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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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs/Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out http://www.redbubble.com for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.


Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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