Former sorority sisters, what were your best/worst experiences and how do you feel about Greek life now?

I had a mixed bag with my sorority. I had some fun experiences and made some wonderful friends that I still see now that we're adults. I have some cool memories of my sorority's traditions and the nights we all spent together having a good time.

But, I also had a lot of really lonely nights. I had to leave school at the very start of the first semester I was supposed to be living in my sorority house because I had a really bad case of mono. I left right when everyone started making friends. When I came back second semester my house had settled into cliques that didn't really get along with each other, and because I hadn't been there when the cliques formed I wasn't in any of them.

I was living with a girl that year that I was very different from. I liked going out, and I went out a lot that semester because I was trying to make friends and make up for lost time. She didn't drink at all, and mostly stayed in and studied. When I moved back in second semester she was used to living alone and didn't take to me kindly. I just figured we could do our own things, but I was wrong.

She silently judged me for the frequency that I went out but was nice to my face. She'd Then, she would gossip about me constantly behind my back. She apparently had hosted more than one cry session with anyone that would listen over how loud and messy I was, and everyone we lived with knew about how she felt about me except for me. I had no idea she even had a problem with me! And I while her complaints about my loudness and messiness were true, I would have accommodated her particularities had I known about them. I'd just never had a roommate that introverted and serious, so I didn't realize that she would respond that way.

This created a lot of problems. I did manage to make a small circle of friends, but everyone else thought I was a drunken psycho that was a huge meanie to the poor, timid girl I lived with. By mid-February no one would talk to me when we went out at night because they all thought I was a monster, and during the day people in her friend group would slyly insult me to my face. I had no idea why this was happening.

I found out what exactly was going on when it came time to find roommates for the next year. I was having an extraordinarily hard time finding people to live with and I couldn't figure out why. I didn't want to ask my new friends because I didn't want to make our relationship fraught if they told me no, so I had been reaching out to the girls I was closer with as a freshman. All of them said no. I found out why because one of my friends overheard a group of girls complaining about me. I had asked two of these girls if they'd let me live with them and they said no. I found out later, after they'd sent an e-mail out to the pledge class above us looking for more roommates that they were getting a house together, and had uniformly decided not to let me live with them because "I was too much of a drunken party girl that would treat our house like a hotel for strange men." (This was shocking to hear because I wasn't really like that at 19).

It finally came out why this was happening; my roommate was talking behind my back about a conflict I didn't even know existed. I tried being quieter and cleaner, but the damage had already been done, and while this was going on my roommate continued to make a stink to anyone that would listen. She even complained to others about me going out on a night that I had actually stayed up late to finish a paper in our kitchen. That's the level she had taken this to. One week after I found out why all of this happened, one of the girls in charge of the house came in and told me that they were separating us because we couldn't get along. I was completely floored, because I had no idea prior to the previous weekend that we even had a problem.

It sucked for a while and my reputation never fully recovered, but it ended up being sweet in the long run. I ended up with a single in a double room. I eventually made friends that understood that what had happened was just a clash of lifestyles, a series of miscommunications about expectations and emotional immaturity- not me actively choosing to be cruel, and I'm still friends with those people. Things got better, and I ended up having some good times. I hosted a lot of pre-games in my single room, and my friends and I would gather there to roll blunts whenever we smoked. More drama came for me later with that sorority, but I learned how to deal with it.

What happened in my sorority sucked when I was going through it, but in the cosmic scheme of things was far from the cruelest thing I could have suffered at the hands of another human. I know that now, but this experience was still valuable. I learned a lot about myself and other people, and I learned how to value myself independently of other people's perceptions of me. I learned how to navigate conflict, avoid drama, and communicate with other people about difficult topics. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything because every little lesson I learned from it has come in handy.

/r/AskWomen Thread