Unsolicited: Letting Go of the Greek Fairy Tale

Ever since I joined Greek Life at the University of Utah in Fall 2015 and became privy to the individual rituals that distinguish us from other student organizations, I have watched as older sisters in my own sorority and women across the row experience lavaliering and candle passings. Lavaliering is a ceremony where a fraternity man gives his letters to a significant other in a sorority, which represents that the sorority woman and the love between them has come to mean more to him that his fraternity. Cute, I know. Candle passings are typically for engagements, but can be used as a preface to lavaliering as well. The sorority women stand in a circle and sing a song of their respective sorority while passing a lit candle. The candle goes around the circle (twice for lavaliering, three times for engagements) until the woman who is receiving a lavalier or an engagement blows the candle out, with lots of happy tears and Snapchats to follow.

Watching these public declarations of love, especially as a freshman, made me want a lavaliering, candle passing, or both more than anything, but as a senior with no meaningful, fraternity-ditching sentiment in sight, the likelihood of my dream coming to fruition is dwindling with each passing day. Normally, I am a huge advocate for dreamers of all kinds, but some dreams aren’t made to last. Now that I've come to terms with it, it is time for me to let go of my Greek Fairy Tale.

To clarify, the Greek Fairy Tale goes something like this: you meet a fraternity guy early on in your college career and you get  experiencing excitement in the unknown of the budding relationship. As time progresses, you're decoding his texts late at night with my sorority sisters. A little farther down the line, your relationship is the envy of Greek Row. Everyone knows about it, and more importantly, everyone wants what you have. You catch the Row’s attention because it’s a meaningful, true relationship grounded in your love for each other, the Row, and our respective houses. There is something truly quintessential and movie-esque about this Greek Row fairytale, the same fairytale that would ultimately end in a lavaliering, engagement, candle passing extravaganza and the college version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

It is a nice thought in theory, and on rare occasion, I’ve seen a Greek Fairy Tale come true. However, my vehement belief in the Greek Fairy Tale was detrimental to my dating life, because it made fraternity man the number one priority in my Greek experience. I sought in a significant other instead of good character and integrity, which should have been my top values.

That being said, as I kiss one type of Greek Fairy Tale goodbye and enter my sentimental senior phase (which includes going to frat parties just because it’s my last chance) I have realized that I have already been living a different type of Greek Fairy Tale, and I didn’t even know it. My Greek Fairy Tale doesn’t have anything to do with fraternities or men, but rather, the source of my happily ever after is my own sorority and the lifelong, true connections I’ve made amongst the women there. As time has worn on through my Greek Life experience, my focus slowly shifted from a social, outward perspective to an inward one. My faith in my sisterhood was tested both in the way that I am a sister to others, and the ways that others are sisters to me. But ultimately, the sisterhood survived and the concepts and evils that tested it ceased to matter. I’ll leave you with this--romantic relationships are fickle and what you thought you wanted out of your Greek experience might change drastically between freshman and senior year. Be sure to remember that nothing can replace or overpower a truly strong girl gang. 

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