Quick, hide your letters! The Real World is coming!

Only when you have people who share the same interest as you, then you can consider that you fit into a certain group where you truly belong. Mingling with other people who do not even recognize your presence can be quite frustrating and it could also pull your confidence down all at the same time. To find a community where you are accepted, you have to learn that everyone has its differences and learn to respect it because they choose to be what they are.

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It has come to my semi-recent attention that having been a part of the Greek community just isn’t, well, cool in The Real World. Which is kind of shocking to me coming out of a college environment that seemed to really enjoy being Greek if they so chose to be Greek.

So while I did give away most of my carefully assembled sorority t-shirt collection (you’re welcome assorted “phamily” members), I kept a few because honestly? A lot of my favorite memories are embodied by those shirts. That must sound pretty stupid. Let me put it outside the context of betas, kappas, and taus.

Have you ever been a part of a group of people and just felt that you belonged? Not in an overly idealized, love every single member of the group unconditionally kind of way, but in the sort of way that you just feel generally accepted and happy to be a part of something. We’re human beings, we like groups, de Toqueville called America “a nation of joiners” once upon an American History class. Joining groups is a tale as old as time.

In high school I played soccer. For four months a year, we practiced every day for two hours a day, and when we weren’t practicing, we were playing, and when we weren’t playing, we were decorating shirts, or watching sports movies, or just being idiots the way that we all were in high school. So when I went to college – some 1,300 miles from home – I felt more than a little let down, and frankly scared, not to have anymore seasons with my teammates. I had to find that again. That group, that feeling of belonging, that sense of home without really being home. I went to college, and I found great friends. Then I went through recruitment, and I found some more great friends – plus that home away from home feeling, and place I had been looking for.

Just because I’ve graduated and traded in my wine and blue stitched letters and tutus for a button up and blazer combo, doesn’t mean I have to start rolling my eyes and pretending that being Greek was un-cool or stupid. Maybe to some people it was. From what I’m hearing “some people” are pretty vocal about it. But for me it was an excuse to have a good time, with good people, who didn’t necessarily always have good work ethic (it’s almost impossible to study at a sorority house), but who were always there for a good laugh and an even better excuse to procrastinate. If you don’t understand that, try think of any group of people you’ve ever cared about, that have made you feel a part of something a little bigger than yourself. And if you still don’t get it, then I just don’t care what you think anymore.

I’m not gonna sit here and talk about “sisterhood” and mush and gush and sorority stereotypes. I’m sure they exist, but they didn’t in my chapter. We had our tacky moments of tears, and yes, we sang during recruitment (though not by choice). We also laughed a lot, and ate too much, and welcomed our friends when they were low. If that’s something you want to call lame, then I think I’m okay with that.