Two weeks ago I received a myriad of responses to my article on college regrets; and as expected, there was a lot of backlash about my thoughts on Greek Life. This was no big surprise to me, but it was still difficult to deal with-those that once called themselves my "sisters" harshly accused me of giving the sorority I was a part of a bad name, and casting an unnecessary shadow on Greek Life when it gets so much bad press as it is.
I started to feel guilty even though I made it perfectly clear that joining a sorority can be amazing for some people, it just wasn't for me. However, I then started receiving an outpouring of support from women who had experienced a situation similar to mine-who were grateful that someone was finally speaking out against the horrors that occur in Greek Life more often than they should.
I want to share the less-than-ideal side of joining a sorority-the "talked about in movies but supposedly doesn't happen in real life" situations that can scar a person forever. These experiences happened in a variety of sororities on different campuses, so this can't be chalked up to location. The responses I have received will remain anonymous by request, and I did not include specific names of Greek houses-this is not about which house is bad or good, this is about the behavior that is often seen in these houses.
I'm glad someone was brave enough to say it.... Proud of you and everything you've accomplished. During recruitment I was told I wouldn't be rushing because "my look isn't what they were going for" and that "she would work with me and my weight problem and would be all ready for recruitment the next year" and now I'm still paying off loans I had to take to pay off [sorority]. But in a all honesty quitting made me realize who was and was not a true friend.
No kidding. I've never felt so negative about myself and depressed as I did in that sorority.
This woman has my utmost respect-it's not easy leaving, and it's certainly not easy to carry the emotional baggage that comes with that sort of experience.
I also wanted to privately tell you how awesome your [sorority] blurb is. I didn't join a sorority, but the experiences I've had with the girls in [sorority] have been all negative and have made me feel pretty inferior, which added on to the fact that I was already dealing with a really mean roommate and struggling to make friends. Regardless, I just really think it's cool that you were so honest about it.
This woman didn't even join a sorority yet still experienced horrible treatment—no one should have to question their worth nor deal with any group of people that makes them feel inferior. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common theme among those who deal with women in Greek Life.
Corri, we may not know each other very well because I think I joined the house right after you left. However, as somewhat of a sister, I wanted to say I think it's rad that you put Greek life in this. It's nice to see someone from the same Greek house feeling the same way and finally I can see people saying real stuff about it. Fuck yeah to you for being real about sorority life. Because so many others like to ignore what's wrong instead of just saying it straight.
Being a true friend (or even a sorority sister) is being honest, therefore you should have no worries! You have a voice and are allowed to use it! They will react because it is something that makes their house look bad, but that is how things work with any subject. No one likes to here that some people in this world didn't enjoy something the way they did, such is life and they will move forward -luckily- with your message in mind or hopefully at least an idea on how they could make Greek life better in the future
This message was the turning point for me—I don't feel sad about nor do I regret any of what I wrote about Greek Life—because it was all my experience. I joined a house thinking I was gaining sisters for life, a group of people to rely on, who would build me up and help me on my way to being a better me. What I gained was severe self-loathing and anxiety, multiple possessions being stolen, ruined friendships and romantic relationships, and terrible grades. I lost every ounce of motivation for life-in fact, I was unrecognizable when I left. I had no spark left in me; and I'm tired of being ashamed for hating my experience.
I remember talking to a girl from [sorority A] and she told me she rushed [sorority B] her freshmen year because one of her friends had been a member for a year and told her why they didn't pick her; she didn't wear enough makeup and her clothes didn't look nice enough when she showed up.
This sort of behavior is truly deplorable-how can one be a part of a group that does this and feel okay?
Ah the classic "pretty sorority"...where superficial and stereotypical beauty standards are the appeal. Phi Mu was like that at my last school.
This girl was not surprised at some of the behaviors I spoke with her about- it was expected. This is so sad, Greek Life promotes such a wonderful experience, yet all people can talk about is how awful it can be. It's time to stop hiding behind a few good deeds and face the music. No amount of good can overcome the bad without recognizing what has been done.
Yeah, I wish I would have searched harder for the good influences. Or not joined the same sorority as my "friends." There were so many "fun" people that it was hard to see that there were others there that weren't stealing, doing drugs, etc.
This was my own response to a woman who experienced a situation similar to mine—there are good people in Greek communities, you just need to search for them.
Like I think about that sometimes and how I think Greek life can be great if you're surrounded by positive people, but it's SO incredibly easy to be influenced badly because the good influences tend to be spending their time elsewhere lol.
And for new college students that is just a whirlwind for disaster because you're already experiencing the pressure to find a social niche and discovering yourself and all that fun new adult things
This rings true—there are two sides to every coin; it just so happens that this side to Greek Life is taboo.
Greek life really is incredible for some people, but for others it is incredibly negative and damaging. We should never be afraid to speak out about the wrongdoings of others, even if we feel that we are alone in our thinking. More than likely there are countless others who have been in your shoes and will have your back no matter what. Take that risk! Not only can you help yourself, but you can help so many others feel comfortable in their own skin and experiences; and who knows? Maybe someday those people will find the courage to use their voice too!