I have been a member of a sorority at my college since my freshman year. In that time I have met some really cool people and experienced some of the best times of my college career. I think that there is some sort of stigma about going Greek and the effect that it has on a person, like it changes them into something else. Just so you know, that is complete crap. I started college as a complete nerd/square/dork etc. and I am still that girl today. If anything, the ability to join a sorority gave me an in with people I otherwise would never have met, and their acceptance of me made me more confident to be the girl I love to be. I think our sorority has given us all an opportunity to grow as individuals and we’re all the better for it!
When I arrived at Bethany College my freshman year, I had no knowledge of alcohol, relationships, or discrimination. I was like a little kid. Looking back on it, that girl had a lot of courage to get where she is now. I’ve had my bumps and bruises along the way. I’ve had heartbreak that seemed like it was never going to end. I learned that even though you know the exact right things to say to put a person in what you believe to be their “place,” you do NOT always have a right to say those words. I’ve learned discipline, empathy, a little bit of craziness, and a lot about compromise. Honestly, the majority of that knowledge did not come from my classes, it came from experiences with friends, but mostly my sisters.
I could not have navigated my way through that first semester if I hadn’t had the chance to pledge my sorority. Sure, it was intimidating at times and a little over-whelming, but those situations only reaffirmed what my professors were trying to teach me in class:
Just because something actually challenges you, does not give you the right to give up. In fact, that’s when you have to decide who you are. Don’t quit because it’s hard, keep going because it’ll make you strong. The girls in my sorority have changed throughout the years. Some have graduated, some have transferred schools, some are married, some are engaged, and some are just starting the journey through this family. I have loved each and every one of my sisters in different ways, and just like with siblings, sometimes you don’t want to love them, sometimes you’d rather just walk away and find a new family. At the end of the day though, you only have one family, and despite all of their issues and irksome habits, they’re yours to hold on to, to cling to during the storms.
I celebrated my last formal yesterday evening, and it was filled with just as much crazy as any other formal. There was only one thing missing though, the feeling of forever. I knew that this was the last time I’d get to eat dinner in a formal setting and dance in a sparkly blue dress with most of these people. For most of us, this was a goodbye of sorts. It was one of many goodbyes I’ll be saying in the next 3 weeks, but it’s okay. It’s okay because I know nothing is ever really over, especially not with family. The connections are always going to be there, but we may have to find new ways to put the puzzle pieces of our family back together.
Until next time or not, I’m still Cait.
P.S. — Our sorority won Greek Week! That was a pretty awesome cap on a really stressful week!