The movies I watched growing up taught me that even when it was inconvenient and difficult, that I was supposed try. If something mattered to me, I was supposed to give it my all, and if I gave it everything I had, it was going to happen. It might take longer than I had thought it would, and it might be harder than I thought it would be, but if I genuinely wanted it and worked for it, I would get it. Or so I thought.
I spent the last 2 years of my life desperately trying to get Greek Life on my campus. I had my own selfish reasons, like wanting to prove everyone wrong, and wanting to actually stick with one of my bright ideas, but what really drove me in my efforts was my passion for Greek Life. There are social clubs. There are organizations that focus on bonding and sisterhood. There are groups that concentrate on empowering women. There is no shortage of volunteer organizations or opportunities on my campus. But only Greek Life streamlines so many different, and essential aspects of development. No other entity demands so much of its members, or holds them to so high a standard. For every news story portraying Greeks negatively, playing on oversaturated, outdated stereotypes, are thousands of examples of sorority women and fraternity men performing acts of kindness, selflessness, and charity that will go unnoticed.
I wanted the parties and t shirts as much as the next girl, but more than anything, I knew that my peers deserved Greek Life. At a small liberal arts school in New England with a less than competitive admissions process, we’re so quick to underestimate ourselves. More people at my school have school embarrassment than school pride, and I know we’re better than that. When I walk across my campus, as annoyed and judgmental as I am 99.9999% of the time, I know that there’s potential, and I know that my peers are capable of much more than they give themselves credit for.
To me, Greek Life was one huge step in the right direction for my school, and I was willing to do anything and everything to push my school in that direction.
But here I am, two years down the line, with nothing to show for it but disappointment and wasted money. I tried once and failed. I tried again and failed. And as much as I believe in Greek Life and all that it offers and represents, I don’t have the time to fail again.
I’m disappointed in my school. I’m disappointed in the girls I was supposed to call sisters. I’m disappointed in myself.
As much as I want to wallow in my own miserable grief over what could have been, I’m forcing myself to learn from this.
Learn to put yourself out there. Learn to be a leader, and not care how many people doubt you or don’t believe in you.
All of your hard work and dedication is nothing without a team that works as hard and is equally dedicated. As important as self-sufficiency is, you can only do so much on your own. You need people in your corner that will match your passion and diligence.
People are fickle and unreliable. People love ideas and they love the way things sound, but they don’t like making the sacrifices necessary to make those ideas a reality.
A great idea without great planning and organization will only ever be an idea. If you aren’t efficient in your preparation, you will never achieve the execution that you’re working for.
If you want to succeed you have to learn to be an unapologetic hardass. It’s your responsibility to make it happen, not babysit or cater to anyone’s feelings. There’s no need to be unnecessarily crass or hurtful, but you can’t let the fear of offending anyone supersede your goals.
This isn’t the indie movie ending, where despite everything going wrong, I know that everything will be all right, and I dance off into the sunset completely unphased by all that’s happened. It’s hard seeing other people have what I wanted so badly, and what I thought I was so close to achieving. It’s hard composing emails to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, explaining that Delta Delta Theta no longer exists, and will hence no longer be able to contribute to ending veteran homelessness in our community. It’s hard looking back at how much of my own hard earned money and time I’ve put into something that I believed in, and realizing that one of my dreams were a bad investment. But life goes on, and all you can do is grow.