the “sisterhood” that everyone kept talking about. I was reminded each and every day that I had a special place within Alpha Phi, a group of girls who couldn’t wait to bring me into their little “Phamily” and show me what being sisters was all about. That was what made Secret Week the highlight of my freshman year thus far. That’s the whole reason I rushed in the first place. I wanted the sisterhood. And when I turned around at Revelation and saw my big, Krista, waiting for me, I knew I had finally found it.
I, the girl who once rolled her eyes at the ditzy Delta Nu girls of high school musicals past, now wear my letters with pride.