Hi, it's me again - I feel like I'm always questioning stuff here, but I guess that's what it's for. Anyways, this is more about something at my college...last winter I joined a sorority. I had always wanted to see what being in a sorority would be like, I thought it would 'open doors' for me, so to speak (and I was right, I met a ton of new people that I may not have met right away), and I went to a pre-recruitment thing that fall. Anyways, I was still considering it but when 'rush'/recruitment came around in winter, I was busy and had second thoughts. Also, my now ex-roommate, whom I didn't get along with, was friends with some girls in that sorority and was also considering it. After recruitment, they have a more informal time where girls can join once more, and I went to that. I basically dove into it without many other thoughts, and even though my ex-roommate was doing that too, I just wanted to go for it and meet the girls, see how I felt. I thought despite the roommate & my hesitations, it would be better over time. Well, that was both good and really bad. It became a lot of commitment, which I should have known from the beginning, and I found it very hard to be in the sorority w/the roommate. You're supposed to respect and 'bond' with all of your sisters, and I really liked most all of them, but I could feel the tension between me & my roommate, and she wasn't happy about me being there either. I tried not to let it bother me but inevitably in some situations it did. I made friends with a lot of the girls and over the past few months that I was in it, I started to feel a bit better about being in it. I met some cool people, not just in my sorority but in the other sororities and frats, I was involved in situations I probably wouldn't have been before, and in a few situations it made me a bit more confident and organized. I'm now holding 2 'offices' in it and this fall is supposed to be very busy...a retreat, meetings every week, preparing for formal rec etc.
To cut to the chase, despite all that I never felt like I totally bonded or was connected at all...it was special in some ways but not how it was to the other girls. I thought I would feel different over time but it just weighed on me. I felt like I was going through the motions...I had fun at times and at gatherings, especially some of the parties/dances, but when it came to meetings and most other things I felt stressed & like I had other things to do. I don't know if it had anything to do w/my time organization but I know it was affecting my everyday life & stressing me out on many levels. I just didn't feel a part of it.
So here's my dilemma...I don't feel like I want to be in this anymore, so much so that ever since I got home I have dreaded going back to school. I tried sorting through stuff & figuring out if I hate my school or what, and though I love being back home, one of the main reasons I dreaded going back was because of my sorority. I don't want the stress, I don't feel it's what I want to do or anything. The pro's are that I would be somewhat free of something that made me uncomfortable and stressed out; I would be able to focus on other things. The con's seem to pile up more and more... my campus is very small and a lot of people would know, I would lose a lot of connections with groups/parties/etc. and be exposed to less of those 'fun' things, and things would be awkward with a few people maybe when/if I quit. I have a 'big sister' and I think things might be awkward w/her and others, they might think I'm not real. I already purchased a pin that was expensive and personalized, my parents put a lot of money into it the 1st year and my picture was taken for the group picture that goes up. It is a bit of a hassel since I hold 2 offices & just joined, and I especially don't want people thinking I am flaky but... I just cannot do this anymore. It doesn't feel right, and I do not want to be in it w/this ex roommate either. I like a lot of the girls & it can be fun, but I want to do other things.
Sorry this is so verbose, but any suggestions at all? Please help.
well, i don't have the highest opinion of the Greek system. In fact, i think it needs to be abolished, so you might wanna take my advice with a grain of salt.
The most redeeming quality of the Greek system is the connection you make with the other Hellenists. If you're not feeling it, then why are you continuing to put all of your energy into it? Especially when dues are like hundreds of dollars a year!
Newsflash, college is full of clubs and organizations. I was able to meet lots of people by doing things like joining a computer lab and getting active in the political orgs at school. I didn't need to go Greek because what i really needed was outside of that system.
Maybe it is for you, too.
you don't need to deactivate just yet, but perhaps you should ease out of those stressful roles and join some clubs that are directed at your interests. Are you firmly Christian? Maybe you'd like to join a campus crusade. Are you an atheist? Maybe you'd prefer the non-religious ethos club. mAybe you like Latin-American culture, well maybe you want to join the Latino stuent union. You get my point.
I'm also not a huge fan of the greek system, but I've had quite a few friends who were greek as well.
Don't let the "idealized" view of what it is supposed to be like in the sorority color your experience too much. Yeah, you're supposed to be busom buddies with everybody, but that's not terribly realistic. I'd bet at least some of those girls that you see who seem to be having a super connected experience are putting on. Lots of people in frats and sororities have similar experience to what you describe -- finding some friends, but not connecting with absolutely everybody. Sure, you've got to smile in the pics, but it's okay not to want to hang out with everyone all the time. So don't let the unrealistic expectation ruin your experience.
And if you find that this is really making you unhappy, then it's okay to opt out. You have to make the choices that are the most healthy for you.
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