My Time In A Sorority

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I tried to keep the nostalgia at bay. But last night it crept up on me while I was browsing Instagram and I saw a post about the college kids heading to campus. More specifically, I saw a post about all of the sorority girls getting ready for recruitment.

Once upon a time, I was in a sorority.

And I loved it.

*this was intended as a joke. however, this is was as "silly" as house mom would let me be. I had so many more ideas.

I know this might surprise some of you, but don't believe everything you see in movies or TV about Greek life. We're not all assholes. Yes, some are. (Usually the ones you see in the news doing ignorant obnoxious gross things.) However, some of us are pretty decent people who just like to have a good time and go to a theme party or two. Why not? It's college.

Ten years ago at this time I was leaving my parents house and heading to college in Lincoln at the University of Nebraska. My number one fear: driving in such a big city. I didn't think I could do it! The intersections were SO BIG. And yielding at a green light? No way. I was a goner.

My parents number one fear: that I was going through sorority recruitment. They weren't afraid of sororities in general, my sister was in one after all. They were afraid that I was trying to join a sorority.

I wasn't my sister. Like my dad put it that day when he moved me into the dorms a week early to go through recruitment, "You sure you want to do this? You're not .... Jade, you know?"

Translation: you're not nice.

I used to be a little more "outspoken," what can I say... Don't worry, I'm Sally Sunshine now that I've grown up. *although I was never once awarded the "Sally Sunshine" award in my sorority which still pisses me off. What the hell.

Ten years ago joining a sorority terrified me, but I knew it had to be done. I had no chance in hell making friends otherwise.

And so I went to that first day of recruitment with a plastered smile on my face and my parents advice ringing in my ears, "just try to play nice..."

Much to my surprise, I met girls that were just like me. They were all over. I didn't have to play anything at all. Who knew?

And so I joined the house that fit me best. A little place located at 1545 S Street (this address is burned into me for some reason) Kappa Alpha Theta. And as I type that I am so tempted to type out a chant right next to it, but I won't.

In fact all of the songs that were embedded into our heads during recruitment have all come creeping back. When you practice something for hours on end, it doesn't just leave you. And my God, I hated those practices. And the songs. If you want me to be honest, I kinda hated recruitment. It meant having to talk to people.

But I love the thought of it now. Memories are funny like that, moments we didn't necessarily enjoy always seem to look a little better when dusted with a bit of nostalgia.

Anyway, before I wrap up this trip down memory lane I want to leave the current Theta Kats with a bit of advice.

(I know they're not reading this, because college kids are way too cool for blogs. Blog reading comes when you have to get a boring job after college.)

A note to the KATS:

If you're a baby Kat, play in the basement. Stay up with your friends until the wee hours of the morning in the 8-man doing absolutely nothing. Those hours of nothing are some of my favorites when I look back.

If you're a big Kat, go to the house sometimes. And not just to steal food. Just go to hang out. Because once you leave it will be creepy if you come back too much.

Get in the weird closet. Literally and metaphorically. Don't take everything so seriously. It's college and you're in a sorority, have some fun with it.

Don't take for granted you're living under the same roof as your best friends. Do you realize how wonderful this is? DO YOU? You don't, and that's what kills me. I certainly didn't. Someday you might lives hundreds of miles from these friends and only see them once a year. And then some of them might start having babies. And then you'll be all alone in Chicago on a Tuesday morning writing a nostalgic post about the good old days at 1545 S street. Hypothetically speaking.

The "older girls" in the house will always be the older girls. Even when you're 28, you will see the girls that were seniors when you were a freshman and they'll forever be a senior to you, and therefore will always be cooler.

Unless they were an asshole. In that case you'll see them and smile politely and even though you've probably both grown up, you'll still think "man, you were such an asshole to me."

That being said, don't be an asshole.  Don't be the tattletale. It's not worth it.

Try to go to all the things. (In this case do as I say, not as I did... errp.) Just go to some of the things at least.

And if you're in the Stargazer room, please look for my signature in the closet. I tried my best to leave my mark around the house, even if that just meant new locks on the kitchen door. And sooner or later, I'm going to have my photo on the famous Theta wall right next to Tory Burch and Sheryl Crow.

Enjoy this week. You might have to force yourself at times, but your future-self will thank you for it. Put away the iphones and be present. Be really really present. And enjoy the goofy late night shenanigans, you probably won't have moments like this anywhere else, or with anyone else.

Most importantly, keep your eye on the prize. And the prize is that first going out night after recruitment. Oh man. So many fun times.

And if you see me at the first football game in a few weeks please don't get weirded out if you catch me staring at you with a longing look in my eye. Just embrace it.


We are all friends. And always will be. Theta, you, and me. 


  1. Aw I love this. I was a Theta too! (At Purdue.) My favorite piece of advice is number 4 for sure. I get so nostalgic for that. Living with your best friends and having no true problems. At least nothing that a night out and a futon party the next day wouldn't solve. I work on a college campus so I always get nostalgic this time of year. Don't get me wrong, there are things I don't miss, but that I 100% do. (Boom boom don'tcha wanna be Theta...)

  2. I also loved being in a sorority! You're so right about living in the same roof, let alone same city, as your friends. It's truly the best and carefree time of your life---enjoy it girls!

  3. Ahh! I was also a Theta! At my university, we couldn't live in the houses. Some sort of weird city ordinance? Your comment about the older girls is so true. When I put my little boy to bed, I can't ever remember the "baby" songs and have to resort to recruitment songs because they are engrained in my head! He's going to grow up confused thinking every night of his life is a ring pass.



  4. I didn't join a sorority. I wanted to but halfway through rush only one house even wanted me...and after meeting with them that day I knew I was axed and wasn't going to get called back. So I just dropped out of the running. I wanted to join so badly too...I'm okay with it now because I ended up meeting my best friends at other college events that weren't related to Greek life but I still wonder what if? I also why I wasn't worth the I never was very popular.

  5. I was a Theta too! The Epsilon Zeta chapter at Ole Miss - from 2004 to 2008! I liked it but being in a sorority is a whole lot of work on top of school work! A whole lot of requirements to stay a member that people don't give us credit for! Loved your post!

  6. Loved this! I was an Alpha Phi at West Virginia University from 2003-2007. The part about how lucky you are to live with your friends... SO TRUE. I still consider my junior year of college living in the house to be one of the best years of my life!

  7. I was a Phi Sig at my NJ college and I made it all the way up to VP! I loved it. Best college choice I ever made. Of course I lost my scholarship due to pledge season, but hey, totally worth it.

  8. I would say thetas were kind of Kappas rivals at SMU. i mean kind of but not really. but we were always competing for the same *cool* girls. I can sing all sorority songs bc I was a rho gamma (helped girls go through rush... twice.)

  9. I'm about to attend my last ever recruitment, and though I'm slightly happy I'll never have to endure hours upon hours of meet and greets again, I'm kinda sad about it too. Pi Phi has been so near and dear to my heart these past few years! My campus doesn't have fraternity or sorority housing, which is a bummer, but I imagine there's less drama that way. Who knows. Love your composite pic btw!

  10. Love, love, love this. They just finished recruitment at my school and all the pictures (and my timehop app) make me super nostalgic too. I wish the girls there now could know just how much they should appreciate it! It's the absolute best.

  11. I didn't do a sorority (dropped out halfway through recruitment...), but I went to a small liberal arts school with only 1200 students. The part about living under the same roof as your friends/living within walking distance of all of your friends for four years will never happen again is SO true. I liked living near DC because it was kind of the same, but when I got sick and had to move to a smaller city/suburbs, it has been close to impossible.
    So, college kids, who don't read blogs, should! Great advice!

  12. I was a Theta too--Such a fun four years! I will forever have those chants stuck in my head too--"....K-A-P-P-A...A-L-P-H-A...T-H-E-TA...KAPPA. ALPHA. THETA!"

  13. My school didn't do sororities and now I'm wondering if I could ever have been in one since my hair isn't platinum blonde.

  14. Lincoln isn't that big of a city. But change is always gonna be weird. I'm in Omaha, and driving here still scares the hell out of me.

  15. I did the sorority thing for a year. I wanted to love it but the particular sorority I was in probably wasn't the greatest choice. Nonetheless I think being in a sorority can be a great thing and I think the stigmas that go along with Greek life are a little ridiculous.

  16. I've just come across your blog and I must say I've laughed out loud at pretty much every post. As a fellow Chicagoan just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  17. So many blondes!! I kinda wish I had joined a sorority, but I was really poor and I think it cost money to join?? I could be totally wrong, but I didn't investigate any further. My college was known for being academic and really boring. There is no sorority row, but there were sororities and I think it might have made a big difference in my experience.

  18. My sisters were both in sororities (Alpha Epsilon Phi, which wasn't at Nebraska; Phi Mu) and my brother was in a fraternity (Phi Delta Theta). I did not join a social fraternity, but was in the honoraries Phi Sigma Pi and Pi Mu Epsilon and Psi Chi.

    I wonder how different my college experience would have been if I had joined a fraternity. I did pass by the KAT house every day, since I lived in Neihardt.

  19. You know what song/chant/tradition I never understood and hated and literally stayed silent through every single time?

    Dear lord, for all thy blessings, we express our thanks to thee. For these true manifestations, of thine infinity. Bless us to our service, and to our use this food. Thine kappa, alpha, theta, in bonds of sisterhood, amen.

    Why was it so high pitched? I couldn't hit those notes ever, let alone Monday night after a long weekend of chain smoking.