The first thing that may pop into mind is the image of heaps of screaming and cheering girls chanting cult-like songs while judging you maniacally. I don’t blame you. That was always what I thought it was. However, experiencing rush week fall of 2019 at UC Berkeley completely transformed my perspective. I never could have imagined the community of authentic, intelligent, passionate and truly caring women I found within a Berkeley sorority.
Why did I rush? Short answer: I was curious. It intrigued me. I reminded myself that Greek life is unique to the college experience and I decided why not try it out. The worst that could happen was I don’t join a sorority and I move on with life and the best that could happen was to find a community.
So, I donned my lace dresses and platform sandals and faced almost a week’s worth of conversating with more than 50 women from different houses. From the very first day of rush, visiting every single house, I was attracted to my own sorority for its fearlessness to be whoever they wanted to be. As the days progressed and my list of possible futures narrowed down, I began to get more comfortable relating and sharing with the girls.
If anything, I thought, I am getting practice being interviewed. The discussions went along the lines of “Hi! What’s your major/Where are you from/What do you enjoy?” which, in a way, helped cement my 30-second pitch. Also, even in our short conversations, I got the notion that many of the girls had passions outside of Greek life. So many were studying to be engineers, politicians, lawyers, researchers, journalists and more. They had goals and ambitions and wanted to make it clear that they were here at Berkeley to make positive changes. It honestly inspired me. Women are powerful and these women were no different, aside from the extra confidence of having a support system through their sisters.
Overall, I was impressed. It’s fun to dress up sometimes and it was obvious how hard each house worked on making their homes inviting. Of course, I ended up joining one and I don’t regret it at all. Housing and dining are wonderful, the sisterhood is amazing and I never feel like I have nothing to do on the weekends with all the philanthropic events.
If anything, I want to make it clear that Berkeley sororities are diverse, intelligent and loving communities. Trust the rush process, even if it may frustrate you at times. Don’t try to be someone you’re not and you’ll find your home as I found mine.