Thursday, September 29, 2011

sisters by choice, not by blood

A few weekends ago I was lucky to attend the wedding of one of my sorority sisters and had an amazing time :) Some of these girls I haven't seen literally since graduation day 4 years ago, while others I've been able to see every few months or so during random get togethers.

After every occasion while I'm heading back home I always find myself thinking about how much fun I had with those girls, how much I miss our old college adventures, and how much more I would have appreciated  my time with them then if I only had realized how lucky we were then to have the freedom and luxury to be young and carefree --when being a responsible adult seemed so far off into the future, when our biggest decisions were which after hours to head to and figuring a time to meet in chestnuts to have wraps and catch up on life.

Now I know what people think about greek life- the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm not gonna lie, some of it's true, but not all of it. Greek life is not "one size fits all", every organization makes their own choices, whether they admit to them or not. Looking back now on my time as an active member in my sorority, there are experiences I would never take back, and at the same time there are things I wish I had tried to change. To this day I never talk about our rituals and traditions when people ask, because I made a pledge and I honor it. I take pride in those things that bonded us as sisters, not by blood, but by choice. I can honestly say that I made friendships and connections with people in other sororities and fraternities through my involvement in my sorority that led me to meet people I know I can pick up the phone (or more realistically send out a facebook message) to people all over the country who can give me ideas, advice, or even a place to stay in practically every state, and even internationally.

Greek life is not for everyone, don't get me wrong. When you're in college you can meet people anywhere, through clubs, sports teams, in class over a mutual despisement of that annoying kid who thinks he's the only one in the class. For me though, I met some of the greatest people I've ever known. Like any family, it wasn't all hugs and smiles all the time, and not everyone always got along. But like family, I miss their constant presence in my everyday life, I am thrilled when I find out about something wonderful happening in their lives, and I worry when I see one of them struggling. Those women became the family I needed when my family was hours away. They were the ones who saw me change and grow into the woman I became. They knew me when I was learning what kind of person I wanted to be, away from home and the people who had known me my first nineteen years.

Looking back, I learned a lot about myself during those years, and I wouldn't take any of it back. I have my sisters to thank for the memories I carry with me, both the good and bad. If I could tell all those people I met through my sorority-  my own sisters, the sisters of other organizations and the brothers in my favorite fraternities, it would be this: thank you for all being a part of my life when I was figuring out who I was on my own. Thanks for all the nights you let me in with the greek discount to a party, thanks for saving me a seat in the class we had together because you knew I'd be late, thanks for the rides to school, saying hi to me when we passed downtown, always giving me someone to eat lunch with in chestnuts when I wandered in alone. Thanks for giving me the option of always having somewhere to go every day, thanks for every single moment you made me laugh, thanks for the hundreds (probably thousands) of photo ops I have captured on my computer, thanks for being there to pick me up when I was heartbroken, a few drinks in too many, sick, or barely functional from the internship that wouldn't end.Thank you for the good and bad, because without all of it, who knows who I'd be.

Greek life may not be for everyone, but you know what? neither is joining a soccer team, or the school newspaper. some things just work better for some people. for me though? I met many amazing people, and even better than that, I also met some of my best forever friends. My point is, when you have the chance to meet new people, give it a shot despite what other people might say about it. You never know if it might the right fit for you or not. But if youre lucky it might be join a club, find a hobby, try out for a team. Whether youre in college or not, no matter what youre age is- take a chance on being a part of something. But if you are in college please please pleaseee, enjoy every single second of it, for yourself, and for all those of us who long for our college days!

And to all my old college friends in greek life: until our next random, or organized meetup, I'm thinking of all of you, with fondness and sending out good wishes to you all wherever you are in this great big world <3

be brave loves,

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