In Spring of 2015 I made what I knew would be a life changing decision to join a Panhellenic Sorority. My first semester was wonderful. I stood for everything our sorority stood for Nationally and as a transfer student the experience helped me to feel at home. Over the course of my first semester we made what I believed where great strides as a sisterhood and I was excited to get to know my new sisters. In the Fall of 2015 things began to falter.
All sorority chapters struggle and all sisters fight. Unfortunately through the process of the start of the Fall semester I started to feel as if I was getting left behind. As classes started and my workload increased I found myself having more and more conflicts with chapter events and getting punished socially as a result. The Fall of 2015 I lost 2 people who had been monumental in my life and saw myself spiral out of control as a result. When I hit my lowest point I looked around to realize I had no sisters by my side. By the time I truly needed help none of them had even noticed my absence.
At one point last semester I went a week without eating. I wasn’t trying to deprive myself of food, I simply was so caught up with how much my life sucked at that point in time I forgot to eat for 7 days. It wasn’t until someone I hardly knew at the time started to remind me to take care of myself that I began to realize how absent my sisters had been when I really needed them. When I finally told one of my sisters about how bad things had gotten her first response was to tell me she didn’t believe me (this coming from a girl who saw me everyday, including days when professors had sent me home from class because they were concerned for my well being).
About a week later I stopped wearing letters. I told myself over and over again that it was okay. That I would get my life together and then rejoin the chapter as if nothing had changed. In reality everything had changed. One of my biggest role models had passed away. One of my closest relatives had passed away. I wasn’t remembering to eat. I wasn’t remembering to drink water. I was hardly remembering to go to class. I began making a long series of decision that would negatively impact my health. Looking back on last semester I haven’t a clue how I managed to pass all my classes. Someone I hardly knew stepped up and singlehandedly took the place of 70 sisters by reminding me to take care of myself.
Over the span of Christmas break I let myself believe things would change. I began to tell myself that when I got back to school everything would get better. I haven’t been back long but one thing is still the same. My sisters have no idea about the thing in my head because I am too afraid to tell them. They don’t know I was in the hospital. They don’t know how scared I was. They don’t know how scared I continuously am. Most of the time I could care less about what people say to and about me. I moved around a lot as a kid and as a result I never had friends who stuck around for any great length of time. Looking back I think I joined greek life for stability. I thought having sisters would mean I would have someone to be there for me when things got rough.
I don’t blame most of my sisters. Those who don’t see me regularly have no reason to be concerned. I know there were times when I slacked on attendance towards the end of last semester and I know that didn’t help the situation. Unfortunately though I felt like no less of an island when I was missing events than when I was attending them. If I was there every day or if I was there only every few weeks people didn’t notice a difference, and that is concerning. When I joined a sorority I thought it would change my life for the better. Looking back I can see my life has changed but I’m starting to wonder at what cost.
I am determined to use this semester to reestablish my place in within my chapter. I have several sisters to whom I would not be the same person without. There is one girl in particular who has changed my life in ways I could never imagine and I can’t believe I got so lucky as to find her in my family tree. I hope to help break down some of the walls that have been dividing me from some of the sisters I don’t see regularly and to help draw attention to some of the unsisterly behavior happening within us (we have all fallen victim to unsisterly behavior, myself included). I joined my sorority because I stood for the values of our National Organization and I hold firm to that belief.