From Growing Up With A Brother To Gaining 150 Sisters

From Growing Up With A Brother To Gaining 150 Sisters

It’s not as crazy as it sounds
288
views

My brother is five years older than me. Although he has always pretty much looked out for me, he clearly couldn’t when I moved 200 miles away from a small suburb in Minnesota to a big college town – Ames, Iowa.

Greek life was never in the stars for me. I am not exaggerating when I say I could never in a million life times see myself being in a sorority (maybe a slight exaggeration, but, you get the point). However, my father insisted saying that being apart of the community was some of the best years of his life. I signed up for the recruitment process with the motto, “Don’t knock it till you try it” ringing in my head.

I couldn’t be more grateful that I decided, pretty last minute, to become apart of the Greek community. I met some great, kind-hearted girls during that recruitment week. All sorority women will tell you that the bond you make with your recruitment group is a bond that can never be broken. I will always have a place in my heart for those ladies and some I do consider sisters even though we aren’t in the same chapter.

I became apart of a house I never thought would accept a little dork like me and so it all began. I’m not going to lie – stepping into my house for the first time after recruitment was scary as hell. For the first year, I constantly struggled with wondering if this was what was best for me. I didn’t learn until the next year that it definitely was.

Living in my sorority house is what sold me.

Having a brother, I never had an extra closet of clothes I would wear instead of just raggy sweatshirts. Or someone I could talk about boys with in the middle of the night. I never had someone down the hall who I could talk to when I was stressed and sad and wouldn’t mind me barging in. I never had that kind of love reciprocated. I didn’t have people I could laugh with in the kitchen about stupid things at all hours of the day. I never had 50 other people to watch movies with. Rooming with my best friends and having more of my best friends just down the hall was, to say the very least, fun.

Gaining so many people in my life was all so new. A lot of the girls I joined the chapter with had already had sisters and I’m forever grateful they opened their hearts to gaining more.

Cover Image Credit: Jeanette Van Zomeren

Popular Right Now

Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

269
views

I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Yes I'm A Sorority Girl, But Here's What I'm Not

I didn't "buy my friends"

210
views

I think there's such a negative stigma around Greek life in this world. Movies and TV have made it out to be crazy, continuous partying and full of hateful people all based on looks. I love being a part of Greek life for so many reasons. Here are some misconceptions about Greek life debunked.

1. I Didn't "Buy My Friends"

Giphy

My sisters are my friends because we all share common values, likes, and dislikes. We spend every day together, live together in the house, share group chats, and have similar majors so we are always together. No amount of money could've made the bond my sisters and I have and I wish people would realize the true bond between sisters because it's magical.

2. We Really Care About Our GPA's and Grades

Giphy

There's a certain GPA every Greek house requires you to meet in order to stay an active member. Plus, we always encourage study dates with other people in the house and some houses even throw study events to raise money for charities. Also, some of the top scholars known were in Greek life soooooo...

3. Philanthropyyyyyy!!

Giphy

Many people think we don't do anything but socialize when really our whole existence is based on philanthropies! We spend every semester raising awareness and money for the foundations we love and we have all ended up being some of the primary monetary donors for those causes!

4. We Don't Judge Based Off Looks

Giphy

It's what's on the inside that truly counts. We all have found our houses by our personalities and values, not by our looks. A house will want you if you share the same value as them and that's how you'll find your people.

5. We Also Don't Judge By The Brands You Wear

Giphy

It's true that many of the girls you may see in one house might all have something similar by a certain brand altogether, but that's just what being sisters is like. it's not like you have to buy certain expensive brands or dress a certain way to "fit in." Greek life is all about being yourself!

6. I'm Not Living Off "Daddy's Money"

Giphy

Most of us are on academic scholarships and have to maintain grades and a good image to keep going to our college. Not all of us were born rich, you know?

7. Partying. Nonstop Partying.

Giphy

It's true with any college student that it's fun to go out every now and then, but it isn't what Greek life consists of. Greek life is supposed to be finding your forever people, your second family, and your home away from home. These are the people you will rely on on your best days and worst, you don't have to party for that to happen. Plus, believe it or not, there are certainly Greeks who don't party or choose to stay away from that lifestyle.

Related Content

Facebook Comments