Many people have seen upperclassmen from high school go to college and join a sorority or fraternity. They may have idealistic visions based on books or movies of what joining a sorority or fraternity is actually like, but then coming to college is an entire thing entirely.
When a lot of people go into “rush week” or other similar activities they are excited and have been planning outfits, researching endlessly, and probably over thinking. For some, rush is never a thought, and for others they try it out but it doesn’t work for them. This can lead to feelings of isolation but it doesn’t have to be that way.
First things first, you are important. Just because you didn’t make it into an organization doesn’t mean that you are less than anybody else. Not everybody is going to like you, and they don’t have to, as long as you like you. This opportunity is a great way to build up your self-confidence because once you know your own self-worth you’re unstoppable.
This is also a great time to fall back on your friend group. Though some of them may have made it into the organizations, they shouldn’t have changed as people. They should still try and support you if you’re feeling down about this and if they aren’t then you could be bold and find new friends. With new friends comes different experiences and the ability to show who you really are.
If a person doesn’t know you, you can recreate yourself. Richard doesn’t know about the time in 7th grade where you were so nervous about remembering your locker combination you threw up on the principal. Jamal doesn’t know about the time you went fishing and fell overboard…twice. They just know that they’ve met someone who is darn great and who they’d love to get to know better. Whether you care to share with them embarrassing stories or not it’s up to you. Reinvent yourself.
If you did make it into the sorority/fraternity of your dreams but had to drop out before official initiation that’s okay too. Some may have to do it for money reasons, academics, or just too many things going on. Sally* made it into a sorority but with all of her classes and athletic practices she felt she didn’t have time for sorority life on top of everything. Trying to balance learning the history of the sorority and calculating the integrals of things she probably never wanted to integrate created a lot of was too much. Don’t feel like a failure if you are in a situation like this and don’t feel pressured to stay.
Some schools have activity fairs, and joining a new club is a great alternative to joining a fraternity or sorority.
You will meet new people, and have the chance to develop a skill you never tried before, or embrace a passion you don’t explore very often. For example if your school has a billiards club and you’ve never really played before now is a good time to learn. If you’re ever in a corporate situation where your boss wants to play and you don’t even know how to hold the stick that might get a little awkward. Now, this may seem crazy to you, but you could join an Honors or Service fraternity. These may have the things you’re looking for without as much of the worry or panic. For many service is all they truly want to achieve by joining a sorority or fraternity so by getting involved with a service organization this could all be achieved.
Ultimately, it is not the end of the world if you don’t make it in. If it is really what you wanted to achieve then rush again. Now you’ll know the ins and outs of the process and be better prepared. Make yourself known on campus, someone who they can’t help but want and next time you’ll be the one deciding who gets the opportunity of being in your presence.