Sorority Rush, First Burritos and SoCal

    Meet Mia and Lara. We live in London, study at the University of Edinburgh (in Scotland) and have now ventured to California for a year. On arriving, we did not know each other very well, but we have grown a lot closer since landing on the Golden Coast. Now living on campus, we are eager to share with you what America and UCSD have to offer two British girls. Since living in International House, we have been introduced to delicious burritos, sweated profusely at I-House parties and, most significantly, have been introduced to the Panhellenic system. Like Thanksgiving, sororities simply do not exist at home.

    We will always remember fondly our first night we “chilled” at the Ocean Beach International Hostel, where we met 6’6” Michael, an American surfer and basketball player who encouraged us to go to strip clubs and was convinced that girls get ‘wild’ when drunk because their testosterone levels increase. Ocean Beach offered late night bonfires, a tramp with a guitar named Travis and screaming med students from Vegas turning 28.

    Both committed to having the full ‘American experience,’ we signed up to rush once we settled into UCSD. ‘Going Greek’ this week has involved a lot of girls flirting, chanting and competing. We now know just how the stereotype of the typical ‘so-rawr-ity’ girl has arisen. But please do not think we are judgemental, or judge us, for despite our cynicism we have become just as excited and involved as our potential ‘sisters.’ Lara has dreamt about sororities on two consecutive nights. We can’t help it; we are just as caught up in this hilarious and undeniably ridiculous social scene.

    For those males who haven’t experienced rush and want to pick up girls, take note. On the opening night of rush, there is a mile long queue of girls outside Price Centre, all dressed to impress, eagerly awaiting orientation. Once inside, we were all privileged enough to witness a fashion catwalk, illuminating the subtle, yet crucial differences between ‘casual,’ ‘dressy casual’ and ‘formal’. For those in doubt, remember: a blazer can redeem an outfit.

    Saturday and Sunday, we met the chapters for the first time. It was an overwhelming rush of singing, snapping and smiling. Despite the forced setting, being herded like cattle and repetitive questions, we begrudgingly admit we started to get a real sense of ‘sisterhood’ and exactly why these girls queue outside PC on a Friday night. We learnt about each chapter’s impressive philanthropic efforts — even if to the background music of ‘Call on Me.’ Not only do these girls paint the nails of the elderly, but they also raise an immense amount of money each year for great and moving causes.

    On Monday Mia was a little upset to find she wasn’t ‘dirty’ enough for Delta Gamma, and we both consoled ourselves with the fact that Pi Beta Phi didn’t seem to want any international students. Some girls were genuinely hysterical on realising they had been dropped from their favourite chapters. We now hope that they have realised that each sorority is diverse and all have something genuine and positive to offer.

    Tonight, we are putting on our best blazers and eagerly await our fate. Will we have been dropped or not? You may well think us hysterical too if we receive a tank top with the wrong letters on Bid Day. For this process has given us the chance to meet a lot of girls who do just want to have fun and, like us, desire a voice on campus.

    If only we could have witnessed our male counterparts experience with the frats! Hopefully we will be seeing them in togas soon.

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