In case you weren’t sure, I was in a sorority in college.
If upon reading that sentence, your mind raced toward one of the million available stereotypes, please know it’s probably wrong.
As a high school senior prepping for college, I had plenty of preconceived notions regarding Greek life—perfect hair, awesome parties, pillow fights every night.
And I hate to disappoint, but my hair has always been hopeless, one in every 10 parties could be deemed “awesome”, and I haven’t been in a pillow fight since grade school, probably because every year since has been consumed by the want/need to sleep.
Does that make my sorority years a total waste? Absolutely not. Granted, it’s easy to forget just how much that four-year stint still means to me, but all I need is one quick rendezvous with my sistas to remember the greatness.
Fortunately, I had one such rendezvous this weekend.
Founders Day is an annual celebration of the (surprise!) founding of our sorority. Every Greek house has a Founders Day—Delta Gamma’s just so happens to be in March.
I rarely attend because I’m a terrible alumna who doesn’t want to drive 45 minutes on a Saturday morning to eat salad and clap every 30 seconds, but when my mom (also an alumna) mentioned she was going, I figured I’d tag along.
It resulted in a lot of feelings.
Nobody else from my class was there, but I saw plenty of older and younger women whom I’d been fortunate to meet during (and after) my time in the house.
Catching up with them was special on its own. You think social media does a decent job of keeping you updated on everyone’s life, but all it takes is a five-minute convo about their career, family and other happenings to realize you know nothing.
Then the speeches and awards happen and you remember how much you cared about the recognition back then. Busting your butt for the sake of being involved in everything because it’s what everyone did! And you didn’t do it for the recognition, but anytime a shout out was thrown your way, you basked in the glory.
Sometimes for a little too long? But whatever. Chock that up as one of the many things you learn in college.
Honestly, I may have learned more from my time in the sorority than I did in actual classes. At least in terms of actual life lessons.
Allow me to list the reality checks I have yet to forget since my time with the DGS:
- You’re never as cool as you think you are.
- Being uncool is actually cooler.
- Going out in sweatpants is perfectly acceptable.
- Because life’s too short to worry about what other people think.
- No matter how horrific your day has been, someone will always be there to listen.
- Cheesies make the world go ’round. (Assuming we don’t destroy said world with an abundance of styrofoam.)
- But under no circumstances should you ever eat another person’s clearly marked food.
- With the right amount of spandex and a high pony, anyone can be Beyoncé.
In a nutshell, I learned what does and doesn’t matter. What matters above all else are the people who make an effort to remain in your life (as long as you make the same effort to stay in theirs).
What doesn’t matter is how you look dancing in a hot dog costume in front of the student union on a rainy April day. At least you’re trying!
I learned how to channel my passions. How to show people I care. How to communicate what I’m feeling. How to make scrambled eggs in the microwave. And, perhaps most importantly, how to make every minute matter.
Sometimes I worry I learned that last one a little too late. That I glossed over the early days of my DG career. Then I remember I have several amazing friends to help me fill in the blanks, and now I have to go send a group text to figure out when we’ll all get together again.
So no, we didn’t have regularly scheduled pillow fights or spend every waking moment wandering the halls of fraternities. Because sitting on the couch with pints of ice cream and a solid rom com was (and still is) way more fun.
That’s definitely Lesson No. 9.
Title Credit: Disney?