by Hannah S.
Legacy. What exactly is it? When I first heard the term, I thought it was referring to a legacy I was going to leave somewhere. Legacy, in Greek Life, refers to having any of your direct relatives involved in Greek Life. For example, you can be a legacy to a chapter if your grandma, mom or sister is an alumna of said chapter. Going through recruitment as a legacy is a little different than if you were going through recruitment having no relatives involved in Greek Life. In a way, you have a bit of an advantage being a legacy since you have your family member to inform you on what is going to happen during recruitment and what it was like to be in a sorority.
I am a legacy to three different sororities; my maternal grandma is an alumna for chapter A, my paternal grandma is an alumna for chapter B, and my mom is an alumna for chapter C. I felt as though I was completely prepared, that I had this recruitment thing in the bag, but as soon as recruitment actually started I was just as stressed, lost, and confused as every other PNM going through recruitment. In a way, I felt like I had more pressure than my non-legacy PNM friends. I would always hear things like:
“Wow, you’re so lucky! You are definitely getting into a sorority!”
“How are you going to choose between those three?”
“You don’t fit in chapter A, how are you even a legacy for it?”
I’ll admit, the last comment really stung. Each time I got that chapter back, I was confused. Did they like me for me, or because I’m a legacy? Am I really not that pretty? Are they too weird for me? Am I too weird for them? Why, why, why? What makes me so different than everyone else? My question was quickly answered when I was released from that chapter. In a way, I felt relieved, but I was also very nervous about telling my grandma that I was released from her chapter. What was I supposed to tell her? Would she be upset? I eventually told her and she gave me the best advice I could have received during recruitment week:
“It doesn’t matter what I think, what your mother thinks, or what Grandma B thinks. You need to find the right chapter for YOU. Don’t worry about us, we’re going to be okay if you don’t get our chapters, but you need to find YOUR forever home, not our forever home.”
As soon as she told me that, I went through the rest of recruitment with a different attitude. I had been keeping chapter B as an option only because my other grandma was an alumna and I didn’t want to make her upset. That night, I released myself from that chapter and kept a chapter I was planning on releasing instead because I actually loved that chapter. I ignored all the comments from everyone else and I just did me. I kept the chapters I loved and released myself from the chapters that I knew were not my forever home.
The next day, preference day, was one of the hardest days for me. I had three chapters remaining that I absolutely loved, one of them being my mom’s chapter. I went through pref and I was confused the entire day because I just loved them all so much. I couldn’t decide which chapter was going to be my forever home. I spent hours upon hours talking with my Recruitment Counselor trying to decide what order I was going to place the chapters and which one I wanted a bid from the most. I was torn. I had my mom’s chapter that I fell in love with, but was still unsure of whether they actually wanted me for me. I had another chapter whose philanthropy really hit home for me. And the last chapter had amazing women that I could see myself being best friends with. My Recruitment Counselor gave me another piece of advice that I still stand by today. She told me “Which one is the one you will always walk by and wonder what’s going on in there?” I immediately had my answer. I made my decision, entered it in the computer system, and waited anxiously to see what the day would bring me tomorrow.
I ended up placing my mom’s chapter first and I was extended a bid from them. In a way, I always knew that I was going to end up there. It was the chapter I was always looking for throughout the week. It was the one that I was most excited about visiting all week. I knew all along that they really liked me for me because they remembered me. They wanted to get to know me and not once did they bring up the fact that I was a legacy.
Being a legacy is great; it can be stressful and challenging at some points during recruitment week, but finding your true home in the end is always worth it. You may not end up in the chapter you’re a legacy for and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. Find the chapter that you love, where you feel like you fit in most, where you feel comfortable going to with no make-up on, hair in a messy bun and in the same clothes you’ve been wearing for a solid week. Your true home will accept you and love you for who you are. Whether that’s the chapter you’re a legacy for or not is all up to you and how you feel.
So, go through recruitment with an open mind and open heart because you will find your home in the end no matter which path you take.