Honestly, I didn’t consider Greek life at all when before I first arrived at Emory. Some friends on my hall convinced me to sign up a few days before registration for recruitment would close. My roommate said I needed to “rush” to be a part of Greek life. I did not understand why she was in such a hurry; regardless, I signed right up.
As any diligent student would, I did extensive research on Greece to prepare for recruitment.
Eager to please the sororities, I dressed in the traditional toga and strappy tan sandals. To fully submerge into Greek fashion, I topped off my outfit with a flowery wreath; when girls complimented my twisted mess of leaves and sticks, they often followed by asking, “So are you going for the artsy or hipster look?” I did not see the relation. The girls, who called themselves Pi Chi-s, seemed very distressed by my choice of traditional garb. To be fair, they were wearing t-shirt peasant clothing, so I did not think they had the authority to comment on my outfit.
I honestly did not understand why so many girls wildly panicked when figuring out their outfits — the Internet is pretty clear on Greek fashion and mythology. Personally, I thought the kraken logo on my outfit was much cooler than the other girls’ whales and fishes. When I mentioned this, the girls replied that their attire was Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide respectively. I did not see why this mattered; I had the kraken, and thus I was more culturally aware. The closest mythological creature I found was a centaur; however, the girl insisted that it was Polo.
My fellow aspiring Greek life members and I approached the sorority lawn, which I hypothesized was Emory’s version of Mount Olympus. When I saw the letters outside the Parthenon (what others are referring to as “the lodge”), I knew my preparation would help in the coming weeks. However, none of my research seemed to braced me for the loud whistle blowing and constant standing in line.
As I visited each temple, I found myself confused as to why these girls seemed to be ill informed about the culture of their organization. I watched the “Hercules” and my intimate knowledge of the half-god, half-mortal never once arose. None of the girls seemed well-versed in either Plato or Socrates. I asked one girl if I should send Hermes, the Greek messenger, to each sorority to communicate my excitement for joining their organization. She looked fairly uncomfortable and informed me that there was a strict no gift rule. I later discover they also do not tolerate sacrifices on their doorsteps. I asked another girl if she had recently visited Athens, hoping to show off my comprehensive knowledge of this important cultural center named for the goddess Athena herself. She told me she has a friend at UGA too; I did not see how this was relevant.
I knew not to bring up Zeus in case any of the girls in the room were both hooking up with him. I refrained from mentioning any of the 5 B’s: baes, booze, Barack, bible, and bank accounts. Talking about Zeus would touch on the “baes” category I was informed that I should avoid.
I approached one girl and asked if she was related to Medusa. She passive-aggressively scoffed. I was later informed that she had recently gotten bad blonde highlights in her previously dark black hair. I see this as an honest mistake on my part.
Conclusion: After going through the recruitment process, I discovered that Greek life has very little to do with Greece.