If you would've told me a year ago that i wouldn't be able to party every day during 2020 because of a pandemic, I probably would've laughed- or cried. If you would have told me that I was going to enjoy not partying every day during a pandemic, I probably would've been in utter disbelief.I don't know what it was about the sorority girl trope that used to intrigue me so much. Part of it was probably the illusion of grandeur and bliss that half of my friends in Greek life post about. Coming into college, I didn't know many things, but I knew I wanted to be one of those girls. It was surprisingly easy for me to achieve the "chill sorority girl" look- I bleached my hair, spray tanned twice a week, and bought clothes that made me look like my parents were in a high enough tax bracket to buy me a brand new car. On the outside, I was thriving. Boys loved me (okay, none of them loved me, but some of them probably thought I was cute so let's pretend that thinking I'm cute = love), elevated surfaces feared me, and nothing was able to stop me from having a good time. I was the life of the party! Sixteen year old me would've been SO PROUD!!!!!
But sixteen year old me and eighteen year old me were essentially the same person. Both versions of myself just wanted to be accepted and loved. I wanted to be seen by people, and to have my presence acknowledged. I was able to achieve all of those things in college. I felt cool. I felt pretty. And it only costed me my sanity!
Cool party girl Chloe did't sleep much, she didn't eat nearly enough, and she spent most of her days feeling lonely and drained. I was able to find solace in podcasts and the Starbucks drive thru, but it took nearly a year to realize that I was giving myself temporary fixes to a problem that extended far beyond the surface level. I wasn't the person I genuinely wanted to be, and I wasn't actually a cool person to be around unless the sun had gone down and it was time to play Dance Monkey 12 times in one night. I wasn't interesting; I was a reflection of everyone around me. Somehow, the little girl who used to have a wild imagination and dreams to change the world had become confined to what some boy in a Comfort Colors shirt and New Balances had to say about her, so she decided to talk about the things they'd care about. I had mastered the art of pretending that I had never heard of Pink Floyd before, and I was fluent in "Oh my God, NO way! PLEASE tell me more about the time you were so hungover that you puked in a bush outside of your friend's house after prom your senior year of high school!" To be fair, there's nothing wrong with fun stories from other crazy nights, and I probably couldn't tell you five Pink Floyd songs off the top of my head right now, but there was so much more to me than the version of myself that I had adjusted to fit the confines of my friends' minds. I wanted to be the social butterfly, when in reality, I was more like a moth and my bed was the sweet sweet release of a warm porch light after a long day.
It took a year of trial and error, months of quarantine, and two car accidents to finally realize that I am capable of doing more. It wasn't until I started reading books again and writing these articles that I became content with the reality that I can't do it all. I'm a part of a sorority that has provided me with so much love and some of my closest friends, and that is enough for me. I don't feel the need to validate myself anymore by putting on a tube top and bouncing around with a bunch of strangers every week.I don't need to be tan and cute and ready to meet my future husband all the time. Honestly, I've found more peace with God and the universe in the past month than I had in the past few years. I still see my friends, and we still have fun, but I've learned a lot about what makes me genuinely happy and how to say no to things if they don't do that.