An open letter to new female Greeks


By Rebecca Kapolnek

Three years ago, I made the best decision of my life. Three years ago, I opened my bid and joined Sigma Kappa. Little did I know, these two small Greek letters would end up changing my college life forever.

I want to start off by saying congratulations to all of the new members of the Panhellenic community. Monday was a huge day for you. Monday was the day you opened your bid and found out which sisterhood you would join. Recruitment is over; you no longer have to run from house to house and have conversations with hundreds of women. You can now breathe, and begin what I promise will be the best four years of your life. You are about to be submerged into a whole new world — filled with new friends, countless opportunities and so much fun.

As you settle into your new houses and sift through 200-plus Facebook friend requests, I ask that you keep a few things in mind based on my experiences from the last three years.  

Why I joined the Panhellenic community is much different than why I stayed.

Greek life, as portrayed by the media, appears to be just one constant party filled with booze, boys and bars. We have all seen movies such as “House Bunny” or television shows like “Greek,” and these portrayals could not be any more inaccurate of sorority life.

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    Far too often I see freshmen joining a chapter for more superficial and surface-level reasons — myself included.

    When I was a freshman, I decided to go through recruitment to make new friends, have access to parties and to find someone to eat with in the dining hall. While none of these reasons are bad or wrong, I lacked the desire for something deeper — something I would find when I completed the new member process and attended weekly meetings and events.

    Like I said earlier, why I joined is entirely different than why I stayed.

    I stayed in my sorority for the next three years because of the bonds I formed. I know when you were going through recruitment you were told over and over again to “trust the process” and that wherever you end up is where you are supposed to be. I wholeheartedly believe this is true.

    Ladies, I know some of you are disappointed and confused with the process, but I implore you to not give up quite yet. It is OK to not have that instant spark and connection with everyone in your house. It is almost unrealistic to expect this of yourself, and for those of you who are ecstatic with the decision you just made, I could not be happier for you.  

    It wasn’t until I got to know the girls in my sorority better that I found these deeper connections and really found my niche in the Greek community. I was required to attend meetings, host events and live with these girls. I was not required to become their best friend, but in the end, that was the case. The amount of time I spent with my sisters allowed me to become closer to them than I could have with others I’d met on campus.   

    The Greek system is what you make of it. I encourage each and every one of you to get as involved in your chapter as possible. The bonds and the friendships you will form with you sisters are some of the most special connections you will experience. You will do everything with these women and they will be the ones you share some of your most meaningful college experiences with. 

    Looking past all the T-shirts, glitter, chevron and chants, true sisterhood lies. But that true sisterhood can only come if you allow it to.

    Trust your decision, go to events, make new friends and buckle your seat belts for the best ride of your life.

    Looking back to where I was freshman year, I would have never expected to have the friends I have today. I came into Greek life with certain expectations about partying and boys, and found something deeper once I was open to getting to know my new sisters better.

    Sigma Kappa has changed my life for the better. I have learned more about myself in the chapter than any class could have taught me. I learned how to be a leader, how to be a friend, how to show compassion and how to fight for what I believe in.

    In the end, I would move mountains for my sisters. They have done so much for me, and I would do so much for them.

    This is the feeling that will come to you as you begin your journey through Greek life, but this can only happen if you trust the process. Don’t give up.

    Rebecca is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected].