I hate telling people that being in a Greek organization changed my life because of how corny it sounds, but the fact of the matter is that it’s true.
The fall semester of my freshman year was awful for a plethora of reasons, but I think that the overall transition from high school to college was just extremely difficult for me. I spent every day sleeping, eating, and throwing myself into schoolwork. In retrospect, it doesn’t sound terrible. It sounds like an average College Kid kind of life. But I wasn’t just in a cyclic rut of school; I was depressed.
Nothing brought me joy. I was constantly filled with an overwhelming sense of doom–and not just about my academics. Getting out of bed was difficult. Going to things by myself was impossible. In fact, going to events with more than three people–even people I did know–was impossible. I knew about three people by the end of my first semester.
Winter break happened. I decided something had to give. Something had to be different.
I got an email about an honors fraternity which I was eligible for. None of my (two) friends were interested in it. Where I’m from, being Greek (and female) is usually equated with being white, and rich, and being after a “Ring by Spring.” I was, ignorantly, a believer of these horrendous stereotypes. Something in my gut told me that this was my chance for change; I went to the first info session by myself.
I was immediately in love. The people were my kind of people. They were fun and interesting and made me happy. It didn’t matter to me, anymore, that I was by myself at every rush event. I loved being around the people I was around.
I made it through the Rush process. I made it through the Initiation process. I became a member of the Fraternity. I didn’t realize how much it’d changed my life until this semester.
Every week, I have things to do. Every day, I have people to sit with–people I want to sit with. I have people to text and hangout with and have jokes with. I have people who know that sometimes I need to be alone. I have people who listen to me rant about Astronomy and teach me how to play Water Pong because they know I don’t drink. I am always excited to be around these people. I used to think that my way of getting out of a rut was to crawl into bed and not get out of it until I felt like I could function. Sometimes that’s still the answer. But most days? Well now, most days, the answer to my sadness is to get out of my room, to hangout with my Brothers.
At the last meeting, I was given the privilege of being voted Brother of the Month. Today I sat through a meeting in which I said the words, “I do things with this fraternity because I like being around y’all. Like, it makes me happy.” The people around me smiled. The people around me believed me. The people around me, I think, also like to have me around.
There are a lot of things I’m bad at expressing myself over. This is not one of them. I am immensely grateful for every person I have met because I “went Greek.” I am eternally indebted to this organization. These people have given me confidence, hope, a voice, an education, acceptance, and a home in a place which I thought would always be foreign.