Disclaimer: In this article, I am going to be completely honest about my experience in Greek life at my current university, but I am not using this as a way to bash the organization. The organization is amazing nationally and I respect it for the values it upholds. I will not give away anyone’s names or personal information, nor will I be revealing the name of my sorority or specific chapter. If you know me, you will know which sorority I was a part of for my first semester of freshman year. My experience is not the experience that everyone in my chapter has, therefore these events should not fully alter your decision in joining this sorority or not joining. It is my own experience and my own opinions based on the way I was treated during the semester.
All throughout high school, I always told people that I would never join a sorority because I wasn’t that kind of girl. I was quiet and extremely introverted and believed that I didn’t have the looks to be considered a sorority girl. During the end of my junior year of high school, I decided on a university to go to and decided to look at what sororities they had on campus just for fun. The more I researched Greek life and each sorority, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of it. I was drawn in by one sorority in particular that had a lot of values that I admired, and that sorority happened to be the one I ended up in. I had high expectations for what I had hoped to get out of Greek life and my sorority in specific, but those expectations were never met once.
During rush week, I was a nervous wreck thinking that I wouldn’t get into my top choice house and that I would be dropped by all of the houses. I remember on the very first day, which was house tours, I felt extremely welcomed by the girls at the house that I later became a sister of. I felt the most comfortable and confident there and I knew from day one that it was where I was going to end up at the end of the week. The whole chapter of my sorority seemed very genuine and accepting of me at the time. Once I got my bid and signed that paper that affiliated me with the organization, I was so happy. The first few weeks in my sorority were fun and I made a good number of friends. In fact, one of the girls that I met on bid day ended up becoming my best friend. Unfortunately, after dropping, her true colors showed and she decided she was "better off" without me. That shows you how fake the sisterhood and friendships developed are ultimately.
It is said that in life, all good things come to an end. The acceptance and love that I felt from the sorority began to fade away. I have always been a very independent person and a very confidently vocal person about issues and problems I see and experience. I had one problem one night with my sorority because I was handling a situation I was in on my own and refused to have assistance from them. In that situation, they were not respecting that I had it figured out and it began a lot of rumors about me.
I became a target for a good majority of the chapter. Being a chapter of 100 girls, most girls didn’t really know me but still would talk the talk. I began to experience a lot of hate messages both directly and anonymously. I began to hear about the rumors and the hate talk that was going around about me – which did not only reach other Greek life chapters, but also non-Greek life people. I was being accused of sexual assault, talking bad about my friends, being called a skank, being called mean, and other demeaning words and ideas. A lot of the girls were just being straight up cruel and rude, with no good reason. I never did anything bad to a single girl in my chapter.
During this time, I felt alone, scared, and I became deeply depressed. My whole world went dark. I began to distance myself away from Greek life and my sorority in specific. I would have anxiety whenever I would pass by a sister from my chapter on campus. I hid away for a while, and what really showed me that I meant nothing to my chapter was when nobody wondered what happened to me or where I was. When it came down to it, I realized that I simply was not accepted in the sorority that was supposed to be accepting of everyone. They tried to change who I am, they tried to tear down my confidence, and they almost did but I found my strength before they could completely destroy me.
I want to make it clear that there were plenty of girls in the sorority that were accepting of me and showed me so much love in the darkest times, and for that I am thankful. I had my best friend by my side and my big by my side that supported me in the good and the bad times. So many girls did uphold the values that the sorority is supposed to represent, but when it came time to decide what to do about the chapter and how I was being treated, the pros were significantly outweighed by the cons.
People will call me a quitter for leaving the organization, and I know a lot of people will have opinions about my decision to disaffiliate with my chapter. I know for a fact a majority of girls will celebrate me leaving because they think that they “won” the battle. I have a newsflash for you: I was never fighting the battle against you. You don’t win because instead of me leaving feeling hopeless and worthless, I am leaving the sorority stronger than I’ve ever been…better than I’ve ever been. No opinion of me matters at all because I realized towards the end of last semester that it was all immature and ridiculous. That’s why I never fought back.
I’ve attempted to put my experience behind me, but I soon found that I couldn’t. I couldn’t because in life you can never forget about experiences you have, whether they be good or bad ones. I grew stronger and more confident in myself because of the negative experience I had in Greek life. I am able to use my experience in Greek life here at my current university to find a better, nicer home in Greek life at my new university, which I will be starting at next school year.
I don’t regret joining my sorority this year at all. I am thankful for the few friends that it has provided me and the good moments and memories I have experienced because of it. However, since dropping the sorority I have finally felt happier than I have all school year. I may still be getting hate and shade thrown at me, but at the end of the day I am finally free. I am myself again, and I know for a fact that that is, in and of itself, far more important than being a part of something that doesn’t fully allow you to be yourself.
So, for now, goodbye Greek life.
“I took your matches before fire could catch me so don’t look now, I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town” –Dear John by Taylor Swift