When women join a sorority, it is common that they will join their freshman year of college. But that is not always the case. You can join a sorority at any point of your undergraduate career and still have the same experience! Some women aren’t ready to join a sorority as a freshman or discover the experience later on in college. I was a sophomore when I joined my sorority and created an experience that I will never forget.
Acclimating to College
Your first year of college is a time of transition as you adapt from high school to the college experience. For some it can be easy and fun, but for others it can be different. For me, I absolutely loved my freshman year, because I was able to experience freedom for the very first time. My daily schedule throughout high school was simple: go to school, go to lacrosse practice and go to bed. I barely had a social life. I wanted college to be different, and it was. Freshman year I explored and tried new things. It was a major change, and I loved it. During my freshman year, I focused on my grades, making a few college friends, exploring the campus grounds and the areas around it. And, when I was fully adapted and ready, I decided to participate in Panhellenic recruitment.
When sophomore year came, I was excited to finally become a sorority woman. However, I remembered that I was a sophomore partaking in recruitment. I missed one full year of being in a sorority. I missed out on one year of doing everything that sorority women do, and I was scared that I wasn’t going to connect as well with the sisters. I thought to myself, “How will I relate to the other sisters if I wasn’t with them since the beginning?” I felt like I was already late to the game. College goes by so fast, so how was I going to get involved with the two years I had left? It was difficult.
Participating in Recruitment
I remember it like it was yesterday. Recruitment weekend was finally here, and I was going to meet all the sororities on campus. I was getting ready to enter the recruitment room and meet the sisters of, what is now, my forever home – Alpha Sigma Tau (AST). My heart was racing with excitement and nervousness. The doors opened and I walked into a room filled with lights, decorations and sorority women filled with excitement. A sister greeted me and walked me to a part of the room where we could talk.
I couldn’t stop smiling that my cheeks were aching. The conversation lasted about two minutes until I finally had the courage to tell her that I was a sophomore and was worried that I missed out on a year of involvement. The woman instantly reassured me that she went through recruitment as a sophomore too! When I heard that, my heart flew out of my chest. She then said, “We have sisters who were sophomores and juniors when they first joined, and they were able to get as much experience as if they joined their freshman year! It’s really just how involved you want to be.” That’s what stuck with me throughout my collegiate years. It’s not just about the years of collegiate membership, but more about getting involved as much as you can.
Making the Most of Your experience
From the moment I was initiated, I was partaking in anything I could do. I joined a committee, took on leadership roles and went to as many events as I could. I received just as much experience as I had if I had joined as a freshman. Again, it’s all about getting yourself involved. In fact, joining sophomore year gave me that mindset of getting involved with AST. I only had two years left of sorority life as a collegian, so I wanted to make the best of it.
I am happy that I joined a sorority my sophomore year because it gave me time to fully adjust to college life and prepare for the sorority experience. I also learned that sorority doesn’t end after you graduate college. It is a lifelong experience that I am still enjoying after graduation. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior to join a sorority. It’s all about the commitment.