Not the Traditional PNM – A Transfer Student Perspective

My story of joining Sigma Kappa is a little bit different than many sisters–but it’s also probably similar for many as well! How, you may be wondering? I did not choose to go the traditional route of spending four years at one institution, instead choosing to begin college at a local community college before finishing up at a university.

What does it mean to be a transfer student going through recruitment? How does that impact their experience? Let me tell you!

Initially, I was afraid of the definition that pop culture had created of what a ‘sorority girl’ was. This is mostly because the books and movies only show women who are going through recruitment as freshmen. They talk about the ‘next four years’ of their lives, only focusing on the women who will actually be at the university for four years. While I watched these movies and read those books, I thought about the sophomore who, in her freshman year, wasn’t sure about going through recruitment but was now willing to give it a shot. I thought about the junior transfer who wanted to make the most of her time at the institution by taking advantage of every opportunity available. The latter was something I thought about a lot, considering I would be going through recruitment at a large university as a junior transfer.

I knew by my junior year of high school that I would be attending community college after graduating. I was okay with it; I knew I (and my parents) would save money and I wasn’t sure what major I wanted to pursue. Going to community college gave me the time to figure out what my passions were and what I would want to be when I “grew up”. Looking back on it now, going to community college was the best decision to start my collegiate journey. I received good grades, worked multiple jobs, and discovered my passion for learning about the complexities and uniqueness of people. This discovery led to my decision to major in anthropology. So, all in all, I was happy to go to community college and even happier to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley.

While at community college, I decided I would go through recruitment no matter where I transferred. I wanted to meet as many people as possible, form lifelong friendships, and become involved with the campus; all of which could be accomplished by joining a sorority. After telling multiple people how excited I was to go through recruitment at Cal, I was warned by the majority of them that I shouldn’t get my hopes up. They stressed that priority was given to freshmen and I would be looked down upon because I wasn’t one. “Junior transfers never go through recruitment,” they said. “Why should they?” I was confused and angry for a little bit, and even considered not doing it at all. But after my five minutes of being angry, I thought to myself, “Why am I letting a possibility of something happening stop me from doing something I’ve been excited about for more than a year now? Why should I not go through recruitment because someone who is unassociated with Greek life told me something that may or may not be true?” After having this mental discussion with myself, I realized that I wasn’t going to let a fear someone else raised prevent me from joining a sorority.

Just like going to community college was a great decision, so was following my intuition and joining Sigma Kappa. Despite the warnings I received prior to recruitment, I did not let those negative thoughts bother me while I went through recruitment. It’s crazy to think that had I listened to the people who discouraged me from going through recruitment as a junior transfer, I wouldn’t have met the amazing women I now call my sisters, held a position on junior council, lived in a beautiful sorority house, nor became a leadership consultant. Thank goodness I was determined and brave enough to listen to my gut and follow through on something I wanted to pursue, otherwise, I wouldn’t be here today sharing my story!

As transfer students, we do have less time at four-year year institution than other students. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to us! There are numerous reasons why recruitment presents an amazing opportunity for transfers. Going Greek allowed me to meet, interact, and even live with amazing women who were all unique in their individual way. I’m able to expand my professional network with alumnae not only in my own field of study but other careers as well. And as a leadership consultant, I get to travel all over the country and meet and aid collegiate women who love their experiences in Sigma Kappa as much as I do. To all the transfers thinking of going through recruitment, I highly recommend it! It’s an experience that will be a memorable part of your time as a collegian, just as it was for me.

Graduated from UC Berkeley with ΣK displayed proudly on my stole!

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