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.

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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I wish it was that easy for me.

Since graduating high school, I find myself constantly overwhelmed with the little challenges and annoyances that pop up, and then pile up. Sometimes it feels like it's one major problem after another, and that it's never going to stop. After many sob-filled phone calls with my mom, it's becoming clearer to me that the challenges and annoyances are never going to stop coming. Life is never going to get easier than it is. Be the kind of person who doesn't fear all that's coming, but sees the changes as an opportunity to grow as a person.

I'm beginning to realize that, essentially, everything is temporary. Our jobs, relationships, homes, and feelings are not going to be the same for the entire duration of our lives. So why spend so much time worrying about the inevitability of change? It's imperative to learn to embrace the constant flow of life and use it to your advantage. All of these experiences are molding you into the person you're supposed to be. It's so easy to hold onto things you've been close to for a long time, and it's extremely hard to say goodbye to them. Especially if you're someone who values routine and structure.

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Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What I Wouldn't Wish On My Worst Enemy

Karma is a fundamental concept of Buddhism, but compassion and understanding are the fundamental concepts for a long and happy life.

I am a practicing Buddhist. Yes, I'm that annoying person whose house always smells like those stores in the mall that sell swords, hoodies that look hand-woven but probably aren't, and hemp jewelry. Why would a white American college student practice Buddhism? Simple: the teachings of the Buddha have helped me overcome some of the greatest struggles I've ever had to endure. Keeping those teachings in mind has aided me in my efforts to manage my PTSD, keep a level head when my job at a fast food place makes me want to tear my hair out, and most importantly, it has helped me forgive those who have wronged me.

There is a central concept of Buddhism that everyone is familiar with, and that is the concept of karma; good karma, bad karma, everyone has heard of it. At least in the Buddhist tradition that I practice, intentional decisions we make will impact our cycle of rebirth. I believe this to be true. However, I don't like karma. More specifically, I don't like bad karma. I believe it exists, just as good karma does, but I do not agree with it. My reasoning?

My high school bullies.

I was bullied all throughout my childhood and adolescence to the point where I was suicidal at times. Recent events, namely, the shooting in Parkland have made me think deeply about my high school experience. Once a school shooting occurs, fingers are pointed in all sorts of directions to try and find a reason why such a tragedy would occur. Gun control, mental illness, and bullying are all topics of debate. I am of the belief that it is ease of access to firearms that contributes the most to these tragedies, but that is not what this piece is about.

My mom never kept guns in the house. Ever. But if she had, would I have taken my revenge and shot the people who made my life a living hell?

No. I wouldn't have.

Chances are, the first and only person I would have used a firearm on would have been myself.

As much pain as I was in at the time, and as heavy as the weight of that pain is even today, I still would not wish harm to those who caused it to me. My mom always tells me, "Those people will get their just rewards. I promise." But I don't want that. What kind of person would I be if I wanted those people to suffer? I would be no better than they are.

If I got the chance to confront my bullies now, my first question to them wouldn't be, "So how was it, peaking in high school?" (as satisfying as that would be to ask). My first question would be one word: why?

Why did you think it was okay to say, "Go kill yourself." to someone? Why was I the one you thought deserved to be treated like shit? What did I ever do to make you hate me? Because no one says the kinds of things that you said to someone they don't hate with a passion?

To anyone who once knew me, who might be reading this and thinking it might be about them, chances are it probably is. So I want you to know something.

I don't hate you. I never did. I didn't hate you when I was angry, I didn't hate you when I was sad. I didn't hate you in any of the moments I probably could and should have. I don't want you to suffer. I don't want bad karma to come to you. It pains me to see that for some of you, it already has.

All I want for those who have intentionally hurt me in the past is to see that they have changed for the better. I want to know that they regret what they did because it was wrong, not because karma has come knocking. I have learned to be kind because I know how it feels to be the victim of someone else's cruelty. I want the same for the people who committed those acts of cruelty.

Cover Image Credit: Yogapedia

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