Monday, February 8, 2010

Sorority madness

After Fashionista posted dress code requirements for Cornell University's Pi Phi sorority recruitment process, I wanted to check out the sorority recruitment process myself. Would I be told that my Uniqlo skinny jeans are inferior to designer jeans (by the way, they are not)? Would I be told that my chandelier earrings must be replaced with pearl studs?

So I did it. I did sorority recruitment this weekend. And I definitely stressed out about what to wear more than I should have.

I was hesitant at first. An hour before the first event, I was sitting on my bed in my pajamas, realizing that I had forgotten to do my laundry. Apparently, I was supposed to wear something "comfortable and cute" -- so I opted for a pair of long black Uniqlo leggings, Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse flats, a hanii y blazer, and a silk tank top. Simple, safe, and sweet.

Too bad almost all of the other 258 girls were in sky-high heels. I regretted this when I was staring up at a particularly tall girl at one of the sorority parties I attended. Too much neck strain and not enough poise.

So for the next round, I found myself wearing six-inch heels. My feet were bleeding by the end of the night.

I was naive. I didn't know you could get cut from the recruitment process. "Keep your phones on!" we were told. No one ever mentioned that you had to keep your phones on just in case you didn't get any invitations from any sororities.

Luckily, I didn't have this problem -- but the next day, I started realizing that the selection process was, well, selective. You could only get invited to up to three sororities in the next round. I got invited to three, but I knew some girls who only got invited to one.

When the invites came out, my stomach churned. "Why does this feel worse than college decisions?" I asked out loud.

"It's because we're judged on our personalities here," replied a girl standing next to me. "And looks," I thought to myself.

"Ugh, you're so popular," said my friend, who just confided in me that she only got invited to one party. Yet, I didn't feel popular. I didn't get invited to my first choice, after all -- a sorority that many of my friends were invited to.

The next morning, I was filled with anxiety -- more anxiety than I wanted to experience from sorority recruitment. In the grand scheme of things, we have other issues to worry about.

I quit that night. For some reason, the sorority recruitment process made me feel bitter and resentful. It made me feel insecure. It made me feel like I couldn't dress the way I wanted to -- and trust me, that's a big issue for me. I had heard that the sorority sisters had stalked us on Facebook and knew more about us than we could see behind those pearly smiles and luscious lashes.

Sororities aren't a bad thing at all. They provide a sense of community and group identity. They're fun. They're full of nice accomplished girls. They're a great college experience to have and I know many of my friends who are in Greek life at their respective schools.

But I wanted to join a sorority because I wanted a family. I didn't realize that, well, I already do. I already do have many families I love. I have my parents in California. I have my biological little sister who I consider to be my best friend. I have my friends from high school who are still friends with me after those awkward and traumatizing years. I have my friends in college who brought me medicine and cough drops during orientation week -- before we even knew each other as well as we do now.

And truth be told, I will always choose fashion week over formal dances.

Miss Couturable
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