I bet a lot of you are expecting me to bash Greek life and sororities. I’m not going to do that. I’m also not going to rattle off names and stories of drunken nights, but I am going to tell you a story, and any advice you may pick up along the way is merely coincidence.
“Do you know why you’re here?”
That’s a question I’m sure most have heard during their time in Tri Delta. The truth is, I never had an answer for it. I mean I did, but it was never the right one. The first time I fell in love with Tri Delta wasn’t Bid Day my freshman year. I didn’t immediately think that this was home, where I was meant to be. I never had a “Tri- high”. To be honest Bid Day was one of the worst and most painful days of my college experience. It was raining and I fell down McMicken hill running to my new sisters. I completely got the wind knocked out of me, and was left with back problems for the next 3 months. The rest of the day was an awkward mess consisting of finger sandwiches, sitting at tables with strangers with pink diamond bows in our hair, and trying not to cry because I was in excruciating pain every time I took a breath.
The first time I fell in love with Tri Delta was the summer going into my sophomore year. It was sisterhood week, a dreaded week full of sweaty girls cramped in the house for 8 hours a day. But I loved it. When people ask me what I love about Tri Delta my answer is the sisterhood. But when I say that, what I’m really thinking about is me and a girl I talked to maybe once before that week, doing headstands behind the couch in the living room like it was a completely normal thing to do and running around with our hands on our foreheads singing a song about a moose. This is the point in my senior diary where I point out that we call ourselves sisters, but girls will still be girls. Always watch your back and treat others the way you want to be treated. Seriously, karma is a bitch. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes so check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Anyhow, my love affair with Tri Delta didn’t last long. That fall semester I fell out of love with myself, with Tri Delta and with the University of Cincinnati itself. So I left. I took a risk and applied for a job I knew nothing about and had no hope of getting. But, August of 2015 I moved away from Cincinnati, to Orlando, Florida to work for Walt Disney World.
If you get the chance to study abroad, do an out of town co-op, etc. Take it. Do it. Your friends, your sorority, that boy, they will all still be here when you get back. Nothing you miss here will be worth missing out on that opportunity. Get out of this city, away from this campus, and do something somewhere else, it’s the best decision you will ever make.
After Disney, I came back spring semester of my junior year like nothing changed, except for me. I got away from all of the negativity in my life and I really grew up. I understood what it was like to learn to survive on your own, to work full time and be a real adult; to spend thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, new years, working late shifts and being away from my family. They say you really get to know yourself when you are away at college, but college is actually a fantasy world. If you think this is real life, (in the words of my big) buckle up butter cup cause you’re about to get a huge wake up call.
Like I said, I had changed. Going out and having too many drinks than you can actually handle was no longer fun for me. I liked the nights of staying in, cooking a nice dinner, and just watching a movie with my friends. Which by the way, is totally fine. You have your entire life to drink. Seriously what do you think people do after work? They go to happy hour. College isn’t the only time you can happy hour, you have way more time for that when you aren’t worrying about homework.
This part of my life was really hard for me because my friends were still craving night life, so I literally stopped being invited places, I felt like I had no friends and I turned to a boy and put my happiness in him. When it comes to men, always go with your gut. If your gut is telling you he has another girlfriend in Seattle, then he probably does.
At this point, I was kind of dealing with this all on my own. I didn’t really turn to my sisters because during this time the cool thing to do was to act like you’re too good for Tri Delta. So, because the people closest to me were doing so, I did too. And I missed out on all of the wonderful things that could have been.
Now its senior year and I’m wondering where the last four years went. I’m trying to fit the things I’ve always want to do the past four years into the next four weeks and its really stressful on top of having a job, trying not to fail any classes, and balancing my time between my boyfriend and my friends.
Right now, I’m going to ask myself one more time- “Do you know why you’re here?”
The answer is, I know why I’m here but it’s not for the reasons that people told me to be here. It wasn’t to make friendships that would last a lifetime, because honestly I probably didn’t. It wasn’t to build stronger more womanly character, because I never listened to anything this chapter told me to do, so I didn’t do that either. But the reason I was here was to have at least 1 person out of 150 people, to get me through a bad day, to have one person say the right thing to me to get me through a bad week, to have someone to get me out of the house and get me through a bad month, I was here so that I would have people to help me get through the hardest years of my life.
College is the experimenting time. You find out what you like, what you hate, you fall in love, you fall out of it, you gain weight, you lose weight, you fail, and you succeed. Take a bunch of risks, experiment. Change your major, take the job that you think you’re too good for, take the job that you think you aren’t qualified for, always do the extra credit, smile a lot, fail a class, it is okay I promise. Go on dates, slide into the DMs of the cute boy in your freshman year English class because four years later he might finally decide that he likes you and become your boyfriend. If there is something you want to do in your four years here, you better do it because you don’t want to end your senior year wondering if you did enough. You’re here to find yourself and figure your life out. And that’s a really freaking hard thing but that’s life and it comes with living. So I wasn’t here to live out the purpose of Tri Delta, I was here to just live.