If I ever have a child, I will support them with whatever their passion is. I will be there cheering for them whether it be in the stands of a high school sporting event, or just cheering them on at home as they crush their mountain of homework.
Spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to rush. At the time, I had a small group of friends but wanted to expand my circle. I tried joining a few clubs my first semester, but I was really isolating myself in my dorm room to study and occasionally getting something to eat. I craved more, and going out for spring recruitment seemed like the perfect opportunity to force myself to make friends.
If you knew me back in high school, I was so against the concept of Greek life. My mother was in a sorority when she was in college, and it just never appealed to me. I never had the pressure to become a legacy, or that it was something every college girl had to do as a way to get boys. I didn't like the idea of conformity or paying for friends essentially. It just wasn't how I picked my college experience.
After receiving my bid though, I call what I entered the honeymoon phase. Everything seemed perfect. From the moment I walked into the bid day celebration, I felt like I made the right decision. I dreamed of maybe being on the executive board and making a huge difference for my campus's Greek community. All the girls I would call my "sisters" were just warm and welcoming, and I felt like I had found my place. I was just over the moon. I even was so "in love" that I ended up writing a handful of articles about the perks of Greek life.
And I am not here saying the whole experience was bad. Everyone has different experiences and every chapter is different. You really do get what you put into it. I ended up with an amazing big and little to match. Those two are actually like sisters to me, and I couldn't imagine my life without them. I also gained the most amazing friends who constantly support me despite being an alumna of my sorority now. There are benefits to Greek life, trust me.
However, there is a dark side to Greek life nobody mentions. You will fall out of that honeymoon phase, falling out of love with your sorority. You may even question why you joined in the first place. I know I do sometimes. At least for me, I was pressured into fitting into an image, one where I was meant to be happy all the time. I was even confronted by a few sisters who spread rumors about me because they mistook my anxiety and started to spread rumors I was gossiping even if I was just expressing my frustration with someone standing in front of me.
There was a period of my life where I just wasn't okay. A few people I let into that chaotic period of my life and some of them were my sisters and people I was told to "trust." Yet, some of these people didn't have my full trust. They told me I needed to learn to control my anxiety better without asking me what was bothering me. They didn't take the time to find out that I was struggling with a shooting back home that just rocked my world. I was anxious because I constantly worried about myself, my parents, and people back home. I lost motivation in school. I couldn't sleep. And somehow, I was still the bad guy because I wasn't happy all the time. Someone at my school's tech center saw me upset and believed I was spreading rumors, which is so far from the truth.
My experience with Greek life was far from picture perfect at the end of my journey in my sorority. There are times I still question why I convinced myself to sign up for recruitment, but there are days I am thankful for at least the experience because of the people it brought into my life.
If my future daughter does end up reading this, I hope you know I will always support you. However, it is important to realize that despite all the positives a situation may have, there can also be negatives. Not everything in life will end up being picture perfect. Whatever you choose to do, I will be your shoulder to cry on or your best friend to share the joy with you.