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Thanks to a Buzzfeed quiz, I learned about imposter syndrome this week. Wikipedia describes the syndrome as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a fear of being exposed as a fraud. Even though there is evidence of their accomplishments and competence, those with the syndrome chalk up their success to luck or something similar.
And when I read that I was like “holy shiz I definitely have that.” For pretty much my whole entire life, I’ve never really thought that I’ve deserved anything. I’ve done a lot of great things in my life and accomplished a lot, and all of those things have surprised me.
When I got into all of the colleges I applied to (granted, I didn’t really reach) I was genuinely shocked because up until that point I didn’t know I could do anything right. And in my first year of college I got a job as a tour guide and I was like what kind of magic did I bewitch on them for them to think I would actually be a good fit for this?
And then I got into my sorority and I was so confused that people actually liked me. And then I got a good internship and I graduated from college. I got a good job and then an even better job.
I thought it was either luck or (if I’m being honest) I’ve chalked A LOT of it up to being a decently attractive female. Yupp, I don’t really think I’ve deserved any of this but I’ve gotten by because I’m not that terrible to look at
And it’s such a toxic way to think. I’ve always been intelligent, even if I suck at school. I’m not great at coming out of my shell, but I am great at talking about the things I’m passionate about. I got really good grades in college and I learned a lot about myself and taught myself a lot about the field I work in. How could I think I don’t deserve any of this, that I’m a fraud?
I don’t think it’s rare, I don’t think anyone of us get the credit we deserve and we especially don’t give it to ourselves. But if we don’t, really, who will?
College was the best four years of my life, hands down. I hated high school and turned it all around in college.
But four years was really all I needed.
In some ways, college felt short. As I put on my graduation cap, it felt like I had just moved into a dorm I hated with a failing relationship nipping at my heels. As I walked to the ceremony with my friends, it felt like I had just been trying to crack open my shell and form those relationships I had heard everyone talking about. As I grabbed my diploma, it felt like I had just been getting lost on my way to class yesterday.
In other ways, college felt long. Because I met a lot of people that were great, but also a lot of people that were awful. I had a great education, but also some very useless classes at very early times. I had learned a lot about myself, but I had learned it the hard way.
In four years, I explored every aspect of myself. I did everything I needed to do to find out who I truly am. It took a lot of time, it took a lot of heart break, a lot of tears and fights. It included a lot of drama that was unnecessary and a lot of long late night talks that were.
When I graduated college, I was happy. I wasn’t sad to leave behind the university that taught me so much. Or the sorority that raised me. Or the professors that guided me.
Of course I would miss living with my best friends when I moved in with my parents. And I would definitely miss sleeping in or even sleeping all day without a care in the world. I would miss having less responsibilities and the ability to have fun all the time – but it’s more nostalgia than it is sadness. It was a good time, but now it’s over. Now it’s time to have different good times.
I dove head first into postgrad life and I couldn’t be happier. I shed my college self skin and found a version of myself that makes me truly happy. I still learn a lot, I still have great friends, and I still sleep in on the weekends. I appreciate everything college gave me, but I don’t miss it at all. You can’t if you look at your new life with positivity, if you give the postgrad life a chance and learn to live it up in a different way. It’s a whole new world waiting for you to explore it.
I’m often told that I don’t look like someone who would be in a sorority. This could be because I still listen to Mayday Parade and other emo bands from 7th grade. It could be because I don’t always want to go out every day of the weekend. Maybe it’s because I usually look like I just rolled out of bed. Whatever it is – I don’t fit the general sorority stereotype.
To be honest, I don’t know a lot of girls who do. I guess the stereotype would include pretty and skinny blondes who care a lot about their looks. Their parents pay for everything so they have a stuck up attitude and are often called bitches. They drink all the time and only care about partying. They only date the stereotypical frat guys who look like they skip leg day at the gym and have a keg of beer chilling in their stomach.
But a stereotype is exactly that – “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”
My sorority was definitely not one where we were all cookie cutter versions of each other. Each sister brought her own unique look, sense of thinking, values, and hobbies. My sisters all taught me different things that I would have never learned if I hadn’t joined a sorority.
I learned how to be a leader when necessary and a follower when necessary by holding positions and working underneath Vice Presidents of those positions. My sisters taught me friendship, loyalty, love, passion, and responsibility. They taught me about different religions, fields of study, cultures, philanthropies, and ways of growing up. Joining a sorority opened my life up to a whole new set of people I might not have ever met otherwise.
We often get told that we “pay for our friends.” In reality, we pay for awesome t-shirts, mixers, date parties, formals, donating to charities, and a slight bit to our headquarters. Even if I was paying for my friends, I feel like I should owe another million dollars. My sorority sisters are the best part of me and I wouldn’t trade them, the two and half years as an active sister, or living in the designated chapter house for anything in the world.
It doesn’t have to be for everybody, I have plenty of friends who weren’t in Greek Life and still enjoyed college. And yes, you can still have friends outside of Greek Life. But give recruitment a shot, give these girls the chance to make you fall in love with them, their traditions, and their sisterhood. In the end, I found myself as an alumni of a life changing organization and that is something I will always cherish.