GUIZERIX: The fleeting nature of sorority life and forming one’s identity

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

News of Bid Day at the University of Mississippi and other colleges around the state put me on a reminiscing streak this past weekend.

It’s no secret that I was involved in a Greek letter organization during my time at Ole Miss, and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. However, we did things differently than the girls do today.

For years, Ole Miss held sorority recruitment (“Rush” for some of us) after fall classes started. Now, recruitment and Bid Day take place before classes start.

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From my perspective, undergoing sorority recruitment after classes started provided a few advantages. For one, we had time to make friends based on mutual interests, before those friendships were potentially complicated by the two or three Greek letters emblazoned on our backs.

While I went on to form countless relationships thanks to my involvement in Greek life, I can confidently say that the college friendships that lasted for me were with people I met before joining a sorority. Of course, it just so happened that we all ended up pledging to the same house, but we were friends regardless.

Moving sorority recruitment to the week before classes start has its advantages — namely, the academic world doesn’t have to be put on pause for a week while the female students lose their ever-loving minds over which house they’ll run to on Bid Day.

But I fear one great disadvantage. It’s my fear that girls who undergo sorority recruitment before they have an opportunity to experience college life will miss out on involvement in outside organizations at their schools. Academics aside, one of the most important things a person can do in their college years is form an identity for themselves and learn what matters most to them.

Sororities are great engines for change and philanthropy on college campuses and across the world. They represent millions of dollars in fundraisers, billions of specks of glitter and relationships that truly last a lifetime.

But lest we fall into the trap of thinking sorority life as a whole lasts a lifetime, the truth is, it doesn’t. You have four years to make your mark, you graduate and then you must use the lessons learned in your college years to forge a new path of adulthood.