Friday, April 28, 2017

Why I'm Happy I Didn't Join a Sorority

Happy Friday! It's actually a pretty nice day here in Seattle, so it's starting to feel like Spring! I really need to get some good vitamin D soon, because all of this rain and cloudy weather is seriously making me feel so blah.

As this year is coming to a close, I was reflecting back on what this time was like during my senior year of high school, and what all has happened these past three years at college. I found myself talking to my friends the other day about Greek life, and I remembered the decision I was struggling to make just three years ago, about whether to join a sorority or not. Since I've never talked about it on my blog, I decided today I would do just that! I feel like a lot of bloggers out there are really involved in Greek life, and that's great! I just wanted to bring a new perspective to the table, and show people that it isn't the only option in college, and that you can still find really great friends and a wonderful place to fit in.

When I went to the "accepted students tour" at the University of Washington, I saw that there was a panel on Greek life (basically, sororities and fraternities). I was interested about it and read further about all of the sororities on campus. I had never really thought about rushing before, and I had just assumed that I would find a roommate and live in the dorms. I had never really had any exposure to Greek life; my family doesn't have some long line of being in a certain sorority, and none of my friends who had gone onto college had ended up joining sororities.  The idea of having a group of girls you could be close with sounded really great to me, so I started to think about possibly rushing.

A couple of girls in my orientation group had decided they were definitely going to rush. We were all on the same level, though, and none of us had joined sororities. They were nice, and we quickly became friends. They were fully consumed in wanting to rush, and were extremely excited to find their sorority. The prospect of living in a house with upwards of forty girls didn't scare them, like it did me. At the time of my orientation I had already been talking to my future roommate on the roommate finder app my school had (it was seriously like online dating!), so I was pretty sure I was going to live in a dorm.

Still, though, a little part of me wanted to rush and join a sorority. I don't have any sisters, so I thought it would be cool to experience what that was like. However, I am an introvert, and the idea of living with a ton of girls, and having to be energetic and sociable didn't appeal to me. It seemed a little overwhelming the sheer amount of events sororities hold, and a lot of work as well. I like alone time, and peace and quiet when I get stressed out, and I didn't think I would get that in a house full of girls.

I thought a lot about the possibility of rushing throughout orientation; I met a lot of different girls with a lot of different opinions about rushing. By the end of orientation, I decided I didn't want to rush, and my friends who did quickly lost contact with me. I don't hold any grudges about that, our lives are very different, and we made other friends with similar interests. It was a little disappointing that they decided they didn't want to remain friends with me once the school year started, just because I wouldn't be involved in Greek life.

When I got to school in September, I had so many mixed feelings. I was upset about leaving my family (especially my dogs!) for an extended amount of time, since I never had before, but I was also really excited to finally have some freedom. Ultimately, I'm really glad I was able to go through these emotions in a dorm room with my one roommate, instead of a giant house filled with a lot of noise and other people.

The dorms were quiet at first - people were nervous to open their doors and interact with others when it was their first day of college. That nervousness was broken, however, with a night of Cards Against Humanity in the lounge. We all got to know each other, and I made friends I'm still close with today - I actually met my boyfriend that night even though we wouldn't go on to date until December of 2016! Dorms most made me nervous because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make friends or that people would be really closed off. My floor was the opposite, though, and a lot of us kept our doors open most of the time so we could all hang out. We all quickly became close, and I found girl friends who I could talk to and spent most of my time with. I had found the connections I wanted from a sorority, without going through all of the other factors I had no interest in.

My experience not joining a sorority has been great; I have found great friends, and joined clubs that allow me to be as social as I want to be, and I'm so happy I lived in the dorms for the first two years for college. There is absolutely nothing wrong with joining a sorority if you think that's what you want, but if you're wanting to make friends in college, it definitely is not the only option out there. Don't let what your friends are doing influence you, it isn't bad not to join one.

What's your take on Greek life vs. dorm life?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cheers to 21

In recent years, it seems like time is going by faster and faster. The last couple of years I've been shocked every time my birthday comes around. How has it already passed?! Life is funny that way; when we're kids we want life to move quickly and it goes slowly, but once we get older it flies by and we struggle to cherish it. The entire day of my 21st birthday I was trying to memorize every single detail of the day, because I want these memories to last and I want to be able to remember them. I spent the day with my favorite humans, and I was so grateful how they went out of their way to make sure I had a wonderful day, which I did.

When I was younger, my parents always threw me huge birthday parties with all of my friends there, and while I'm so grateful for those memories, it's nice to be able to spend my birthday with my closest friends, and the people who truly care about me. I'm realizing more and more that life truly isn't about the number of friends you have, but the quality of your friends. I feel extremely lucky to have those people in my life and I couldn't imagine it without them.

Getting to the more exciting topics, I've been looking forward to turning 21 for a couple of years now, mostly so I can finally go to wine painting classes with my mom. Now that I'm of legal age, I feel like I'm just going to complete my transformation into a grandma, and that's definitely not something I'm mad about. So many doors open to you once you're 21, namely, better seats at concerts, and movie theaters that don't allow children. I cannot believe I'm finally 21; it feels like yesterday I was just turning 16.

My birthday was surprisingly sunny, which I was so grateful for. Seattle has been seeing so many cloudy, rainy days, so it was a little blessing to have a clear(er) day. I got to show one of my best friends around the cherry blossoms in the Quad at my university (something it's known for), and it was really fun to get some cute photos. I recently got a polaroid camera, so I was able to get some instant photos, which was really nice. Photos don't seem to get printed out nearly as often anymore, so it's great to have a camera that can do it right away. I'm definitely glad I made the investment!

Here's some photos from the day:

That night I went out to one of my favorite districts in Seattle, Capitol Hill, and went to some fun bars with my of legal age friends. It was strange being back in bars after spending a lot of time in them last summer while in Europe, but also really fun! The satisfaction of pulling out my driver's license was pretty great, and I don't think it'll get old for a while.

I ended up wearing this really cute romper I got from Pacsun, and I'm so glad it didn't rain while we were out! The weather wasn't too cold, it was actually pretty great for an April night, only a light sweater was needed (name that reference). I'm so excited to be able to go to really cute outdoor bars this summer! There's something so great about being able to just spend time with your friends on a warm summer night, it's definitely one of my favorite feelings.

Reflecting back on my birthday, it's still so crazy to me that I'm finally 21. I'm trying to cherish these early-20s memories, because I know one day I'm not going to have the freedom that I do now, despite being busy with college. One day real life will catch up to me and it'll be hard to spontaneously decide to go out with friends and spend the night out on the town. I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to do so now!

I just wanted to write up a quick post about my birthday, partly so I can look back on it later in life. I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for reading! I hope you are all having a wonderful day :)