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Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY ANGELA SKANE, University of Florida
*DISCLAIMER: This is my experience; every single person who goes through sorority rush will have her own outcome. I’m just here to shed some light on other possibilities if things don’t work out as you expect.
I figured going Greek was the only way I could enjoy college. I would have a house full of instant friends, girls to go out with any time I wanted, and a ton of social events to keep me busy. I would find my niche in a giant public university of more than 50,000 students in the comfort of a sorority house.
I went through University of Florida’s rush process, and for me, it was overwhelming. Very. And, unfortunately, I did not find my niche in Greek life.
At first, that was really hard for me to accept. Every time I thought I had a great conversation at a house, I would find out the next day I didn’t make the cut. My first week of college ended up being a giant blow to my self-esteem. I felt like I was surrounded by girls who all fit in somewhere instantly, and I didn’t.
My best friend went to a different school. Actually, all my close friends went somewhere other than where I was. This made the rush rejection worse. I actually had to go out and try to find new friends.
It was a daunting prospect, especially after the sorority thing did not work out. Where on earth would I find good friends at a giant school? This wasn’t high school; my classes weren’t with mostly the same 30 or so people; one of my classes had more than 300 students in it.
So I started in my dorm. Over the course of a few weeks I became closer with girls on my hall. We did our homework together, discovered mutual friends and just got to know one another. We were all in a new place, all trying to do the same thing: make friends.
I also joined a club and became active really fast. I sailed in high school, so I figured I could find the most comfort in the sailing team at UF, and that’s exactly what happened. By looking for something that made me feel comfortable and at ease, I was instantly able to find a group of friends. We traveled a few weekends to races, and every couple of weeks we had team get-togethers. It was a refuge for me to find a group of people with such similar interests in such a large school. Think of anything you like to do, and I promise you there is a club on campus for it.
After a lot of thinking, and weighing all the pros and cons, I have decided I do not want try again to go Greek. It just isn’t the right thing for me. I plan on studying abroad, keeping up with sailing, joining clubs within my major and interning.
It wasn’t an easy decision for me. When you make any decision at college, don’t rush into anything just because you feel like you have to do it to belong. I have a lot of friends in Greek life who absolutely love it; it’s a perfect fit for them. You just have to be confident in yourself and in your decisions, and you don’t have to be in a sorority or fraternity to feel that way.
Being on your own, and away from home, is really hard, especially when you don’t feel accepted right away. My best advice is to get really involved in something. Don’t be shy about going to cheesy game nights in your residence hall, or about introducing yourself to someone in a class. You have to put yourself out there.
That first semester was tough, but I am more confident than ever in my decision to move away to college. Good things happen when you are confident — and patient. They just may happen on a different path from the one you started out on.
Angela Skane is a UF freshman and a former student editor of tb-two*.