Join A Sorority For The Quiet Moments, Too

Join A Sorority For The Quiet Moments, Too

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Picture this: it's early August in Georgia. You're sweating like you never have before, girls are sing-shouting and clapping in your face about being "the best on the row", and you've never been so terrified in your life.

That's right: it's sorority recruitment week, and you're right in the middle of it.

Anyone in a sorority at the University of Georgia has gone through some sort of version of this. The week of recruitment can be overwhelming and unlike anything you've ever experienced; trust me, I've been there.

But in the end, you end up grateful you went through the experience. Bid day rolls along, in all its crazy, loud, exciting glory, and doused in glitter and a new t-shirt, you realize you've finally found your home away from home. You've found your sisters.

There's something to remember, however. Not every day is bid day. Not every day is a date night or a social or a sisterhood event. Some of the most valuable moments of my sorority experience have been spent in the moments that, to the naked eye, aren't the most exciting or crazy.

I think about how I can talk to absolutely everyone in my sorority without fear of judgement.

I think about how a late-night run to Cookout for a study break can turn into the best late-night talk or rant session.

Most importantly, I think about the moments when I know I can lean on my sisters for support, especially in times of hardship. Earlier this year, I lost a close friend unexpectedly. While I was struggling with coming to terms with my loss, I knew I could talk to my sisters about it, because I knew they would be there to listen always.

Yes, bid day and date nights are so much fun, and definitely parts of a sorority that can make college so much more fun. However, the quiet moments are important, too; they're what make college mean something.

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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.

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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.

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To The College Girl Feeling Sad, Remember This When You’re Going Through That ‘Almost Relationship’ Breakup

It wasn't a real relationship, but that shit hurt.

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We never dated. When we first met before the semester started, I knew immediately that I was about to fall *hard* for this dude. He was (and still is) cute, funny, and smart, and our personalities just kinda clicked. Flash forward two months. We ended up with a class together and sat next to each other three days a week.

As the friendship grew, we started to hang outside of class until we were meeting up literally every day to study, eat, or just chill and watch a movie. We talked about everything. Our conversations went on forever in the best way possible. We discovered mutual interests and a shared sense of humor, and as we grew to be close friends, I knew that he was somebody I could definitely see myself dating.

But as I started to really like him, it was clear he didn't feel the same way. We had a cute, fun, flirty relationship, but to him, that's all it ever was or was going to be. He may have liked me at one point, but our little romance was short-lived and fizzled out within a few months. And while I was grateful he was honest enough to be real with me, having that conversation sucked. When you see somebody as your future, acknowledging that they have become part of your past hurts like hell.

For me specifically, the part that hurt the most was realizing that the romantic part of us was dead and gone. No more sleepovers, no more late-night hangs, no more possibility of "us." We were platonic friends, forever and always. He had just broken up with that part of us, even though in reality, there was nothing ever there. Maybe that's why it hurt so badly.

Sometimes, the hardest breakups are the ones in which there's nothing to actually break off. You never formally dated the person, so you can't formally end things, which just leaves you seeking "closure" in a bunch of old Snapchat memories that leave you missing him more than you did before. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who's ever experienced something like this, so I'd like to speak to those girls who have recently separated from their boyfriend-not-boyfriend. We're very misunderstood, but surprisingly numerous group, and there are a few things that need to be said.

Hey, girls.

1. First of all, you are valid.

People like to come after chicks for being too dramatic or sensitive when it comes to "almost" relationships, but I'll be the first to say that these relationships are a lot more real than most people think. After devoting a year to a person, confiding in them, trusting them, laughing with them, and believing that you might actually become something, "Hey, I don't want to date you" is NOT an easy conversation to have at two in the morning. You've put half your heart into this dude, and you just had half of that person ripped away from you. Of course, it hurts. Even if it's just a simple DTR to him, you've just lost a piece of your best friend, and nobody gets to tell you not to be upset.

2. "Separate's always better if there's feelings involved" ("Hey Ya!" by Outkast).

This lyric perfectly encompasses the problem of trying to be friends with somebody you like. One thing that was hard to learn was that you can't be "just friends" with a person if one of you has feelings. You just can't. Once you've determined that you're never moving beyond the relationship you have now, it's really hard to be around them without thinking about the fact that you'll never be able to be with them the way you want to. It took me forever to figure out this was the reason I felt horrible every single time I hung out with the guy. Like any other breakup, this one needs time. You're not going to get over him in two days. Give yourself time to heal before you accidentally rip the scar back open.

3. Sometimes, the worst part is that he actually did deserve you.

My mom's go-to post-breakup pep talk is "You can do so much better. He doesn't deserve you anyway." In some cases, this is true. It's really nice to come to the conclusion that this person was a jerk the whole time, and he never treated you the way you deserved to be treated, and you're so much better without him. It really sucks, however, to come to the conclusion that he was so incredibly good to you, but he just wasn't the one. In this case, it's important to know that it's not your fault. There's nothing "wrong" with you. You're not not pretty enough. You still have a great personality. This relationship wasn't right for you two, but it certainly doesn't make you any less worthy. Even if he was great, even if he did make you tea and cuddle you for hours when you were sick, even if he made you feel confident and beautiful and supported you as a friend, there are other people out there who will do the same! You're better off now, not necessarily because you lost him, but because you had an opportunity to learn about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you want in a future partner. You get the chance to grow from this and be stronger in future relationships or even just as an individual.

4. You're allowed to throw a pity party.

Girl. That shit hurted. I know it, you know it, Taylor Swift knows it, my Spotify playlist knows it, and it's okay to be sad. You don't have to be "over it" like that *snaps*. It might take a few weeks or even a few months to feel okay again, and it's not stupid just because you never actually dated the guy. As discussed previously, there are still plenty of reasons that you feel like your heart is breaking in two. But I promise this will pass. Call your mom. Go through your old pictures. Write a breakup letter in your phone. Listen to every song that reminds you of him and cry it out. You have to really let yourself feel the hurt before you can be done with it. Eventually, you'll be able to hear that song without tearing up. You'll be able to look at your Snapchat memories and be glad for the good times you had. You'll be able to move on. Because even if the guy you "deserve" is a guy like him, you yourself deserve a life and a relationship you're completely in love with.

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