I Was Ostracized From A Toxic Greek Life System

I Was Ostracized From A Toxic Greek Life System

How I was personally kicked out of Greek life.
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My sophomore year I decided to transfer schools. I liked my old school but felt this new school would better serve the student life environment I was seeking. Freshman year at my previous school, I decided to pledge and eventually initiate into XYZ sorority, (I feel it's best not to use names). Knowing the environment was a bit different from the old school I reached out to the current president months before transferring hoping it would help make the affiliation more flawless on her and the chapter itself.

After a couple weeks of emails, I was invited to come meet the girls but since I was participating in a Disney College Program at the time in California, I had to make the arrangements to come to Indiana on an exact day. Eventually, I found a date that I could fly in, visit friends, and meet the girls. The president canceled on me the night before I was supposed to go meet the girls. I then explained to her that I was only in Indiana for that short time period, and she reconsidered, so I finally went and met some of the girls who were leaders of the chapter. From the start, I was not treated like a sister but instead was treated like a new potential new member, and was asked numerous questions.

The summer flew by and I was eventually a new student on the Indiana University campus. I was super excited once again to try to affiliate with the chapter, once again I reached out to the current president. I was invited to spend a Sunday afternoon at the house. I was given a tour, met some more girls, and then had some free time to chat with whoever while the girls had various meetings. Later that night I gave a speech in front of the girls about my previous chapter experiences and the type of things that I was passionate about. I honestly felt really proud of the speech that I gave.

Two weeks went by and one of the girls I knew told me they were all voting on my affiliation. After another two weeks, I received a text that asked me to meet the president at Starbucks. I met the president at Starbucks who was to my surprise accompanied by a vice president. The president explained that unfortunately, I would not be affiliating with the chapter. She simply asked if I had any questions and then left.

I was honestly shocked by the news because I knew of 10 other girls that had seamlessly joined new chapters when transferring, not to mention I did not have any real reasons for my chapter to say no. I met the national standard of having at least a 2.8 GPA. I paid my dues in full each semester, even when I worked at Disney. I was as nice as I could possibly imagine, which is actually a natural character trait of mine. When I asked the president if there was any reason she said that there was simply "a lot of girls."

If I am being completely honest it broke my heart a bit, I was only in my sophomore year and could not believe the idea of going through the rest of college without the organization I grew to love so much. Instead of seeing it as a character flaw on their part, I began to search myself for all the reasons, my "sisters" would reject me like that. I could not come up with any valid ones. Maybe it would have been easier if some of the girls would have taken the chance to get to know me but not one girl went out of her way to make me feel welcome as a sister or just as a friend.

A year later, after trying to get involved in other groups such as Christian ministry and even independent counsel, I still had that longing for greek life. I went through a process called informal recruitment and was eventually invited to join a different XYZ chapter.

The first couple weeks were so much fun and I was incredibly happy to finally have sisters on campus again... until I got in trouble that is... word must have got around to my original XYZ sorority because I received a phone call and a text message about how a leader from the chapter that rejected me, had reported me as an initiated member.

I did not think I was breaking the rules because my old sisters had refused to accept me. I truly believed the bonds to that "sisterhood" were broken. I also could not believe that any of those girls would take the time to pay attention to me. They chose not to take me so It did not make any sense of them, to go out of their way of ruining my chances of being in greek life.

That was it for me, I no longer would be allowed to join the new chapter I had grown to love. To my surprise, however, the sisters of my new chapter were so kind to me even upon receiving the news of my previous involvement and it really helped me to cope with the situation.

Overall from all of this, I have grown to view Greek life as a bit toxic. I know I am a good person and I believe I have been victimized by the system without any good merit. While I wish there was a happy ending to all of this, there really is no other than learning that people will always be judging and it's up to you to change or be true to who you are as a person.

Cover Image Credit: Miranda McGovern

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

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And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Growing Up In America

The struggles of learning English in a first generation household.

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I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and moved to Virginia when I was almost 2 years old. I had lived in a predominantly Hispanic/Latino area in Alexandria before my family and I moved again to Prince William County. We moved because my parents wanted my siblings and I lived in a safe place where we could attend a good school to get our education.

My parents always focused on our education, especially since they didn't have the opportunity to get theirs. So, as you can image, my parents were very tough on us when it came time to work on homework, projects, and whatever else what assigned to us. I was 6 years old when I started school, and although I was very young, I still remember all the obstacles we went through.

The summer before my first-grade year, my dad had gotten my sister and me a new (to us) desk that we would use to do our homework on. I was so excited, it was this large pink desk with two little drawers where we stored my pencils and crayons. Just the idea of doing American homework made me so excited, but when school came around, my excitement quickly vanished.

I caught onto the English language fairly quickly but reading and writing was a whole other story. My parents and I spent many nights sitting at that pink desk, struggling trying to figure out my homework assignment, but I couldn't understand it as I still didn't really know how to read or write. What made it even more difficult was that my parents were also limited in reading and writing of English. We struggled a lot, but we were able to come up with a system;

1. Break out the English/Spanish dictionary

2. Word for word, break down that homework assignment

3. Come up with an answer to the homework

4. Write the answer down, then translate it to English

5. Go back, reread (to the best of my ability) to make sure it sounded okay (this was my time to practice sounding out the words, my least favorite part)

6. Next day, ask a friend to look over homework to make sure I did okay

This was my homework routine for first and second grade. It was tough at first but luckily with time, it became easier. Made it even better was that my parents started attending English classes. They would practice what they had learned in class with my siblings and me. My parents were not going to let a language barrier get in the way of our education, so they worked just as hard as we were to learn all that we could. We grew and learned as a family.

I think back to these moments a lot because although we had many long nights trying to decipher my homework, my parents never gave up and kept pushing us to get our education. It's because of their tough love, their high expectations and their focus on our education, that I will be graduating this May.

Gracias Mami y Papi, esto es para ustedes. Los quiero mucho.

(Thank you, Mom and Dad, this one is for you. I love you so much)

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