I Dropped My Sorority And I Don’t Regret It At All

I Dropped My Sorority And I Don’t Regret It At All

Greek life isn't for everyone.

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Growing up, I always pictured Greek life as an integral part of my college experience. I had always heard my mom talk about her sorority. I had all their songs memorized before I even set foot on campus. When I made the decision to participate in recruitment my freshman year, the weeks leading up to it were a whirlwind of nerves and anticipation. Despite the Southern heat and rain, I looked forward to the six days of walking from house to house in high heels. I was excited to find the new home and the sisters that I had always believed to be a defining aspect of my college years.

Looking back, it's possible that the first sign that Greek life wasn't for me came when my mom received a message from her sister. "You should tell your daughter to take down some of her Facebook posts," she wrote, "some sororities might not like her political views." When my mom relayed this to me, I declined the suggestion — not only because I found the notion that sororities would monitor the social media of thousands of potential members absurd, but also because I was not about to censor myself just to be accepted. Much to my relief, my refusal to edit my public persona did not affect my ability to join a sorority. I ended up with a bid from a house at which I had felt comfortable since the beginning of recruitment. Throughout the orientation period leading up to initiation, I felt more and more confident in my decision, and I knew I would be at home there.

And I was, for a while.

At first, sorority life was exactly what the recruitment videos made it out to be: endless love and sisterhood. I had girlfriends with whom I'd go out on weekends, I had a Big I adored, and I had letters I was proud to wear. But the novelty of the experience eventually faded into the rules and expectations. I was glad that I didn't have to lose my sense of self in order to get into a sorority, but I quickly found that staying in one demanded a degree of conformity. As I learned the ropes of the organization, I was coached on what I was allowed to say and do in certain circumstances; what I should and should not wear; and what I could and could not post online or write in a message.

I understood that they didn't want my singular opinion reflecting poorly upon the organization, but at the same time, I hated feeling the need to water myself down. Meanwhile, as I did my best to avoid affecting how people viewed my sorority, my sorority continued to affect how I was seen. I found it bothersome that the stereotypes associated with Greek life and my house now applied to me, and even went as far as to alter my interactions with others on campus. I was automatically associated with some girls I wasn't even friends with. I didn't want people to see my letters before they saw me.

The next indication that I didn't belong in a sorority came when I found out that there were only 4 other girls in my major who were involved in Greek life. Studying music and joining a sorority were, it seemed, mutually exclusive. My chapter offered plenty of academic help in a variety of disciplines... but not mine. It wasn't a purposeful decision; they simply didn't have members that could provide resources for my field of study, and after several years in college, I understand why. As time went on, my class workload increased, along with opportunities for further involvement in my field.

On many occasions, this meant choosing between my sorority and my major. I'd have to skip social events to practice music and attend rehearsals. I'd miss opportunities to build my resume in favor of chapter meetings and workshops. Any focus on my future career necessitated absence from sorority activities, and I resented the fact that I was hardly participating in an organization to which I was paying substantial amounts of money for membership.

The decision to drop out of my sorority wasn't an easy one to make, but I don't regret it for a minute. I was initially worried about losing the friends I have made, but I knew that if my former sisters cut me off once I stopped wearing the letters, they were never really my friends in the first place. When I consider the work I need to put in in order to succeed in my career, I realize that there's no way I could have kept Greek life in the mix without making a much more substantial sacrifice. It wasn't fair to myself or to my sisters to try to participate in both my major and the sorority and end up doing both halfway.

While Greek life can offer the opportunity for a lifelong sisterhood, promote academic success, and provide some individuals with various connections for later in life; however, at the end of the day, sorority life just wasn't right for me.

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Tailgating In College Can Be Scary, But These 5 Tips Will Help Anyone Stay Safe

Tailgating can be scary – and I learned that the hard way.

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Fall marks the start of football season and tailgating parties. It's one of the fun aspects of college, but it can also be dangerous, especially when there are some fierce rivalries going on.

Tailgating can be scary — and I learned that the hard way.

What started out as a fun party wound up turning into a violent brawl after two people got into an altercation. Of course, there was drinking involved, and that's ultimately what escalated the matter. Before we knew it, everyone (except me) was getting in on the fight.

Drinking and sports can be a bad combination, which is why we now host sober tailgating parties.

Staying Safe During Tailgating Parties

Whether or not there's alcohol involved, it's important to understand how to stay safe when tailgating.

1. Keep tabs on your drinking

If you're 21 or older and plan on drinking during the party, keep tabs on how many drinks you have. Limit yourself to avoid going overboard. Try drinking an equal amount of water after each drink to slow down your pace and keep yourself hydrated.

If you need to drive home, avoid drinking entirely. It's not worth the risk of endangering yourself and others just for a drink.

Remember that you don't have to drink just to fit in with everyone else. Tailgating can still be fun without alcohol and you don't have to deal with a hangover the next morning.

2. Arrange for sober rides home

If you're adamant on drinking, make sure that you have a sober ride home. Never get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. And don't let your friends get behind the wheel either.

If you're the one hosting the party, make sure that you have safe options for your guests to arrive home.

3. Keep spirits light

Try to keep the party light and fun. If arguments are getting heated – whether over sports or something else – try to diffuse the situation before it escalates.

Keep the number of people to a minimum, and make sure there's adequate separation of supporters of each team. Altercations involving two or more people can easily escalate into brawls with dozens of people. That's when things can get ugly and dangerous.

Make sure that you have an escape route in mind, so if things do get out of hand, you can get out without becoming a victim in the process.

4. Don't forget about cooking safety

What would a tailgate party be without food? If you're grilling food, make sure that you bring a fire extinguisher and everything you need to cook food safely.

If you're bringing raw or uncooked meat, make sure that you pack it in a cooler with plenty of ice to prevent food poisoning. A friend of mine didn't follow this rule and he paid the price for it.

Being sick for two days with food poisoning is no walk in the park, especially if you have a class early the next morning.

5. Clean up before driving home

When the party's over, don't just hop in your car and drive away. Clean up. Make sure that you can see properly. Get rid of the cans, bottles and plates before you head back home.

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