Panhellenic recruitment is happening at Baylor University this week (and maybe on your campus too).
That means stressed, scared and overtired freshman girls (and a few sophomores and juniors) are wandering around campus – probably in the rain. Somehow, it always rains at least one day during recruitment week – just to make things even more stressful.
It means some people will join a group of women that will impact their lives in numerous ways. It also means that some people will be disappointed and hurt. Some people will change their profile pictures on Facebook and others will watch on the sidelines, pretending not to feel excluded or sad.
I’m saying this because I know.
I rushed last year. I went to the parties, small-talked until I lost my voice, and stressed every morning when I got my lists. I also dropped out on the fourth day. I had prayed about it and felt that it was something God was calling me to do, for my best interests (disclaimer: this is not a sorority-bash post, and my dropping was something I felt God calling me personally to, not something I think he calls everyone to do).
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of posts from sorority women giving advice to sweet PNMs (potential new members). I am so proud of them for encouraging the girls that no matter where you end up, God will provide, God is faithful, and God is good.
They’re right – some of you will meet your best friends, your bridesmaids, maybe even your husband through greek life. That’s absolutely fabulous – life is so enriched by new friends and new experiences. Greek life can be a spectacular way to make connections, make wonderful friendships, and have a great time in college.
However, I haven’t seen any posts written to the girls who don’t get what they want and decide to leave the Panhellenic recruitment process (or those who are not “pref’ed” by any sororities).
It’s not exactly a happy subject – leaving the process, being disappointed. But, I feel like it’s something I need to talk about. Why? Because, I’ve been there. And I want for these girls, for you – beautiful, strong, empowered, smart YOU.
I struggled watching Bid Day pictures appear on Facebook. I struggled through watching Big/Little pictures pop up in my newsfeed, and I struggled through watching my friends attend events that I didn’t. All happened even though I chose to leave the process on my own.
I want you to know something, sweet girls: it’ll be okay.
You can get through it, and you’ll come out on the other side stronger and more sure of yourself with friends you might never have thought you’d have. The hurt feelings will fade.
It’s not always easy to remember, but God provides.
We are so blessed to have a God who is not exclusive. He has called you beloved. He has called you to a bright future filled with joy and possibility. He loves you & is with you every step of every day.
You are wanted. You are dear to Him. You are never forgotten. You are worth it.
Ladies, sometimes college can seem like all there is. Sometimes, a sorority can seem like the be all and end all of having a wonderful college experience.
But it’s not. Joining a sorority may enhance your college experience, but it’s not the only way to have a wonderful, sweet, loving group of friends. It’s not the only way to meet smart, capable, and lovely people. It’s not the only way to make connections. It’s not the only way to do life.
You are capable of creating your own wonderful college experience.
You choose whether you have four years worth remembering and worth treasuring. Let me emphasize that: you choose. God sometimes takes us through hard experiences to help us really understand who we are and to bring us closer to our ultimate goals. Sometimes, God’s plan isn’t clear, but we know that it is good.
When I decided to leave recruitment, I didn’t know why and I didn’t really want to. I was unhappy with the sororities I had left, but I didn’t want to quit altogether until I heard the resounding “No” from God. I didn’t know why He was calling me not to, but I left.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. I was hurt and confused. However, God has shown me throughout this year that I was called to something different. My path wasn’t the one I was on, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay.
I have met some wonderful people. I’ve been accepted for internships and joined Crane Scholars. I had a birthday dinner for 30+ and have late night movie nights with friends. I have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed life. God is good, this I know. I may not have understood it then, but I do now.
You – no matter what you decide, no matter whether you join a sorority (the one you wanted or the one you didn’t), whether you decide not to, or whether that decision is decided for you – are beautiful. You are strong and you decide where your life goes from here.
Picture it like a Disney movie – you are on the upswing. You are about to make a comeback. You are the a warrior, brave and strong. A daughter of a King.
Don’t be bitter. Don’t be angry. Allow yourself some time to lick wounds if necessary, and allow yourself some time to celebrate.
Realize that this decision, albeit important, will not decide your whole life. Realize where your priorities lie – living for God, following His will, loving others and pursuing them as Christ pursues us; these are things worth dwelling on.
Dwelling on rejection and hurt? All that leads to is bitterness. And you are way too pretty to be bitter.
If you’re joining a sorority, congratulations!
I’m so happy for you and am praying for you every step of the way: you are going to meet so many wonderful people, make a difference through your philanthropy, and have a great time! My Greek friends have had absolutely fantastic experiences and I’m so excited for the journey God has ahead of you. Cherish it & remember what a blessing these wonderful women are. They’re so special and so are you.
Good luck & happy recruitment!
Image via Sydney White