Growing up, I always dreamed of going to college and joining a sorority. I wanted the lifelong friendships, the networking opportunities, the packed social calendar, the pictures in matching dresses to post on social media...

Then I got to high school, started watching/reading the news, and learned about hazing. My desire to join a sorority fell, significantly.

I ended up attending a small university, where the Greek life consisted of a single sorority and no fraternities. I figured it couldn't hurt to check it out. I went to recruitment and was blown away by the amount of like-minded yet diverse women who made up the organization. They were goal oriented. They held community service as a high priority, where many other groups held finding out who could hold their liquor the best as their greatest priority. 

I thought: this is my place. These are my people. I was so excited to join.

Looking back, I don't regret joining. I love my sorority and everything that we stand for. 

But as far as the Greek college experience... I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. It was okay.

I didn't make those lifelong friends. 

I made the kind of friends that I can make small talk with at a charity event, maybe get together to catch up over dinner or see a movie about twice a year.

I didn't make the kind of friends who you spill all your secrets to, show up at 3AM to console a break-up for, or take epic adventures with. 

Talking to those in the Greek system at other schools who were physically, mentally, and emotionally abused in order to join... they made those friendships. They have lifelong bonds. They would give their lives for some of their brothers and sisters. 

This is not to condone hazing in any way, shape, or form. It is not something that I believe in or support. In fact, had I gone to a school where I was put through anything like that - as mild as being forced to clean the bathroom floor with a toothbrush - I would have dropped out immediately. I would never have made it. I don't want to be a part of anything that badly. Had I been hurt physically, I would have been that one who reported it and gotten shunned by the group. 

That being said, I remain jealous of the bond it seems to create. 

When you go through something dramatic and painful with a group of people who see you at your most vulnerable, how could you not bond with them?

That's what the Greek system is supposed to be all about, right? Sisterhood. Brotherhood. For a lifetime.

I wish I could say that my sisters are my best friends, my bridesmaids, my ride-or-dies... but I can't. 

Those I know who have gone through it swear on their life that it's worth it... but I'm not sure.

Maybe I just don't have it in me. I don't believe I would have had what it takes, so had I not joined the organization that I did, I still would have missed out on those strong bonds, but it makes a person wonder... what creates those bonds? How do we forge true friendships?

Humans are built for social interaction, and lacking people to confide in really takes a toll. 

What do you think? How far would you go? Would it be worth it?

 

Published by Samantha LaBat