By Shannon Findley
“Wait, so you’re not in sorority?” With a sister who’s a Chi-O, a boyfriend who’s a Phi Chi, and roommates who are an Alpha Chi and a Theta, this is a question I am asked more times a week than I’d like to count.
It is usually followed by a look of a pity and follow-up question along the lines of, “So like, how do you make friends?” or, “So did you like not make good grades or what?”
When people, particularly at Phi Chi events, barrage me with inquiries about my lack of Greek “status,” my boyfriend likes to make the joke that “She didn’t have to pay for friends like the rest of us, she’s cool enough.”
Regardless of how “cool” I may or may not be, it’s true that throughout the course of my college career I have had no problem making numerous great friends outside of the structures of Greek life.
Rushing a sorority was never even on my radar from the beginning of college since the majority of my closest friends had been, and still are, from my church community.
I have never felt like I was lacking in friends because of my lack of Greek status, and I have never wished to be in a sorority since making the decision not to rush.
Contrary to many people in the Greek crowd’s beliefs, I’m not unaffiliated because I am too dorky or lame to be in a sorority or because I’m not smart enough or wealthy enough to make the cut.
I wouldn’t consider myself socially awkward or shy — I am simply content with my friend group, with who I am and with the freedom to make my own schedule and hang out with who I want to hang out with.
So please don’t pity me. Don’t shy away from making friends at me at fraternity events because you don’t think I know how to “run with your crowd.” I’m actually pretty normal and pretty much like you once you take the chance to get to know me.
So often people will approach me with lines like “Oh! You’re Sydney the Chi-O’s sister!” or “Hey, aren’t you Caleb the Phi Chi’s girlfriend?” and ask me no other questions about myself as if my sister and boyfriend’s “social status” tells them all they need to know to gauge my “coolness” or “likeableness.”
It’s not that I at all dislike or disagree with the Greek life system; I just don’t think that so much of someone’s identity, or lack thereof, should be wrapped up in some letter on a shirt.
So no, I’m not in a sorority, and yes, I have friends. No, I’m not struggling in school, and yes, I know how to carry myself gracefully and with poise at social events.
So don’t feel bad for me for not having a sorority label to put after my name, and don’t avoid me because I’m “other than” your crowd. I’m just like you, but I’m also just happy being me.
Shannon Findley is a junior journalism major from Waco. She is a reporter for The Lariat.