People tend to experience heightened levels of anxiety when they hear the word “initiation”, and rightfully so. The goal of fraternity and sorority initiation processes is to conjure up your innermost anxieties, fears, skepticism, excitement, thrills, pretty much every emotion that causes the sensation of a hundred butterflies flapping around your stomach. With that in mind, don’t be nervous! This is one of the most exciting and memorable times you’ll experience in college, so take it all in!
What Should I Expect?
There are a few things that you should expect when it comes to a fraternity initiation or a sorority initiation. Before we get into these five key expectations, remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Be sure to cherish it! The fact of the matter is, you’ve been chosen to be a part of Greek life and will be making lifelong friendships while making a difference in the community!
So, take a deep breath in, and breathe out before getting all anxious that something terrible is going to happen. Initiations are an exciting time for all, and are meant to make you feel welcomed into a culture that has epitomized the meaning of community for decades. So, here are the five things you should expect during initiation:
1. Expect Nothing
That’s right. You’ll know absolutely nothing of the events that will occur during the time of your initiation. Your brothers, or sisters, will want to keep you in the dark so that you can experience each event with fresh eyes, and no expectations regarding what is about to happen. So, buckle up!
2. You’ll Be Keeping a Secret
Every single event that occurs during your initiation should be a secret between you, pledges, and the current members of the sorority or fraternity. Don’t go back to your dorm room and spill the beans. Be sure to keep these events between you and your sorority members. National fraternity and sorority policies often stress the importance of keeping initiation rituals a secret from others.
3. You May Be Put to the Test
Depending on the fraternity or sorority you’re joining, you may undergo some formal testing during initiation. Have you been paying attention at all events leading up to initiation? If you want to make it into a Greek house, recruiters may ask you to recite a certain saying, demonstrate an official handshake, name the founder of the Greek organization, or even sing their official song. Study up before initiation so you don’t have another reason to be nervous.
4. Friendships Will Be Made
This week serves as the most memorable and intimate time for you and your brothers or sisters. Initiation acts as the cornerstone of the lifelong membership you will have to your Greek house as well as with your brothers/sisters. Be sure to value your brothers/sisters more so than usual during these events.
5. There Will Be Some Creepy Rituals
Just kidding. Sorority initiation and fraternity initiation are both typically series of harmless rituals that may seem cult-like at first, but ultimately have been a part of Greek houses everywhere for decades. Many movies and television shows depict these rites of passage as ominous, scary, and creepy. While there may be some truth to this depending on the sorority or fraternity that you choose, the experience will ultimately be tons of fun and memorable for the rest of your life!
Are You Ready?
It should be noted that dangerous initiations, often depicted in film and television, are not commonplace when it comes to real-life sorority or fraternity initiations. Such initiations have been banned by colleges in order to ensure the safety of students. Don’t worry about getting hurt or being shamed. Initiations are incredibly safe, fun, and welcoming processes carried out by responsible and esteemed members of the community. So have some fun!
All of that being said, there’s no real way to ensure that you’ll be 100% ready for the events that are about to take place during your initiation week. Just remember to cherish the moment! This is a special time for you and your brothers/sisters, so make the most of it!
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