I Did Not Pledge And That Is Ok
By Isabella Bejarano, Guest Writer
November 20, 2022
As people start preparing to rush in the spring, it is easy to feel uncertain or experience a fear of missing out if you choose not to rush or pledge. Clubs are often highly visible on campus because they wear their letters on Wednesdays, have weekly meetings, and plan or attend popular events together. One of the biggest appeals of becoming a part of a club is to have a place to find community and a shared identity. However, even though it may seem like a crucial decision to rush or pledge, not being in a club is also a wonderful college experience.
When deciding not to rush or pledge, you may fear that you won’t find friends, or that you will no longer be friends with your friends who join different clubs. The truth is, you can find friends in so many different places, and you can have friends from a variety of clubs! There are many other clubs and organizations on campus that can provide students with a special community. There are LifeGroups and other Bible Study groups, intramurals and athletics, RecLife trips, and many more activities where you can meet wonderful people and make unforgettable memories. Club life is not for everyone, but there is a place for everyone at Ouachita, and if you haven’t found your place already, a club won’t necessarily change that. I encourage you to keep on getting involved and meeting new people, because you may find friends anywhere!
Another fear you may have when deciding not to rush or pledge is that you will somehow have a different self-worth. However, being in a club does not mean you should or will find identity in it! Ultimately, your identity resides in being a child of God, not in what letters you wear on Wednesdays. Belonging in a group may feel special, but you have already been chosen and accepted by the One who loves you the most, and that will not change the first week of the spring semester, regardless of what decision you make.
When deciding to rush or pledge, you must also realize that there are responsibilities and expectations you have to meet. Being in a club is time-consuming, especially if you become an officer! Your college years are an important time to prepare for the future, and it is important to choose wisely how you spend your time. Being a club also costs money, not just in dues, but also in activities, outings, and more. If you are not completely sure that you want to spend your time or money on being in a club, don’t feel pressured to!
If you don’t rush or pledge, you may feel like you’re not included in secrets or like you made the wrong choice, but you can always rush again and pledge the next year, so make sure you are confident in your decision. Rushing is a big conversation around these times and during the first weeks of the semester, but it’s not like that all year. You are not missing out if you don’t rush or pledge. Everyone will have a different college experience than yours, and it is no worse or better if you are in a club.