I can distinctly remember all the gossip going around campus about recruitment – an event that isn’t even held until the last week in January and takes up a lot of time for both men and women on campus. I can remember being asked if I was going to participate in formal recruitment and which sorority I wanted to join before I even knew the name of my Resident Assistant.
It’s funny to think that I’ve lived through the experience, but I wish women hadn’t been so wrapped up in it from the moment they got to campus. Fraternity and sorority life is only a small part of some people's college experiences, and while it may seem like the majority of Elon University students do join fraternities and sororities, only 43 percent of the student body is involved in it.
Joining a fraternity or sorority says nothing about who you are as a person or about your popularity. Sure, it has created homes for many men and women at Elon, and many meet their best friends through it, but there's no point getting caught up in it this early on in the school year. In situations like these, we have to remember to try to be present and not wish time away. You only get to be in college once, so why focus on the future when you can be focusing on the present?
I know that is so much easier said than done, but I think we should all make it a goal to find little moments to live in so we truly try to embrace the present. I spent most of my freshman year planning for the next project or when I would get to see my family again, and during all that time I was missing important moments.
I understand the anticipation surrounding recruitment for any woman who is interested in joining a sorority, but sometimes we have to let things happen. Recruitment is four months away, and really nothing in between now and then will prepare you for those long, tiring days. There is nothing else like recruitment, so there's no way you can “do better.” Just like with a lot of things, if it’s meant to be, it will be, and that's all there is to it.
Fraternities and sororities will hold their own Organization Fair on Friday, Sept. 7. If you are interested, you should definitely show up and introduce yourself. All the Panhellenic Association's chapters on campus hold events throughout the semester to raise money for their philanthropy. Along with Fraternity and Sorority Life, there are over 200 organizations that you can join.
College is about exploring and finding yourself, but again, through that process, you have to remember that each moment is important. Joining clubs helps you meet a lot of people who all bring something special to that community. I wish I had someone to tell me to slow down last year and not constantly wish for the next best thing to happen to me because then you completely miss out on what’s happening right in front of you.
At a time like this when everything is brand new, you can’t really put yourself out there “too much.” Instead of joining 30 clubs and then not attending half the meetings, try looking for 10 or less that seem really interesting to you, and throughout the year, see how they fit.
I hope you take a step back and take a deep breath. Recruitment is another problem for another time. Don’t let it consume your thoughts when you can’t control what happens. Things work out as they’re meant to, so let them.