by Megan Scheels
College is a huge transition, full of new people and new experiences. It’s one of the most important chapters in a young adult’s life. Since I was about twelve years old, I imagined college as the time when my independence would bloom and my personality would shape itself into the young woman I aspired to be. My mother always told me about her years at Rider University; from her first year in Poyda, to her time in Alpha Xi Delta. If I heard the word college, I would simply associate it with Rider University.
When junior year of high school rolled around and I began my search for schools, I overlooked Rider and began my search for the perfect school. As I was looking for colleges, I had specific criteria. I wanted a small, well-manicured campus that was somewhere close to home and, most of all, I wanted the school to have a good a communications program. I’m from south Jersey, so I spent hours online reading about different schools in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Ironically enough, Rider was the school that fit my needs the most.
Here comes the kicker. I love my mother dearly and our birthdays are two days apart. I look like her clone and I share a turbulent but truly special bond with her. Our personalities are drastically similar and you can only imagine the comments I got from my family. They liked to pick on my mother about how nostalgic she is about her college years. My family thought that after I made my decision to attend Rider, that now I really was becoming my mother. But I’ll tell you the best part. Here at Rider University, I am thinking about pledging a sorority, something my mother holds deep in her heart. To this day, if I even mention going Greek my mother lights up like a Christmas tree.
Going Greek was something I definitely thought about before school. When I was little, I watched silly movies and TV shows that made joining a sorority seem like the hardest process in the world. When I asked my mom what Greek life was like at Rider, she would only tell me the good things and that she loved her sisters dearly.
When I first got to Rider, I was hesitant and curious. I asked myself, was there a reason for her not telling me about it?
So I did what any curious freshman would do. I began putting myself out there, looking at sororities and trying to figure out the ways of the Greeks. Unfortunately, between schoolwork and adjusting to my crazy schedule, I really wasn’t able to get around to every sorority and all of their mixers. I made sure to stay involved and maintain the relationships I built with the girls I did meet. I may not have gone to every event or mixer, but I’ll tell you what; I know that when I look at Greek life here at Rider, I see large, loving families with open minds and open arms. The girls I have met so far have listened to my problems, offered me open ears and most importantly, their friendship. Things finally hit me a few weeks ago when I was at an event for a sorority. As I looked around at all of the smiling, happy faces of the sisters, I realized something. I realized the bonds that these girls have with each other, the lasting friendships they spoke of and the cherished memories that made their eyes light up when they mentioned them. Just the way my mother’s did and still do.
Now I know why my mother never told me what Greek life was like. She simply wanted me to make the choice for myself. Although I will be the butt of all of the jokes at holidays for following in my mother’s footsteps, I’ve made up my mind that I want to go Greek. I’m not sure who is going to take a look at my thoughts here (Hi Mom!), but I will say one thing; If you are looking for your place here at Rider, or if you feel like you don’t belong here, you might want to think about going Greek. You never know until you try, but there might be spot hiding for you; a place that feels like home.