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What It’s Like To Join A Sorority Online

Here’s what it was like getting into a sorority through a fully online recruitment process.

When I first came to the University of Toronto in 2015, my only goal was to graduate with stellar grades. Five years and many lonely nights later, I'm beginning to realize how important it is to build a network of people who support you as you undergo your undergraduate journey.

As a result, this year, I've decided to not only join more clubs and participate more in my classes, but to have a more active presence on campus. But, how? Well, when my roommate mentioned her upcoming sorority meeting, I knew the answer to my question. I was going to join a sorority.

There's only one deterrent, however: COVID-19.

When the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11, things changed drastically at the University of Toronto. More specifically, classes, clubs and student events adjusted to an online format. This shift also created a long, drawn-out online process of joining a sorority or "rushing".

A year ago, rushing could be completed in one intense weekend. Now, however, it takes weeks to complete the mandatory online visits to all houses and get a sense of each house's atmosphere.

Each sorority house has a different personality and the requirement before you can bid for a house is to visit all seven houses either once or twice.

For the last three weeks, I've been attending endless virtual coffee dates with house members and joining long zoom sessions with important information about the sororities. Honestly, doing everything online has greatly stifled the process of getting to know the general vibe and attitude of a sorority along with its values. That said, it's given potential sorority members new opportunities to get to know sorority members on a more one-on-one basis.

Prior to my first sorority coffee date, I was extremely nervous about the process of recruitment. I worried that my personality wouldn't shine brightly enough during the interview, for me to receive a bid. Interestingly, joining a sorority confronted me with some of my underlying insecurities that I hadn't previously given attention to.

As time flew by, I realized that the sorority members who were interviewing me were just as nervous as I was. Online recruitment left them feeling vulnerable and a little lost, as well.

If there's one thing I've learned throughout the whole process of online recruitment, it's that one -- getting interviewed is not that scary. The goal of an interview is to build a connection with the interviewer, so being personable, friendly and kind always helps. Hopefully that lesson will follow me in future job interviews.

Now, as I wait to receive news on which sorority house I'll be joining, I've developed a new-found sense of confidence. I've realized that I'll be fine if I don't get into a house -- I showed up and tried my best and that's all that matters.

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