As a new member you may see older members or friends from other chapters constantly posting on social media about how much they love their sorority.
I remember seeing posts about how girls were so glad they met their future bridesmaids and to be honest, it freaked me out. I didn't know my sisters well enough after a month of membership to confidently make that statement, and I thought that meant I was doing something wrong.
During this past recruitment I was a Rho Gamma (recruitment guide), and I had the opportunity to learn about each of the chapters on campus.
Being chapter neutral is one of the greatest feelings because for once, stereotypes didn't stand in the way of us acting together as sorority women.
However, as the week came to a close and bid cards were passed out, I watched girls who thought they were in a "top sorority" start to ignore their friends who chose "bottom" chapters. This is part of what ruins the honeymoon phase of joining a chapter because it makes some second guess their decision.
Despite what side of that situation you are on, remind yourself of why you chose your chapter and understand that just because it is right for you, doesn't mean that it's right for your friends. I am a strong believer that anyone can fall in love with any chapter and find a group they click with within it, as long as they're willing to put forth an effort.
Whether your chapter was your first choice or not, here are some things that helped me get through my first year:
Get to know the older members. Coming into an environment where everyone already seems so close can be overwhelming, but remember that your sisters were once in your shoes and felt the same way. Don't be afraid to talk to them about it and ask them how they got to know people better.
You were chosen to be in your chapter for a reason and they want you to be there, so even though it'll seem awkward at first, try to get to know people. Another good way to meet girls is by hanging out with your big. She can introduce you to her friends and help you find people you'll get along with in your pledge class.
Go to the chapter house. This one was hard for me at first because I didn't know who to hang out with when I got there, but this made the biggest difference. You could go over for meals and talk to the girls who are also there, find a group who has the same favorite show as you and watch it together, find girls from your residence hall who are also in your chapter and pick a day of the week to hang out at the house or if you're more outgoing you can see who's home and go room to room.
Moving into the chapter house is another option that will help you make connections and give you a bonding experience that may be difficult to achieve otherwise.
Putting yourself out there might feel uncomfortable at first, but older members often forget how hard it can be to make friends in the chapter when you don't know anyone. I guarantee that if you put in a little effort and go to that event or sisterhood, you'll start to feel much more comfortable.
*Created for The Odyssey