My Not So Greek Life

My Not So Greek Life

I found my home.
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Before this year, I wasn't sure that I believed that everything happened for a reason. If this were true, why do we lose the people we love most, make wrong decisions, or in my case, get denied from Greek life. Was I being punished? I had spent the past year at a school I didn't want to be at, finally making it to the school I did. Shouldn't this mean I be compensated for my cooperation?

I've had many friends throughout my life, some who I abandoned and some who've abandoned me. Sometimes it wasn't a good fit, and sometimes our lives just didn't sync up. For whatever reason, many of the friendships I've had have withered away, but the ones who have remained strong and consistent... thank you. I am forever grateful to you for making my life a technicolor dream.

I didn't know it yet, but not going Greek would be an unexpected blessing. Due to this "unfortunate" event, I met my college family. The beginning of my sophomore year of college is best compared to a puzzle with a handful of missing pieces--incomplete and hopeless.

To put it in the simplest of words, I felt like I was completely failing at life. I had anticipated joining a sorority, meeting my sisters for life, and posting cliche pictures on social media when I'd finally got to UT. Life pulled the rug right out from under my feet when I got the call that I hadn't received a bid. To be fair, my application was late but in the moment that didn't matter. All I could think about was going through the next 3 years with no social life, no friends, no boyfriend, essentially living in a social vacuum. My life seemed sad and pathetic from my point of view.

It wasn't until I took a step back that I realized this was not a misfortune, but an opportunity. My attitude about the situation changed and I chose to look at life from a different angle. It was either that or listen to "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from the Little Mermaid for the duration of my college existence. This was about the time I began to form some life-changing relationships with the people I now call my best friends. My intention is not to discourage you from going Greek or tell you it's a terrible mistake.

It's all individual perspective. I'm writing this to pay tribute to the girls who have completely changed my life and for the girls who think because they didn't go Greek, their lives are over. I promise you, life WILL go on, and not going Greek could quite possibly be the best thing to ever happen to you.

It was the first Friday of my sophomore semester and I had no plans, no new friends, and no intention of going out to a party. Did I mention I was sad? I got a text that afternoon from a girl I had gone to high school with, inviting me to go out with her. I spent 2 hours getting ready that night. I was nervous, excited, but mostly terrified of making a bad impression. That night was the catalyst for the rest of my year.

Since then I have shared some of the most unforgettable, incomparable, and happiest moments of my college life. I have never felt more confident, supported, and loved than I do right now. I've shared my deepest secrets, confided in them during difficult times, and laughed harder than I have in a while. I feel at home when I'm with them and I long for more time when we are apart. I feel supported with every choice I make and loved unconditionally.

Our group of seven is ridiculous, contagious, and crazy, but mostly strong, beautiful, and unwavering. I've known two of the girls since High School. When I think about it, I wonder how it took so long for us to find each other and develop such a strong bond. Thankfully, I was given a redo. Together, we have given one of our own away to her wonderful husband, who I don't doubt will love her (maybe) more than us. We watched her start her life and share vows of love so beautiful we all cried like babies.

I have met the pieces to my puzzle. Friends who fill my life with excitement, late nights at Kerbey, FaceTime calls at any time of the day, & lots and lots of sushi. I am forever grateful for these women who have lit up my life so brightly in the short amount of time we've been friends. I can confidently say that everything does, in fact, happen for a reason.

Don't question it. Embrace it. It scares me to think I wouldn't have met them had I gone Greek. I'd probably be at the wrong party, with the wrong girls, making the wrong memories.

I found my home in these girls. I love you, my queens.

Love,

Kimberly


Cover Image Credit: Kimberly Pena

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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How To Cope With A Best Friend Breakup


Breaking up with a boyfriend is one thing, but breaking up with your best friend is a whole new level of heartbreak.

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We all know breakups can be tough, but when that breakup happens to be between you and your best friend, things reach a new level of heartbreak. I met my best friend junior year of high school after our Spanish teacher randomly assigned us to be partners; we struggled so much in that class but in the end, we truly became inseparable. When senior year rolled around we were still close as ever; people would often joke that we were sisters because we looked and acted so much alike. We would go on little dates together, go to parties together, and were always the first person we called when something "major happened."

When my best friend's boyfriend of four years cheated on her while we were spring breaking in Europe, it became my duty to make her feel better; I would randomly drop off flowers and little notes to her house, spend countless hours just listening to her cry and vent, and even stopped talking to people associated with her boyfriend so as to show my "support." All of these things were no big deal to me considering I loved this girl like a sister; whatever she needed I was there to give that to her.

Things soon took a sharp turn when we entered not only the same college but the same sorority. While I was struggling with the social aspect of FSU, my best friend soon found new best friends. When I started having major issues with my boyfriend, I would automatically text/call my best friend as she did with me, but instead of support, I got the sense that she was passive and uninterested. Our little dates and goofy inside jokes disappeared and reappeared between her and her new friends, and my comfortableness around her soon turned into insecurity.

Coming to terms with the fact that the girl I knew everything about is now basically a stranger was a hard one to overcome; I didn't want to accept the fact that my best friend decided it was time to find new ones. It's heartbreaking knowing that the special things you shared with a person are now being shared with others, and it's hard to accept the fact that you aren't wanted or needed by the one person you thought would be by your side forever.

Since school has ended I think I have accepted the fact that we're no longer what we used to be. Of course, it still stings when I see social media posts with her new, college friends, but I just have to remind myself that this is part of life and I just have to move on. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her, but it's time to acknowledge that they were made with someone in my past, not with someone in my present.

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