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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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

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3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

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6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

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7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

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9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

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11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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12. Beer Opener

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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14. Beer Lights 

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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8 Confessions Of An Ex-Sorority Girl

It's not all singing and small talk...

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When I began my first semester at East Carolina University, I looked for every opportunity I could to make friends, as this would be my new home for the next year. I knew all about different clubs and organizations, but Greek like never stood out to me. I was convinced by some of my friends to give rushing a try, and this is what I've gathered from a week of rushing, and three months of being in a sorority before I dropped it.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an article intended to bash my former sorority, this is an article to inform girls of things I failed to realize before joining a sorority and to give them an idea of what sorority life is like to see if it's for them.

1. Rush week is just as stressful as everyone makes it out to be.

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Think about it: seven days, hours of making small talk trying to impress every girl you encounter, all while trying to walk like a normal human being in your 5 inch heels.

2. Rush week is not for the thin-skinned.

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Going into rush week, I had no idea that sororities could drop me in the blink of an eye. Remember that if your favorite sorority drops you on one of the nights, it is not the end of the world, and another sorority will want you and all your amazing personality traits.

3. Being in a sorority is a much bigger commitment than TV makes it out to be.

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While sororities do hold fun events throughout the school year such as socials and grab-a-dates, there are many obligations that girls fail to realize before joining a sorority. Philanthropy events, weekly chapter meetings, etc.

4. It can leave a huge financial dent in your wallet.

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While you do get insight before actually joining the sorority on how much it will cost, many girls, including myself, looked past that during rush week. Once the dues come in, they add up quickly, and can really leave a mark in your bank account.

5. These girls will be your new friend circle, and you might forget about some of your old ones you made before rush week.

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During my time being a sorority girl, I did feel an obligation to make a lot of friends in my sorority. While I was wrapped up in spending so much time making my new friend group, I failed to realize I was leaving some of my non-sorority friends behind. While I do encourage you to make as many friends as possible in your sorority, remember to keep in touch with your old ones. Maybe invite your non-sorority friends to one of your socials!

6. You have a new reputation to maintain.

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You and your sorority don't want to be known as, "the (insert sorority name here) that threw up everywhere at the party." When you join a sorority, there is a positive image you have to maintain in order to hold a good name for the sorority, and the girls in it.

7.There is a GPA requirement for every sorority.

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Some people do tend to stereotype sorority girls as dumb, but in every sorority there is a GPA requirement to remain in good standing. If you do not meet these, there will be consequences.

8. If sorority life isn't for you, there are other ways to make a lifelong group of friends.

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While many people revert to Greek life as their one and only option of meeting girls on campus, there are so many other clubs and organizations every school has to offer that will get you just as close with people. While some girls love Greek life, sorority life is not for everyone, and nobody should feel like it is.

Wrapping up, I did not hate my sorority at all. I had other reasons for dropping my sorority that had nothing to do with them, but one big one was that it was just not for me. I am still in close touch with some of the girls in my sorority, and I do not blame my sorority for my feelings towards it.

Greek life truly is an acquired taste. Some people will love it for life, and for others, it's just another club on campus.

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