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Being non-Greek is Great too!

Greek Life at Ole Miss, or not.

Editor’s note: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ole Miss rush, most universities do their rush before school starts (early August). Ole Miss waits until late September/early October to start rush.

Unlike many students that come to Ole Miss, I had no intention of being in a sorority. I always grew up marching to the beat of my own drum and followed my own rules, so the idea of a

sorority just wasn’t for me. But as the first few weeks of school passed by, a majority of the older students I met were in fact Greek, and more and more people seemed to be talking about the glam of Greek life. My roommate, along with most of the girls on my hall, (shout out Hefley floor 2) convinced me that I should give it a shot. So, the very last day you could apply for rush, I did.

At that point, I had done no research whatsoever on Ole Miss Greek life. I also had not asked for any recommendation letters and I wasn’t concerned with watching my every move to make sure I didn’t get “black balled” – a term I heard that referred to getting cut from every sorority before rush even started – Talk about putting the fear of God in some of these rushees. But I didn’t want to feel left out in a place where I was new and alone.

Fast forward to the first round of rush, my class schedule and the rush schedule didn’t work together. I was forced to miss my first 4 houses because of my classes. Skipping classes was not an option with Panhellenic and although I was told it would not affect my potential bids, I feel certain it did.

The “knock” - The two days of round one were over and it was the morning of round two. Girls everywhere were dreading to wake up to a knock on their dorm door saying they were cut from all houses. Well that’s what I woke up to that morning. Except it wasn’t for me, it was for my roommate. The girl who convinced me to go for it, the girl who said she wouldn’t be hurt if she got cut – but she was. She was more hurt than she expected to be, so much in fact that she skipped classes for a few days and went home just so she didn’t have to see the other girls rush home that coming weekend. Sad for her but I was surprisingly relieved it wasn’t me.

Round two came around and I had expected to see at least the four houses I didn’t get to attend to be on my list. They weren’t. I knew that “you can’t get cut” rule for attending class was not true. I was only asked back to one house. One. Well, with reservations, because it wasn’t a house I cared about going back to, I went.

The next morning, I once again woke up to a knock on my door. This time it was for me. I was cut. No longer eligible for rush and was officially not in a sorority. It was a strange feeling. I was a little surprised but honestly, it didn’t affect me much. I just ended up going back to sleep and continuing with my day. Yeah, the other girls on the hall knew but instead of getting down on it or tiptoeing around the subject to protect my feelings, I supported and congratulated all the ladies on my hall that got into their top choices!

That Sunday when all the girls ran to their new homes, I didn’t and, honestly, I had a little FOMO (fear of missing out.) But I saw how my roommate reacted to getting cut, I saw other girls literally drop out of school for it, and all I could think is “that is ridiculous.” Y’all….. I’m here to tell you…. It’s not that serious!

Once rush week was over, I really didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I still continued to talk to all the same people while constantly meeting new ones. I still was allowed to go to any party I wanted. I still got the cool function t-shirts because I was dating a fraternity guy, so he just bought me my own. I still went to formals and date parties and spring parties and fall parties and concerts and fraternity and sorority grove tents, etc. etc. etc.

Getting “cut”

Was I concerned with telling people that I wasn’t in a sorority? I think at first I was hesitant. My first reaction was to just say I was not in one. That answer worked for most people, but some asked me why. I then had to tell them I was cut. The more I said it, the more I realized “hey this is my reality, I was cut, But I’m still having fun.”

Do I regret rushing since I didn't even get in? NO! If you think you have the slightest inkling in the world that you might want to be in a sorority or fraternity, then try it out. What’s the worst that could happen? It is a once in a lifetime, roller-coaster-of-emotion experience. I met so many people, and experienced things I’ve never seen before – like hundreds of sorority girls jumping around and screaming chants all in sync.

Is Greek life a big part of Ole Miss? It is BUT there is so much more to Ole Miss than getting into a fraternity or sorority. There are hundreds of clubs/student organizations, sports teams, volunteer opportunities and student leadership positions.

But how will I make new friends when they are too involved with their sorority or fraternity? Go to clubs, classes, the girl’s bathroom in your dorm, parties, hang with other mutual friends, intramural sports, the gym, volunteering, and work. Everyone here has been on their own at one point and had to make friends, so everyone is always willing to make new friends!

The Good “Stuff” - Relax! Really take your first few weeks of non-Greek life to make connections with the tons of other freshmen who aren’t yet Greek or sign up for clubs! Your experience at Ole Miss is only going to be what YOU make it. Don’t let one minor disappointment ruin the next best 5-6 years of your life.

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