I always thought “Greek life isn’t a big deal at Wake Forest” was the biggest lie I was ever told on a tour.
Particularly as a female freshman, it can feel hard to fit in when it seems like everyone around you is joining a sorority. A goddamn independent, also acronymized as GDI and shortened to geed, is a student at Wake Forest who chooses not to rush a fraternity or a sorority.
Personally, I decided not to rush a sorority; however, after the initial shock of second semester freshman year when most of my friends were rushing a sorority, I have found that being a geed, while a definite part of my identity here, has not defined my time at Wake Forest.
I was pretty adamant about not wanting to join Greek life. To me, the recruitment process seemed like it could be unfair and exhausting. Recruitment, informally known as rush, is a process during which potential new members go around to each of the sororities and interact with that organization’s members to try to get a feel for them. At the end of each day, you have to “drop” a certain number of sororities that you do not want to continue seeing, and the sororities do the same to you.
This is supposed to whittle it down so that you can eventually find the right fit. As someone who tries not to judge others based on limited knowledge and interactions, I did not want to do that nor have others do that to me.
Thinking ahead, I did not want to want to pigeonhole myself into the stereotyped personalities of whichever Greek organization I may have joined. I’ve seen for myself many of these stereotypes to be untrue, but it’s difficult to escape them overall. I think one of the biggest stereotypes about Greek life is that it completely isolates an entire group of students from others. Independents and Greek lifers do live in harmony and, in numerous cases, are the best of friends. Yet, I would not want anyone to stereotype my personality and interests without knowing me personally based on an organization of which I was a part.
Lastly, I felt that being in an organization that I had to pay hundreds of dollars a semester to be in was not worth it. That would be an added expense for college, one I couldn’t have afforded.
I won’t deny the benefits of Greek life. It’s a great way to meet new people and have a steady network. Joining a fraternity and sorority can enrich a student’s college experience. However, a geed can enjoy a life on campus that is every bit as rich as that of a Greek lifer.
Ultimately, one of the most important factors in defining your college experience is the people you choose to surround yourself with, and you will find people who make you feel whole and inspire you to be a better person in and out of Greek organizations.
Greek life isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.