Is there room for Jesus on Greek Street?
To all of the women that have had even one thought cross their mind about going through sorority recruitment, PLEASE. Hear me out.
Whether you are totally in and ready to receive a bid from the chapter of your dreams, or you are on the fence of signing up because you are afraid of the stereotypes, or it was one fleeting thought that was pushed out of you head almost as soon as it entered, this is for you.
As I was preparing to enter college, this decision was one that I went back and forth on for a while. There were pros and cons in my head, Pros consisted of: having a place to call home, being a part of the bigger community, and fun! Cons were along the lines of: the idea of too many girls, the fear of the stereotypical party scene, and too many obligations. With the help of my sweet mother, I signed up and was so excited. Y’all. It was one of the best decisions I have made. There are countless things that you learn and experience during your college career. It’s priceless when you get to learn and experience those things with a group of women that you have come to know and love. I joined my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, as a freshman in college. There were so many amazing things about being in a sorority: community, activities, amazing girls, and opportunities to disagree with someone and have to figure it out because you see them basically every day. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I encountered Jesus and wanted to live my life with Him at the center. When that did happen, I had this internal struggle. I wanted to be a part of my sorority, but I knew that Jesus was a huge part of my life. Through prayer and finding sorority sisters that were involved in their faith, I was able to live fully with both of the things that I love! If you are concerned about keeping your faith in college and also want to go through recruitment, please don’t fear.
There is no reason you can’t be fully integrated in your sorority and in your faith! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for recruitment:
1. Other women love Jesus, too
There are some seriously scandalous stereotypes about the Greek system floating around out there. The media has magnified those stereotypes to epic proportions. It seems like every few years there is a string of TV shows or movies that portray fraternity and sorority life as this huge wild party where the girls are catty, promiscuity is basically a badge of honor, and the alcohol consumption is out of this world. I’m here to tell you that those are the most extreme cases of this system. If you didn’t know, most Greek letter chapters are founded in Christian morals and virtues. That may have become a little fuzzy over the years, but trust me, they’re there! When I joined Gamma Phi Beta there were always women that were going to Mass on a regular basis and even attending a weekly bible study. I didn’t join in on those things until about halfway through my sophomore year, but they were always there and my sisters were so welcoming and excited that I was taking an interest in my faith. There are women in those chapters that love Jesus, too, and I’ll bet they aren’t as hard to find as you might think.
2. Be uncompromising
College life opens you up to new ideas. When we’re young and getting to know new environments and people, those things can expose you to new ideas or ways of living. The exposure that we can can lead us one direction or another. We can either turn away from what we know is good, or be “uncompromising”. Saint John Paul the Great once said, “Young people of every continent, do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium!” (Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves By Jason Evert) JPll has always been a big inspiration to me and when I was reminded that he said this, it lit a fire in my heart. It made me truly desire to be a saint, a great saint! I encourage you to sit with JPll’s words. Let them sink into your heart and ask the Lord what that means for you. When he tells you how he is inviting you to do that, know that you have the capacity to say yes to things that bring you closer to that goal and no to things that will lead you in the other direction.
3. Be in the world, not of it
We are not made for this world. We are made for Heaven. But right now we are here on Earth. A place that God created for us to live in paradise. But as many of us know, the Fall happened and sin entered the world. For then until now, we have been fighting for the good and falling and getting back up again. But sin doesn’t get tired. It tempts us with flashy pleasures that make promises of a life that is fulfilled and exciting. But it’s all smoke and mirrors. Trust me, I’ve been there. Pope Benedict XVl said, “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” But when we accept this truth, we are not called to shut the world out, but to be filled by Jesus in prayer and the sacraments and then go back out into the world to shine Jesus’ love and mercy. When we strive for a life that enters into the world in order to love others, people notice. The women in your sorority will notice something about you, something that is different. When they ask questions you can start to give them answers. Others will begin to trust you because of the love and mercy you show in your life. We have the responsibility to show our brothers and sisters where the true fulfillment is when they are lost.
So taking these things into consideration, I want to remind you that that you are made for greatness. There isn’t anything to be nervous about when you have rooted your life in Jesus Christ. The best news about going through recruitment is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. He wants you to be his light wherever you go. Being a member of a sorority can bring so much joy to your life and if you are on the fence I encourage you to give recruitment a chance.
-Nicole Galvan, FOCUS Missionary
A few words from members of the Greek life community at McNeese:
“I put off rushing for two years before I finally decided to see what it was all about. I never thought I would join a sorority, but looking back I can’t imagine not having this wonderful community of women. Going through rush I was so incredibly thankful to have fruitful and meaningful conversations about Jesus in every single house. That’s so important to have in a Greek community! I still remember seeing all the passion these girls had in their hearts for the Lord. That was truly inspiring and that’s how I knew I almost missed out. It means the world to have these women calling me to be a better version of myself through Christ’s love. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the house that is right for me. A house that supports me both emotionally and spiritually. Women I get to go on retreats with, travel the world God created with, serve the less fortunate with, and flourish with. My sisters are first and foremost my sisters in Christ and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”– Abigail, Sorority Woman at McNeese
“Going into recruitment, my biggest concern was how joining a sorority would affect my relationship with Jesus. Did sorority girls love God or were they just a big group of girls who get together to party every weekend? I found my home and soon learned the answer. I joined a sorority with beautiful values, in line with the values my Father made for me. I found a place to plug into to serve others, connect with sisters in Christ, and evangelize. I found sisters who keep me accountable and who love Jesus and want His glory above everything else. Greek life is meant to be used for good and can most definitely be used to glorify God. Greek life had changed my life for the better, and I have been able to pour Jesus’s love into my sisters. Jesus is present everywhere, even in greek life.”– Danielle, Sorority Woman at McNeese