Rushing and pledging season can make everything that doesn’t involve a club seem unimportant. Often during this time, schoolwork and other activities get put aside as life continues to get busier.
I’m involved in a lot on campus and I’ve seen a lot of my friends pledge. As someone who is rushing and plans on pledging, I know how crazy this season can be.
Rushing shouldn’t take over so much of a student’s life that they let their grades suffer. Classes are what students pay for, and social clubs are an added bonus of attending a university full of great people.
It quickly becomes very easy for rushing to define someone and their social standing among their peers as they search for the right club with the right people. This discourages some from pledging.
I think that pledging into a social club is a great way to get involved in more activities on campus and make some great new friends. However, membership in a social club shouldn’t be the thing on campus that defines a person’s identity.
Social clubs are designed to promote healthy brotherhood and sisterhood among their members. They should be a source of support, not stress.
Even though the pledging process is stressful, I’ve met several members of clubs who have told me that some of their best relationships have come out of their pledge class.
Overall, my experience so far has been very positive. I’ve felt like many of the members I’ve met from several different clubs have really wanted me to be at their rush. I want everyone else that pledges to have similar positive feelings.
Obviously, things are different for me as someone who is pledging a men’s club instead of a women’s club, but I think the premise should stay the same no matter which club someone looks at.
All this being said, social clubs are not for everyone. For those that have established a group of friends in another area, there is no problem with opting out of pledging. If pledging late or not pledging at all is the right decision for someone, then I will never discourage them from making it.
To those who are pledging, remember this: you are not defined by the clubs that you choose or don’t choose, and you are not defined by the clubs that choose or don’t choose you.