College has taught me a hundred lessons, over just a few months. It has been some of the saddest, most lonely months of my life, but also some of the most enlightening. I have grown so much. I never expected college to be hard. I excelled in high school. I had great friends, always was at the very top of my class and was supported in every single way. I had no reason to think college would be any different.
About a week after I moved in, at about two in the morning, it suddenly hit me that I was totally and utterly alone. There was no one within 500 miles that cared whether I was happy or sad or stressed or succeeding. No one. I came to a school where I didn't know a single person and I had no idea how that would feel.
I put myself out there at every chance I got, almost aggressively so. I joined clubs and sports and organizations and went to events. Eventually, I found my way to a certain sorority. Even though I didn't really connect with any of the girls, the promises of "sisterhood" and "fifty shoulders to cry on" pushed me to join.
For months, I was a part of this group of girls and went to all the functions and events that I could, hoping to get to that "sisterhood". At the same time, I found myself battling crippling anxiety, more than I could understand or explain, even to my boyfriend H. I would worry for days before any event, that I would say something stupid or reveal that I didn't belong. I got sick on many occasions, just from pure anxiety. Most of the time, I would slip out the back door of the event, crying for no reason other than I was so nervous. I started getting counseling.
After a semester in the sorority, I was "cut", via a very short email. I was told that I was no longer invited to be a sister. I didn't even realize that was an option. I was humiliated. Girls that I thought would become my friends voted me out. That night was the saddest I have been in a very long time. Not because of the sorority or the girls themselves, but because their rejection proved something I always suspected inside me: I don't belong.
It took a long time for me to look back at that with an honest eye. The truth was...I didn't belong with them. I had nothing in common with the girls. I was trying to force myself into being like these girls when I wasn't at all--that's where all the anxiety problems came from. I took my anxiety to mean that I didn't fit in with people and wasn't going to make friends, but in reality, I was anxious because I was exhausted of pretending.
And I always felt like admitting I didn't belong somewhere would be like giving up, but I realize now that it would have been the honest thing to do. Just because I didn't fit in one place didn't mean I didn't fit in anywhere. As a matter of fact, as soon as I stopped forcing friendships that just weren't meant to be, I started finding real friendships--people that I can see myself being friends with for a long time.
You don't belong everywhere.
Not everyone will like you.
Some paths aren't for you.
But you do belong somewhere and you do have a path, and it is entirely and wholly perfect for you.
Please feel free to leave any thoughts or comments on this story. As always, thank you for reading.
This seriously isn't meant to be against the sorority I was in, or any sororities for that matter. I think sororities can be great and I tried to write this in the spirit of honesty, not out of any spite or anger. I felt like this needed to be shared and I hope it is received accordingly.