The alarm on my cell phone went off, signaling that the day had begun. I rolled off the twin sized bed and my feet landed on the cool tile of the dorm room floor. Some of the morning light streamed in between the blinds.
Feeling grumpy I bent down and pulled out the denim skirt I had decided to wear for the day. Then, I grabbed my compulsory, salmon-colored shirt for the day. The Panhellenic university group had given out two designated shirts, salmon and brown-colored.
I walked into the suite’s bathroom to prepare for the day. It was hard to believe that in two weeks I would have to share the bathroom with three other girls. Until then I had to share the space only with my suitemate, who also went through rush.
After getting ready, and making sure that my makeup was perfected, I walked out of the tiny dorm room and into the narrow hall. The corridor was fairly empty and quiet. I took the elevator down from the ninth floor down to the first and made my way out onto the mall.
Despite the early morning, I felt hot. Nothing like summer in the South.
A large, white canvas tent stretched out across the mall and a crowd of girls in brown and salmon shirts filled the space. Some girls wore shorts and some had skirts on like me. They all talked, standing in alphabetical order by last name.
I took my place in the Johnson line and stood there, uncertain of what to do next. Small-talk was not my forte and I had not really wanted to go through rush. All in all, I was a bitter college girl completely out of my comfort zone. Going through rush had not been the way I wanted to spend my last week of summer, or my birthday for that matter. Still, I wanted to at least try. That way when my mom asked I could tell her I had spoken to someone.
That day all the girls signed up for rush would visit each sorority house, 11 houses total. It would be a long day.
“We can be the Johnson group,” a peppy girl said a few people behind me.
She had long dark hair, wore the salmon-colored shirt, and a headband. She smiled brightly and I knew she would do well this week. The girl had the charisma and attitude that the sorority houses probably looked for in pledges.
Her poise instantly made me feel out of place and I did not feel as if I belonged with them.
Then the day began. Slowly each line of girls walked off towards the Panhellenic houses. The houses are beautiful and grand. They are well taken care of and a little intimidating, most two stories high.
We walked into our first house, filing in one after the other. I smiled at the greeters until my cheeks hurt. Then, one of the current sorority sisters took me aside and began talking to me. Another one stepped in and the conversation continued.
I had no idea what to say to the sorority girls. This had been my mom’s idea because the university, in her opinion, was extremely Greek-focused. So, she wanted me to have a place in the university. Unlike most of the girls with me, I really had no desire to join and had not done my research on any of the houses.
At the next house we waited outside on the driveway in single file. I tried to make small talk with some of the girls and failed. Never had I felt so socially awkward. Then the girls walked out of the house. At that moment I felt ugly, short, and fat. The girls walking out had on beautiful dresses, had long legs, and walked gracefully in heels.
“They look like models,” a girl in line said, sounding just as in awe as I felt.
Indeed they did.
Great. If I had felt awkward at the first house, then the second house was 10 times worse. At five feet and barely three inches, I looked like a midget compared to the sorority girls standing next to me.