Learning to speak Greek
I really wish I could think of something non-Greek to write about. I can feel myself slowly becoming Cady Heron from “Mean Girls” — except instead of constantly word-vomiting about how if Regina George cut off her hair she’d look like a British man, I can’t shut up about how I don’t need to cut off all my hair because my new sisters introduced me to “hot curlers” and it’s going to change my entire frizzy life. And, like Cady, I can feel people getting bored with me, but I keep going. It’s bad.
I know the Greek community only makes up a third of the student body, and that contrary to popular belief bid week will not set the tone for the rest of my life. But, let me tell you, as a “baby,” it does not feel that way. Sisterhood is forever, right?
In the past week, I’ve been infantilized. I may have thought I’d become an adult, but no, when stripped of all the wisdom I’ve gathered in my last 18 years, Greek life unapologetically thrusts me back to a period of pre-teen enthusiasm.
It’s fun to sit back and let my entire life be planned out for me. Though it should be noted the “pledge mommies” don’t pencil in nap time like they would for a real baby. And I hope real babies aren’t incessantly told how “hot” they look.
But as I watch the majority of my friends speak Greek with a well-practiced air of nonchalance, I cannot help but think back to last semester. Though we pretended to know what we were talking about, it was all a pretense. We knew we were all outsiders who were Brittany Murphy-level clueless.
Honestly, I don’t even deserve to flatter myself with a comparison to the late, great starlet. Last semester, a homeless man told me I should be a member of the “Alpha Sigma Sigma” sorority, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out whether these ASS girls were top tier and exactly how they worked that complex moniker into a personalized gang sign. I swear on all my future fanny packs this isn’t even me trying to be cute; it happened. So let’s be honest — do I really have the right to talk about formal pledging and Boys Bid Night? Probably not.
But that’s the fun thing about being a baby pledge — your sisters love you unconditionally. All the terrible, organized madness that is recruitment gets pushed to the wayside, and you find out that this time, as you tell people where you’re from and what your prospective major is, they’re actually listening. It doesn’t feel like small talk anymore, and for this I am lucky.
A short scroll back in my iPhone search history shows Google searches for “how to survive small talk” and “does white lying mean your soul is black.”
I got few conclusive answers, so I decided it was okay I told one girl I was from Nova Scotia instead of NOVA. Honestly, it had been just such a long day, and no one is ever amused by “NOVA”. Even though they laugh and joke about thinking everyone is Villanova transfers, I promise that behind those perfect smiles, they’re hating you. It’s the I’m-starving-and-forced-to-watch-you-eat-chocolate-covered-pretzels-during-house-tours kind of hating you, and it stings.
So please, future sisters, I beg you not think I bamboozled you. I really just wanted you to like me. I hope we can still be friends. Actually, I think we have to be, because you have to come pick me up at dorms in an hour. Xoxo!
Julia’s column runs biweekly Tuesdays. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.