(All names changed for privacy reasons also I don’t want anybody to be mad at me)
So I did not start out my college experience as per the normal route, I went to community college first and got my associates degree in Business administration. I then chose to go to the closest 4 year school that had a reputable Hospitality school, Niagara University.
I came into NU as a Junior, and I’m now a senior. But my first ever semester on campus, I saw many signs and posters for Rush Week for the two sororities we have on campus. I thought “Why not: what could go wrong?” My mom thought “Everything will go wrong this is a bad idea.”.
My main reason I wanted to join was because I did not have many ‘lifelong friendships’ coming out of high school, maybe two. Another huge motivation for me was the fact that they do stuff with charity and philanthropy. I push for giving to those less fortunate all the time and I donate to charity gaming livestreams on Youtube whenever I can via the Youtuber named Markiplier. My parents always taught me to always give your bit, even if it’s just a little, because there are so many people that need it more than you. Making friends while doing something good and charitable? Sign me up!
The first night wasn’t bad, just getting to know each group individually. I knew right off the bat I liked one sorority over the other- one had a very ‘we are rich and if you aren’t that’s okay but we don’t really like you’ vibe. The other felt much more inclusive and their current roster of members was very diverse- I chose to finish rush week with the second sorority and try my best to not be a moron.
Everything seemed fine for the other three days of rush, it seemed I was making friends with fellow pledges (girls who are also rushing) and sorority sisters. I was a little worried about fees, they were pretty steep, over $300. But I had some savings and I was willing to spend it on this. Then Friday came around and I died.
I didn’t actually die but I felt like it. This was the day where I would get an email to find out if I got a bid or not. When you rush, the final day of the week you either get extended an invitation to join, a bid, or not. The emails were supposed to be mass sent out at 3pm. I was panicking so hard I thought I would die of a heart attack. 3 pm rolled around and there was no email. Then 3:30. Then 4:30. Finally around 5 pm ish, I got a little ping in my email. I read it and my heart plummeted.
I didn’t get in.
I was upset, but a little while later one of the sorority sisters, Cathy, messaged me saying she was sorry that I did not get in. Her reasons were mostly that the National Headquarters had asked for more freshmen than upperclassmen. But she hoped that I would return in the spring to rush again, and that many do not get in their first time. She even said she wanted to be friends with me which made me so happy, I had only 2 friends at this new school and starting fresh had been a little rough on me.
We talked for some time about our likes and dislikes and she encouraged me to rush again in the spring. I felt encouraged and supported and the wound of rejection was healed tremendously by her support and kind words.
The first person I called was my mom. She was worried about me and got very concerned when I told her I would try again in the spring. Her attitude was akin to “I told you so but I love you and if you need me to punch someone I will.” And I am so thankful she was there for me.
Then I got a text from my sister that I will remember till the day I die:
“You don’t need €#%! Delta Pie to be cool.”
I laughed so hard I cried. She always knew just what to cheer me up and make me laugh. Even though we never used to get along and she is a year younger than me, I knew I always had her support when I was feeling hurt. I always go to her with advice when I need it and she’s there with open ears to listen.
So the winter passed and I was very excited to rush again in the spring. I did something different this time, I saw a therapist before and after rush. I think it better prepared me for the feelings I would feel if I did or did not get in. This time around it was only me and five other girls instead of twenty rushing. I felt great all four nights and it was just as same as the fall, I talked to people and made connections. This bid day was different from the fall though, because they were going to come to your dorm room and congratulate you if you got in.
So Friday rolled around and they were supposed to come by at around 10pm. I waited. And waited. And waited.
They never showed up. Never even sent a ‘sorry you didn’t make it this time’ email. Nothing. Nothing at all. I was completely devastated. I felt so lost and unwanted, worthless. I felt angry and depressed. Even though I had prepared myself beforehand with talking to the therapist, I still felt so emotionally destroyed afterward. I messaged Cathy from the semester before. No answer. I called my boyfriend and sobbed for a few hours. He came by the next morning and comforted me all day. I asked him had he ever felt worthless, like he was nothing. His response still makes me cry every time I think about it. “Yeah, but to me you’re priceless.”
The next day Cathy messaged me, saying she was sorry that I didn’t get in again, this time she wasn’t involved with rush as she was in the fall. I was so upset I never replied to her message. I was afraid I would blow up on her and be angry and ruin our friendship. I didn’t want to call her out and say ‘I didn’t get in because I’m fat/weird/into anime/annoying/not pretty etc etc’ because I know it’s not her fault. I have a feeling a girl who got in in the fall hates me and blocked my entry into the sorority by swaying opinions.
Every time I saw a few of them I waved hi or smiled, some gave me dirty looks and others smiled back. I made it through the spring semester and now it is the following fall.
I see the posters all over again and heard freshmen talking about it. The night they got their bids I was standing outside with another girl who used to live down the hall from me, Andrea. The sorority started doing their chant thing when the new pledges came outside and accepted their bids, we had to walk away and go into a building on the other side of campus because I was honestly triggered, I almost cried. We sat down and talked about how we felt and how upset the both of us still were. Andrea thought she didn’t get in because she felt she wasn’t pretty enough.
I was so angry when she said that. Everyone every human is beautiful and we are all equal. I fumed that she believed that was the reason and assured her that it definitely wasn’t. That talk stuck a chord with me: a deep organ symphony chord of revenge.
I had an idea: what if I started my own sorority? What if I created a sorority that only accepted people who were rejected from other sororities? What if our name was €#%! Delta Pie and our mascot was a pizza emoji with the ‘thug life’ meme sunglasses on?
I’m joking but still, what if that existed? What if a support group/sorority existed to help girls cope with the rejection? I would have loved that.
The big reason why I’m still salty and triggered by them doing things as a large group is because of the after thoughts in the spring. No thought into at least sending out an apology or something encouraging us to rush again, just nothing. No contact what so ever.
I would advise other sororities to do different, to be a Cathy to reach out to those who don’t ‘make the cut’ because to some people that could be the final straw, the final thing to push oneself over the edge. If I had not been stronger, and my boyfriend been there for me, I don’t want to think what I would have or could have done to myself. I hate to think how many women today have thoughts of self-harm or body image issues would do this to feel included, only to be rejected for unknown reasons. Even I was highly upset, and I prepared myself for the hurt, but it didn’t make it any easier.
I’m still salty, but for a reason. I never want anyone to feel unwanted, worthless and depressed. Everyone talks about the positive and good side of rushing, no one ever talks about those who don’t get in, and how we feel after. I have no regrets or remorse, but I hope that I never feel like that ever again. I don’t ever want anyone to make me feel that way again. And the same goes for my friend Andrea and all the other girls who have not gotten bids.
When I finally have kids and daughters maybe, I want to make sure they have a fun college experience, so whether that means rushing or not, I want them to always feel wanted, even if they also get rejected.
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