That time I was in a sorority, Part 1

20 Apr

This is part 1 of what I think is going to be a 3-part story. I don’t talk much about this, mostly because I look back on it with lots of regret and I don’t like to dwell on it too much. But for some reason, I’m feeling compelled to write it down. Probably because when Nolan and Tessa go to college and say they want to join a fraternity or a sorority, I want to give them my opinion as objectively as possible, and would like to be able to refer them to this story (before too many years pass and I can’t find my pants, let alone remember what happened when I was in college in 2001).

One more thing- I totally understand that most people have really positive experiences when they join sororities or fraternities. I don’t mean for any of this to sound as though I’m pigeon-holing anyone or judging someone’s choice to be “Greek”. I just think it’s only fair that people who haven’t been Greek know what it’s really like.

When I was a kid, I had a really hard time spending the night at friends’ houses, and even other family members’ houses. Some of my earliest memories are of trying so hard not to cry when it was time to go to sleep, but inevitably not being able to get it together. I always had to call my parents to come and get me. I remember crying all day in class one day in second grade because I was supposed to go to my cousin’s house that night to spend the night. I was so upset at just the idea of staying overnight that I couldn’t even get through one day at school.

It wasn’t until sixth grade, when I was given an opportunity to go away to a selective summer camp, that I was able to stay away from home overnight. That week was not without tears and calls home, begging my mom and dad to come pick me up. They didn’t. We had made a pact that I wasn’t going to come home early. I stuck it out and was, of course, glad I did.

I’ve never been able to figure out where the terror of staying away from home overnight came from. To my recollection, nothing  bad ever happened to me when I was away from home, but that fear of being somewhere else at night was always there in the pit of my stomach.  It was embarrassing and hard to deal with. I never stayed for slumber parties and my friends didn’t really understand why I wanted to go home. I know it contributed to my overall sense of never really fitting in and feeling as though I wasn’t as cool or grown up as my friends.

When it came time to decide where I wanted to go to college, I wasn’t scared to be away from home anymore, but I still wasn’t willing to move across the country. I wanted to get just far enough away from my parents to have a little freedom, but close enough that I could get home quickly if I needed to. I chose a school about an hour and a half away from home. I didn’t anticipate having any problems being away from home and was looking forward to it.

As it turned out, when moving day came, I was a mess. I didn’t want my parents to leave and for the first time in six years, I had that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and the voice in my head saying “Go home! Go home!” It didn’t help that I had just gotten back together with my ex-boyfriend and he lived in the same city as my parents. I didn’t want to be away from him and was just overwhelmed in general. I was afraid that I was going to turn around and run home, just like I did for years.

My roommate was a girl I’ve known since preschool, so that helped. And she had a boyfriend at home too so we were both homesick and fighting the urge to go back home. We decided that if we were going to stay in school and not run home, we would have to keep ourselves busy and find a reason to stay.

We decided go through rush and pledge a sorority.

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7 Responses to “That time I was in a sorority, Part 1”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife April 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I was the same as a kid. Incapable of staying at friends’ houses. Always calling my parents in the middle of the night to come get me. And when my parents left me at college? It was HORRIBLE. Total meltdown. I thought I would die. It all worked out, obviously. But man was it rough!

    I am really interested to read this story. Never joined a sorority or pledged anything, so it’s a world totally foreign to me. But I did have two roommates who tried out for our school’s equivalent of a sorority and didn’t get in… and it devastated them.

    Anyway, looking forward to Part 2!

    • Kristina April 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      Sometimes I’m amazed at how many things we have have in common. I seriously thought I was one of the few kids who had this problem.

  2. Courtney April 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Hmm…Can’t wait to find out if this sorority story is anything like mine!

    • Kristina April 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      I would love to hear your story too!

  3. Maggie April 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    OOOOH, I have been WAITING for someone to write about their Greek days! Eagerly awaiting Part Two!

    • Kristina April 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      I’m going to try to be as magnanimous as possible, but I’m not going to lie, it won’t be easy!

  4. Heather April 21, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Oh, my dearest friend, I cannot wait to hear this story! Though it seems you left out an important detail … or this might need to be a SPOLIER ALERT … or you’re just being too nice! The PLAN was for our boyfirends to STAY in our home town so we could experience this whole college/sorority thing together, but mine decided to surprise me and RUIN everything. (Though, at the time, I was tricked into thinking this was an expression of true love.) Admittedy, and with regret, I made one of the BIGGEST mistakes of my life … to be continued…

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