I Dropped Greek Life, It Didn't Drop Me

I Dropped Greek Life, It Didn't Drop Me

If you are not comfortable, then you have a right to stop.
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Strolls, calls, nicknames, and wearing letters always enticed me. Who wouldn't want to be a part of a fraternity when they go to college? The glamour is almost overwhelming. It may even lead you to do crazy things.

The thought of being accepted into something like a fraternity first crossed my mind at age eleven. While being apart of my brother's high school marching band which was run by a down south, HBCU style director, band life and Greek life quickly became a part of who I was growing to be. My brother crossed into a national fraternity while he was in high school. I watched him stroll and become part of a brotherhood that I only dreamed of joining. Meanwhile, I had band life down packed, but Greek life was something that alluded me mainly due to my age and inexperience in the world. For eight years, I knew exactly what I wanted to do as soon as I hit college, and when I did? Well, you already know what happens next: I finally made my childhood dreams come true and pledged to a fraternity.

Before Hunter, I attended a college that was pretty small and not necessarily the most diverse. That being said, I pledged to a fraternity not really knowing much about its background and cultural diversity. That was my first mistake.

You should always research a group before you decide to pledge the rest of your life to it. For some reason, the idea of being part of a brotherhood overshadowed my right judgment.

I officially started my process of being a pledge, and even though I made connections with people that I never will forget, I will always remember that I was never comfortable. Every event, every meeting, I tried to convince myself more and more that I belonged to a group of people that didn't belong to me. As the group I tried to be part of was embedded in a culture that wasn't my own, I slowly grew to learn that I wasn't one of them, and I didn't want to be.

American fraternities already have this stigma about them that may drive people away. As there are amazing fraternities out there that do a lot for their communities and members, it's no secret that some folks look down upon it. As everyone has their different reasons and opinions, I can say that mine ultimately contributed to me dropping the fraternity, and in turn discovering more about myself than I imagined.

Comfort is something that is essential to joining any group, no matter what it is. If you are not comfortable, then you have a right to stop.

Throughout the process, it was instilled in my head that if you dropped, you were weak. Understand though, that if you decide to leave something because you feel it's best for you, then you are not weak. Do not let anyone tell you that you're below them or make you feel less than what you are, no matter how much better you think it's going to make you. Your best development cannot come from anyone else besides you. No group nor person besides yourself can ultimately decide the growth of yourself as a person.

When I dropped Greek life, I began to understand that it's about you. No one else's opinions matter as long as you're strong and firm in your own beliefs. The more I think about it, the more I'm grateful for my Greek life experience. It was difficult, it was hard, and it was annoying, but it groomed me. It groomed me to be a better person for myself. Not because I crossed or the people within the fraternity made me better, but because I found courage in myself to leave and do better for myself despite anyone's opinion.

When I pledged, I realized that my concerns and ideas did not match up with those I was trying to be part of. I sometimes think that if I pledged to one of the divine nine, or attended an HBCU, I would've had a different or better experience. Regardless, even though I am in no rush to try this again, I am happy that I went through this experience. I'm happy that I realized self-growth is the best growth possible.

No matter what anyone says, whether you dropped or they dropped you, you should always strive to be the best YOU can be.

Cover Image Credit: Good Free Photos

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Joining A Sorority Was The Best Decision Of My Life

I have met my future bridesmaids, my best friends, and now my family.

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When I was in high school, I always thought about how college would be once I graduated. I thought about what classes I would take, what the campus would look like, and what I would major in. The thing I was concerned about the most was how I as going to make friends. I was moving to a college a couple of hours away from my home and I was not going to know anyone. I was literally picking up my life and moving it without knowing what lies before me.

I was talking to my aunt right after I graduated and she asked me if I would be interested in sorority life. I had never thought about being in a sorority before. We talked it over and she told me about all the things she got to do when she was at college. She told me things such as what events she got to be in, the people she met, and the friends that she still keeps in touch with to this day. I decided right there that a sorority was a good choice for me.

The closer towards the end of summer, the more excited I got for college and possibly joining a sorority. I did my research before coming into college about what sorority I could see myself in. I was super nervous and doubted myself at times but I pushed forward and kept pursuing sorority life. I was invited to a summer social where you go and get to meet a handful of the actual girls in these sororities and ask them any questions you have.

When I got there, my mom and I were so excited. We got upstairs and everything looked so pretty. All the girls were so nice and welcoming and it really made me fall in love with my college even more. I got to talk to each sorority through a representative. I knew by the end of the day that sorority life was going to be a great adventure, but I had no idea just what I was getting into.

The recruitment weekend was super stressful. I had to get up early each morning and be in full glam mode which for me means hair done and makeup fully on. We had specific outfits to ear each day. I was very nervous that something would go wrong and I would not get picked or the girls would not like me. Each party that I went to was different but it showed me all kinds of different aspects of each sorority.

Each one had something great about them and I thought I knew which one fit me best, but I would soon be proven wrong. The last day of recruitment was Bid Day. This is the day you find out what sorority you will be joining if you accept the bid from that sorority. I opened my envelope and saw a name that I was not expecting and I was devastated. I felt unaccepted. I had received a bid from Delta Zeta. This is not the name I wanted to see on my paper, but it is what I got so I stuck it out and tried to look on the bright side.

I quickly realized that getting the bid from Delta Zeta was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have found that sorority that I dreamed of when I first thought about joining a sorority. I have made so many friends and met some many wonderful people. My sisters love me for me and it has made me the happiest girl in the world.

Not only are they your own personal therapist, but they help you with school too. They hold you to a higher standard and you are placed on a pedestal of honor when people see you in your letters. I have met my future bridesmaids, my best friends, and now my family. I am so thankful for Delta Zeta for picking me to be apart of this amazing organization. I will never be able to express my love for Delta Zeta because the words are endless.

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