Every recruitment video has a video montage of girls laughing, jumping, and excitedly jumping all over each other. The girls in those videos are silly and uninhibited. And that’s how most sorority girls are: bubbly, vivacious, and outgoing, which is what makes them so fun to hang out with. But there are a select few of us who don’t fit into that specific stereotype. I’m an introvert in a system that caters to extroverts, and while I love being with my sisters, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with them.
I need my alone time. I need at least a few nights a week where I don’t do anything but relax, unwind, and not be around anyone. For me, and other introverts, being around people for too long is exhausting. And when you’re in a sorority that has a mixer every week, various social and philanthropy events we’re expected to attend, it can be really hard to get that alone time I so desperately crave. Don’t get me wrong — I love my sorority and I’m so glad I can be part of this sisterhood, but I’m just not as extroverted as they are. As much as I love getting drunk enough to stand on elevated surfaces and brunch with bottomless mimosas every now and again, it’s exhausting to keep that up.
I started out really trying to fit in, trying to force myself to do things with people to get them to like me. I was running on empty nearly all the time, but I had to suck it up and fake it because otherwise I wouldn’t make friends. I knew that you get what you put in when you’re in a sorority, so if I wanted friendship and sisterhood, I had to put myself out there. All. The Time.
It became harder and harder to fit in, and that’s when I realized you can’t fake friendships. You can’t thrust yourself into situations you don’t really want to be in and expect to have fun and make friends. My pledge sisters had all found their friend groups and I was left floating around them like an outsider. I eventually made friends, but it was a real challenge for me.
I felt like there was something wrong with me for not fitting in. I couldn’t understand why all these girls were so excited about being booked with social events for an entire week (the thought of which made my stomach drop) and how they still managed to do all that and find time to hang out with sisters outside of the mandatory socials.
It’s been a hard journey realizing the only thing “wrong with me” was my introvert status. Nearly every other girl in my chapter absolutely loved being overly involved, except for me. I needed space sometimes, from my sisters and from the world. I didn’t jump at the chance to attend every social gathering, and when you’re in Greek life, that’s how you meet people. That’s how you make friends. That’s why it was so hard for me to make friends, considering my fondness for alone time.
Being a Type B personality in a Type A world is freaking hard. You’re expected to show up to everything and have no problem socializing. You’re supposed to actually WANT to socialize all the time. I thought that was what I wanted but it turned out to be the thing slowly making me forget myself and wondering if I was doing something wrong.
It was hard distancing myself from my friends but it was needed. I used to have no lock on my door so friends would just ~show up~ and start hanging out. Once I started getting the alone time I needed, a lot of my “friends” seemed to drop out of my life. Apparently making efforts to stay friends isn’t worth it if said “friend” isn’t down to do things at all times of the day.
So I found my true friends, the ones who would allow me my space I so desperately needed and make plans with me often, but not all the time. I had friends who would check up on me to make sure I was doing alright, which helped because they still cared about me despite me not being a constant presence in their life. It was hard at first to realize the people I had surrounded myself with weren’t truly interested in me as a person but as time went on, it was better having a few close friends and knowing that I didn’t have to try so hard around them. They knew who I was and they didn’t care about hanging out with me 24/7.
It’s definitely harder being an introvert in a sorority, but if you’re up for the challenge, you should do it. I came out with a lot of sisters and three really amazing friends that I’m sure I’ll have for life.
Oh, and a TON of t-shirts..
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