As many of us Greeks know, rushing is a tough process. But what’s even tougher is disaffiliating from your sorority or fraternity. I have to say, my experience and the reasons why I left my sorority was a little bit non-traditional. I rushed in the spring of my sophomore year because I realized I didn’t have true bonds with my primary friend group, and I wanted to meet girls who were more like me. One day, I received an email from a professional sorority who had an awesome theme to recruitment — Disney princesses! I was immediately into it and attended a more low-key recruitment with a handful of other girls. The sorority was an agricultural sorority, with primarily animal science majors, and some nutritional sciences, environmental, etc. I finally felt like I had met a group of girls with similar values as myself; who liked to work hard, unwind, and didn’t mind getting their nails dirty once in a while.
However, after I rushed, I found other things piling up on my plate, and I had to decide what was more important. Did I want my internship, club President position, peer education group involvement, and grades to continue to suffer as I tried to balance everything on my plate, or should I drop my sorority? Although it was a tough process, I know that I ultimately made the right decision for myself. If you are thinking about disaffiliating from your sorority, read these reasons why I left my sorority to see if you can relate.
1. I had way too much on my plate.
My first and only active semester in my sorority was also the first semester I started my internship. I was also president of a club, involved in a peer education group that I loved, had a wicked tough course load, had a stressful living situation, started a long-distance relationship, and went home every weekend for a national performance team. I had more on my plate than I could handle, and as I was discussing my situation with one of my doctorate co-workers she said, “Annie, something’s gotta give.” She was so right. Unfortunately, that meant something had to go.
2. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal.
I hated being at chapter, while all the girls were signing up for events, and saying, “Sorry, I’m busy.” It made me feel terrible that I couldn’t 100% commit to my sorority because I had other priorities in my life. I know from experience how hard it is to lead an organization of people who are not there all the time, and I didn’t think it was fair to my sisters, as well as myself, that I couldn’t be 100% involved. Yeah, not everyone can attend every event, but I felt as if I had too many events to decide between, and it just wasn’t right. If you find yourself in a club, activity, or sorority and feel that you are not 100% committing, a good rule of thumb is go hard or go home. You get so much more out of something when you put everything you can into it, I promise.
3. My. Grades. Were. Horrible.
Yes, HORRIBLE. I started the semester with 21 credits (including an independent study). I dropped a class the first week. At the end of semester and scoring a 46 on one exam and a 64 on another, I decided to drop another class which was required for my major. Even after dropping, I got a D in one of my required classes, and had to retake it this past fall. I have gotten Cs before in classes, but seeing my grades that low made it really hard to pay attention in chapter at 9 pm every week. Extracurricular are an amazing thing and you should always get involved in at least one, but Greek life is so demanding and if your grades are low, it may not be worth it.
4. I didn’t have great friends in my sorority.
I loved my big, and I had a few friends. But outside my sorority, I didn’t really hang out with them. My sisters were a lot more different from me than I expected. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them either. But your relationship with your sisters may make or break your involvement in your sorority.
5. There was too much drama.
Like I mentioned, I rushed a professional sorority because I thought that it was more low-key and less cliquey. Honey, was I WRONG. Chapters were excruciatingly painful because a group of girls would gang up on another, always accusing each other of sabotaging the sorority. Some of the sisters were so power hungry, so hot headed, that they really ruined the experience and quality of the group. It was really disappointing to see how incredibly back-stabbing some of the girls were who claimed to be our sisters.
6. I hated my sorority colors.
Okay, so this is not a 100% legit reason why I left my sorority, but my sorority actually had the most unflattering colors ever. And as a professional sorority, we wore polos — these unattractive, thick, moisture-wicking polos that made it look like we were getting ready to milk a cow.
7. It wasn’t providing any utility in my life.
Like I said in #2, I believe that you get the most out of something when you put everything you can into it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put much into the sorority, but even if I had put in more, I wasn’t getting anything out of it. My sorority was ‘professional,’ but it provided 0% professional development. I hadn’t gained any leadership skills, because I was a leader in other groups. I hadn’t had much fun, because my sisters were dramatic. It is actually quite simple, my sorority provided nothing for me. However, if you find yourself in a similar situation, first ask, “What am I doing for my sorority?” Being in a sorority is much life friendship—it’s a two way street. If you put in time and effort, you will get a lot out of it. But if you don’t put in any effort into your sorority, it will provide nothing for you. In my case, I was heavily involved in other things that I was extremely passionate about. Those other activities provided me a lot of utility, and being involved in my sorority only held me back from those things.
8. It was holding me back from other things that I really, really looked forward to.
Again, I’m heavily involved in other activities that I am really passionate about. It was really hard when I left my sorority, but being a member was simply holding me back from fully committing to other activities that I loved. Honestly, I didn’t totally connect with my sorority and its values. It was cool, and something to do, and I did look forward to it sometimes—but honestly, I just didn’t love it. Maybe I could have loved it if I wasn’t so busy, but I didn’t.
Above are the reasons why I left my sorority, but I want to put this out there: in no way is Greek life inherently bad. Like everything in life, Greek life is what you make it. Unfortunately yet fortunately, I had so many other things on my plate that I was too involved with to happily stay affiliated. If you are reading this and can relate to the reasons why I left my sorority, maybe disaffiliating is a good option for you. However, before you disaffiliate, think about what you have put into your sorority. Are you putting in just as much as your sisters? Are you doing everything you can do to enjoy you sorority but you’re just not happy? Is your sorority taking too much time from other things that you value? When I left my sorority, it was definitely an incredibly hard decision to make, but I had to remind myself what was more important: to follow your heart and do what makes you happy. And all the important people in your life will stay with you and support your decision.