I Fell Out of Love With My Sorority, Then Found My Way Back
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
When I first stepped onto my college campus, I had absolutely no intention of joining a sorority. I’d seen the movies and had seen enough to know that a bunch of girls yelling at me while I ran through the night with a bag over my head, wasn’t for me. It just wasn’t going to be my scene.
Eventually, I settled into my school environment and once I actually saw a bit of what Greek life was about, my mind quickly changed. At the end of every night of recruitment, high off of the engaging conversation and dazzling personalities, I thought "Perhaps I will run through the night for these girls". I joined my organization after only one full semester (thankfully no night running involved), meaning I was in it for the long haul. I had three years of rituals, formals, and sisterhood ahead and newly initiated me couldn’t be more excited.
Fast forward to junior year and all of that enthusiasm was nowhere to be found. What the movies conveniently forget to tell you is that like any relationship, Greek life won't stay shiny and new forever. The chants begin to lose their edge and Bid Days become just another Friday. You no longer find it impressive to be constantly running from events to meetings to chapters, just to turn around and do it all over again the next week. The decision to run for leadership positions doesn't bring you any closer to your sisters, but instead makes you annoyed with them every time they won't let you do your job, or criticize the work you've spent hours putting together. You begin to grow tired of the traditions that you once held so close to your heart, and bored with seeing the same faces day in, day out. And we can’t forget that after all of that, you still get to go back to your room to face the impending load of schoolwork that is always waiting for you. I didn’t have the capacity to do the grunt work and love it at the same time.
And so, I cracked. After one night too many of feeling overworked and under appreciated, I finally had had enough. The overwhelming stress I’d allowed to pool up inside me for two years turned into anger and bitterness at everyone around me. All of the good, no, great things about being Greek life became tainted with the bad, and I could no longer stand the idea of being around the girls I had once been so in love with.
I felt I had no other choice but to distance myself. So for my entire senior year, I spoke to no one unless absolutely necessary. I didn’t go to events, and if I did, I was probably late and definitely in a bad mood. I criticized everyone that was doing anything to make progress for our chapter. I was snippy and rude and (I can admit it now) quite a bitch. I couldn't handle being a space that felt like it was restricting me instead of helping me grow. But it all came from the disappointment of being promised sisterhood, and instead feeling like I had been given an extra chore.
And my sisters (God bless them) responded like most people would. They were slightly afraid and avoided me at every cost, which only made me angrier. I couldn't believe that after all the time I had put in, I had somehow turned into a local pariah.
I went through the motions for my final year. I showed up when asked, wrote my sister letters, and went to my community service. I put on a dress and went to my last formal. I did all the things I was supposed to do, feeling slightly empty inside. Little freshman me could have never predicted that I would spend my final months with my sisters feeling more alone than ever.
After somehow managing to make it to graduation in good standings, I question if joining was worth it. If spending my time in such an angry rut for so long paid off in the end. But despite that rough patch, I’d be lying if I said my college experience would have been better without them. Too many of my best memories during college are with people I get to call my sisters. Too much of my life was caught up in it for me to pretend there weren’t so many aspects that I actually did enjoy.
With time and 75 miles of distance between us, I’m starting to finding my way back to loving my sorority. With nothing forcing me to be a part of it, it's a lot easier to appreciate the time I had with my sisters. All of the fondness that I once had as a little freshman wasn't imaginary, and laid beneath all the anger, that love lays dormant somewhere deep deep deep down.
Any time I find myself on the verge of trashing the time I spent in Greek life, I look at all of the love and support I've received from them since I ran into their open arms in February of 2015. Even in the midst of my miserable years, I was kept afloat by all of late night car conversations after socials and evenings spent at our local diner. And now, even though I rarely see most of them, there is always a chorus of congratulations every time I get a new job. There are messages of encouragement whenever they see me struggling. They send random "I miss you" texts that always seem to come at the right time. And they even read and write comments on this here blog (shoutouts to y'all). All of those moments, the ones of genuine friendship and sisterhood that have outlasted the tears, and stress and bad attitudes, are the ones that I realize matter most to me. And like family, we may fight, but I know I'll always be able to come back home and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
I may not be fully in love, but I'm definitely on my way back.
P.S See you next formal (maybe).