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Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

Opinion: While delayed recruitment frustrates upperclassmen, this first-year finds many benefits

Greek Village houses the different sororities and fraternities at Mercer.
Greek Village houses the different sororities and fraternities at Mercer.

When I was applying to schools, my college counselor asked me how much Greek Life mattered to me in a potential university. I laughed and said it didn't matter to me at all. She smiled and replied, "Yeah, I can tell you aren't a sorority girl."

Fast forward to Aug. 14, Opportunity Scholars move-in day. I only interacted with around 60 first-year students throughout the whole week, most first-generation college students just like myself. We were all buzzing with questions about everything from meal swipes to class schedules to, of course, Greek Life.

I'd never considered Greek Life until I came to Mercer. The only experience I’d had with it was what I observed at the large state school in my hometown or what I’d seen in movies and the media. The thought of going Greek conjured up images of hazing, a sea of girls with bleach-blond hair and identical themed outfits and parties night after night all wrapped up under the ruse of “sisterhood” and some vague promise of “philanthropy.”

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Before I learned that Greek organizations are more than what the movies tell us, I didn't think my values aligned with sorority life. On top of it all, I was too worried about how I would manage my schoolwork, my job with Admissions and Cluster deadlines to consider adding such a time commitment. Chapter meetings, service events, study hours… I never thought that sorority life could fit into my schedule or help me achieve my goals.

But recruitment was delayed this year, so I had a few weeks to learn that Greek life at Mercer isn’t like that at all. I had time to figure out how I’d balance my academics with my social life and understand that my dreams and values can and will be realized as a part of a Greek organization.

As a first-generation college student and someone on the pre-law track, I value scholarship and drive as well as friends who will help you hold yourself accountable.

As a woman, I value empowering one another in a world that often tries to suppress our voices.

As an only child, I value a big “family” and a strong support system of people who truly care about one another.

As someone who only moved to Macon to attend college, I value an organization that will help me engage in service to give back to my adopted home.

Delayed recruitment has drawbacks, especially for those already involved in Greek life, but it provided me the time I needed to realize that going Greek was something I wanted to do. I registered just a few days before the deadline.

Throughout recruitment week, I saw a piece of myself represented in each sorority. I received and accepted a bid from my top choice. Had recruitment not been delayed, I never would have realized the truth about Greek life or gone through recruitment.

My college counselor was right: I'm not a “sorority girl.” I'm a sorority woman at Mercer University, and for that I will remain eternally grateful.


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