What if–and this is a pretty crazy what if–after visiting all of the houses, running home on Bid Day, getting a big, being initiated, going to socials, staying out late with your sisters, and (illegally) drinking at your formal you realize…
Greek life just isn’t for you?
“WHY WOULD YOU EVEN BRING THAT UP?” -the haters
Well, I bring it up because it fucking happens. We can sit around and braid each other’s extensions all day and act like life is perfect, or we can acknowledge the fact that not every single woman we welcome into our house with a crudely decorated sign and a bag full of marketing–I mean, sorority letters–will remain a sister bound in [insert two annoying, long names for colors] until the end of time. Or, at least, her college career.
Sometimes it’s for financial reasons. Sometimes it’s because she isn’t doing well in school and needs to concentrate on her education (nerd). Sometimes it’s because she’s homesick and wants to be with her family, and sometimes, well, it’s because she just doesn’t want to be your sister.
That may seem harsh, but it’s the cold, hard, sober truth. We all have those holes on our family tree where a girl who we adored, loved, and held her hair back when she was vomiting decided she wanted to divorce us and peace out.
I can’t speak for all sororities (and I totally don’t want to know the gross, pervy things boys do at their initiations) but I know from personal experience that when I became a sister of my organization, I felt like I was taking a wedding vow (despite the fact that, like, I’m #foreveralone). It was beautiful, heartfelt, and full of words like “lifelong commitment” and “take this rose.” I felt like I was not only getting married, but signing myself over to something more for the rest of my life (so help me God).
While I’d like to say that I knew every day that my sorority was for me and that I had made the right $1,500 a semester choice, I can’t. I had times when I felt out of place, times when I considered dropping and keeping the rest of the money that would go to dues and travel or buy a shit ton of Cool Ranch Doritos. But I stuck it out. Does that mean I’m better than all of the other girls who had the same thoughts, but decided to cut their losses and try something else besides Greek life?
But even though I’m great, that doesn’t mean these girls who left us are terrible people–unless they are terrible people. Then, like, so long, bitches. Most of them, however, just wanted something different. Or wanted something more. Or something less expensive. I can speak for so many people who would say when someone you love in your sorority decides to drop, you feel like it’s a personal attack. That the person is saying she doesn’t love you, she never wants to see you again, and basically, that she’s breaking up with you.
I just want you to know, it is not your fault.
If she didn’t love you and never wanted to see you again, she would tell you. I promise.
So many of us lose friendships with “ex-sisters” because we think it would be weird to hang out with someone who doesn’t want to be in the same organization with us anymore. If you think about it, that is about the dumbest fucking thing in the world. If your best friend dropped out of Key Club (disclaimer: I don’t know what Key Club is due to the fact that I was never involved) would you post passive-aggressive statuses about how she “didn’t value the organization” or play the victim? No. You would say, “cool, whatever,” and you both would go get froyo and gossip about who looks ugly like you would on any other day.
Having had multiple friends, sisters, and even littles drop, I can say from experience that it’s hard. It’s harder than you think it will be. It’s weird to go from getting ready for socials with someone to not being able to share (or complain about) ritual with her. But you make it what you want it to be. You can make it negative, aggressive, and about yourself or you can make it positive, understanding, and accepting of the person who needs it. Granted, a lot of relationships in Greek life can be artificial and flimsy, so if that was the case, who cares? Let it go. But if the person who dropped was important to you, something as insignificant as a few letters shouldn’t stop you from having a lifetime of memories with a great friend.
If you happened to be the one who called it quits, congrats on making a hard decision that you felt was best for you. Not everyone has the courage to walk away from something that, while it might be wonderful, isn’t meant for her.
Just remember, dropping or having a friend drop doesn’t mean it has to be the end of that relationship, or even sisterhood. If you think about it, the morals of your organization ask you to be better than that: being understanding, sticking by people through thick and thin, and above all, loving each other unconditionally, letters or not.