What the hell is Srat? The cooler word referring to what is known as a sorority. A club-like-society, it’s full of girls that want to do good together, study, socialise and party together. I’m a member of one out here, and before I came out I knew what it was and I wasn’t going to leave without joining one. When I first moved in to my Dorm, my flatmate across the hall was in one – judging from my Facebook stalking and one look at the decorations in her room. She was my go-to for advice, let’s call her Ray, because she’s a little ray of sunshine.
Firstly I signed up for rushing online – after going to library walk almost everyday and being handed flyers, talking to the really ridiculously good looking girls, all with my dad in tow. When I met a fellow British girl the flat over; Rose, we decided to go to the information evening together. That’s also where I met one of my best friends that night – Lucy. A whole auditorium filled with beautiful girls and there I was, with Rose to my right and Lucy to my left. I introduced myself to Lucy and apparently I gave a good impression because later on she hugged me outside the dorms we apparently lived close to each other in, (which I still find really weird how comfortable they are getting into your personal space so quickly!).
The whole evening consisted of women saying what to wear, and how to act all week. Once you put in your application, you come in the next week and rush. It’s basically like rounds of interviews, you’re thrown into a room with hundreds of girls and you’re forced to small talk to an hour or so. They have a whole system that I know about now, but back then it just seemed all so overwhelming. They sing to you, hug you, tell you secrets and get to know you as best they can in their allowed five minute time slot. It’s a brutal week – you’re split into groups by surname and you’re given an itinerary. Miss one – they drop you. You also have the option to drop them – but it doesn’t always work out that way.
I got dropped from my top sorority first interview round – to this day I still don’t know why, but alas I ended up in a pretty neat one. I met a little group of friends that became my crew for the majority of the first quarter through rushing. I feel bad now, because we all thought we were going to drop the moment we got our bid, but something clicked in me and I wanted to stay. I thought I picked the wrong sorority, but in the end things happen for a reason and my Big, G-Big and best friends are now in it.
It’s round after round of interviews for a whole week, increasing in formality as the week goes on. Until Preference night – your top 2. It’s beautiful, it’s a ceremony unique to their chapter, and you never find our anyone’s that you didn’t pref for. Then Bid Day! You find out your Rho Gamma’s sorority, then you find out your own. You sit on your envelope, then you quite literally rush towards your sorority. Then the awkwardness starts – you take photos with hundreds of girls you don’t know, a lot of girls cry and another little ceremony happens.
Then it’s all new member tests and mumbo jumbo – you get your big – meet your best friends and get initiated into the chapter. Then you go wild. Sat life isn’t for everyone; the crafting, the sucking up, the pettiness and the cliques, but I’ve found a solid little group of friends that somehow we all ended up very wrongly in this sorority and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
For future reference – here’s a low down on all that jargon:
Big – The girl that is basically your mentor in the chapter and shows you how to be a frat girl, they also shower you with gifts first quarter. You do the same for them in winter quarter.
Bid Day – The day you find out which sorority you are in – after you ranked your top 2, it’s a day of pictures and awkwardness.
Chapter – your sorority, especially within the university – each university has the same sorority just a different chapter name.
Dropped – you can drop or get dropped. It’s basically saying no to a chapter that you don’t click with.
G-Big – My Big’s Big
Preference night – the night that you pick your top 2 and sit and talk with one girl you’ve bonded with in the process. At the end of the night you pick your top choice.
Rho Gamma – the girl that looks after you during rush week, you’re in a group sorted by surname and they disaffiliate from their chapter all summer so you are unbiased in picking which one you want.
Srat – girl version of Frat, duh.