So..My Parents Forced Me to Join a Sorority

Entering my freshman year of college, I was optimistic that making new friends was going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy. What a sad turn of events that first semester turned out to be. I was counting on my dorm roommate to automatically be my friend, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s hard to become friends with someone when they speak to you a total of six times over the course of the entire semester. I have never felt so alone in my life. It’s bizarre to feel so alone when there is someone constantly in your presence (she never left the dorm).

So the roommate was a no go on the best friend train, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to make friends in class and around campus...right? Wrong. I quickly realized that the social dynamics of college really are different compared to high school, the stereotype was true! Every college student is busy doing their own thing. Once you realize that everyone is paying to be there, and have to hurry to their jobs, and then home to do homework, that leaves very little space to sit on campus and make friends. I got so desperate for human interaction, that I would sit next to strangers in the cafeteria and try to make conversation with them! That memory keeps me up at night.

I was beyond miserable, and I called my mom close to four times a day, because I needed to hear that someone still cares about me, and wants to know how my day went. My parents were obviously worried about me, and felt terrible that I was feeling lonely and depressed. They would convince me every weekend to travel back home, so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

And then at the beginning of second semester, I received a Facebook invitation from one of my former cheer teammates to come to a spring recruitment event for her sorority. I immediately was on the phone with my mom talking it over. I was so excited over the idea of it, and I had a gut feeling that it was the right thing to do. My parents were so happy with me showing signs of happiness that they talked me into going, despite the onslaught of sorority stereotypes.

I remember doing everything I could to look my best to try and make a good first impression. I drove down to the parking lot that sits on top of Greek row, and began to walk down. Once I got to the corner of the house and saw that the door was shut, I immediately went into full panic mode. How am I supposed to muster up the courage to walk into a house packed of pretty girls, who are already friends with each other, all by myself?! I ran away from the house, and hid behind the math building that sits right across the street from the house, fighting back tears. I watched these groups of girls walk into the house together, and I have never in my life felt so incapable. At this point, my confidence was at an all time low. I repeated this process of walking to the house, and then running back to the math building three times, before eventually bursting into tears, and heading to my car.

I couldn’t do it. I was so terrified of being rejected more than I had already been that year. I called my parents in the midst of my mental breakdown, and told them I couldn’t do it. I will never forget what they told me. They told me to have the courage to fight for what I wanted. “They would be so lucky to earn a friend like you. There’s nothing you can lose by trying. You are going to regret not walking through that door.”

Boy, were my parents right (don’t tell them I said that)! I don’t know how I finally made it through that door, but it’s the best thing I ever did for myself. If anyone is familiar with the Greek system, then you know the saying “when you know, you know,” but it couldn’t be more true. Right when I walked in that door, I was treated as if I was already their best friend, and I felt a connection to the girls and to the house that I can only describe as finding the home I was always meant to join.

The girls in this house have changed my life. I am the confident, outgoing, self-motivated and tenacious person I am all because they gave me the friendship and love I needed to grow into the person I always wanted to be. I have lifelong friends, future bridesmaids, and friends who are more like family all because of this sorority. I can’t imagine what my life would look like right now if I hadn’t forced myself into that house.

To all the girls who are thinking about joining a sorority or are on the fence about it, my advice for you is to walk through the door. Try it. Go to an event and talk to some girls who really, truly want to talk to you and once you find the right fit, you’ll never look back.