My “legacy goggles” sorority story:
My mother and I were never close. We are very similar, and because of this we spent most of my life butting heads. I never thought I needed her. I wanted to be nothing like her. I had ideas in my head about who I was, and she was nothing like me. The joke was on me when I ended up at the same small university where she had begun her college career! I did an overnight visit, and the next day, a family friend picked me up and gave me a Greek row tour. She and my mother were sorority sisters, but my mother had not seen her sorority house since the 80’s. Listening to my mother and this young girl talk about their common experience, even with thirty years apart, made me interested in Greek life, especially my mother’s chapter.
My school does not have formal recruitment until spring semester, so fall semester I tried very hard to keep my nose clean and do well in my classes. I went to informal events at my mother’s chapter, not because it was possible to get a bid, but because the sisters knew I was an out of state legacy and would invite me. After months of waiting and watching my high school friends join chapters at their schools, it was finally my turn. My school has only five NPC chapters and one non-NPC chapter which recruits differently and isn’t a part of the recruitment process. My Rho Gams told my rush group to go in with an open mind, and I pretended to do just that, but my mind was made up. I wanted to be my mother’s sister, and that was the only chapter I would accept a bid from. A PNM visits all 5 chapters on Day 1, and on Day 2 I went back to 3 houses. My third and fourth had cut me, but I honestly did not care - I was going to my mother’s house and I was ecstatic. I preffed them number 1 at the end of the day and went to sleep that night planning the way that I would tell my mother that we were sisters.
The next morning, however, I received a phone call five minutes past the “you didn’t get asked back anywhere, sorry,” call. It was not from the Greek director, however, but from my mother, who told me that she was so so sorry, but I would not be returning to her chapter for the final round. I was devastated! I dropped out of recruitment after only receiving an invite to my absolute last choice and watched my three close friends join my third choice house. I sat there as they attended mixers, experienced little week, Greek week, philanthropy events, crush parties. I sat behind my undecorated door and hated feeling excluded from such a great community. But mostly, I sat and glared enviously at the girls sporting my mother’s letters and colors with my dreams of wearing her pin crushed to pieces.
That fall, when I returned to school, I no longer wanted a part in my mother’s chapter. I realized that I had been sporting what I now refer to as “legacy goggles.” I thought my mother’s chapter was my perfect fit because it was hers, but when I stepped back, I realized that that wasn’t where my friends were and where my friends had gone. The words that the recruitment chair said to my mother rang true: “she’s a really sweet girl, but she’s just not the right fit.”
I ended up receiving a bid that fall to what had once been my third choice but upon looking at it beyond the “legacy goggles” it really was my home. My three close friends were actives now. One of them became my big. I used to say that if I had joined my second choice house, I would always stare across the street and picture myself in my mother’s letters. I can’t see myself wearing any letters but my own. Everything happens for a reason. The recruitment process has a way of working itself out for the best. I have what’s best for me. I am surrounded by girls who I can’t imagine my life without. I have the best big, two amazing littles, two beautiful grandlittles, and one absolutely flawless great-grandlittle who I wouldn’t have had if I had joined my mother’s chapter.
I don’t wear my mother’s pin. She wasn’t at my initiation. We don’t know the same secret handshake, or ritual, or wear the same colors. But she is just as happy for me as if we did. We still share a common experience - we surrounded ourselves with great women who love us for who we are, and whose values we are both proud to represent. On Day 2 of formal recruitment, when I wasn’t asked back to my current chapter, my mother said “I suppose neither of us were meant to represent them.” I was. I just didn’t see it. And I couldn’t be happier to be where I am today.
submitted by Greek Girl Guest Blogger: Anon