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  #31  
Old 10-06-2021, 01:53 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
Most sororities refuse to discuss AI with an undergrad.
This is what I was going to say. I believe some orgs - or maybe all? - require an AI to have an undergraduate degree. "Alumna" is right there in the acronym.

I admittedly know very little about the process, but I would think sororities would try to avoid giving AI bids to undergraduate students because it would interfere with the collegiate membership process. For example, if an undergraduate could get a bid and be initiated through AI, what would stop them from going to the active chapter on campus to try and get involved on a collegiate level?
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  #32  
Old 10-06-2021, 01:58 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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Originally Posted by thetalady View Post
I hate to say that there are so many moving parts to this that it is kind of impossible to know what to tell you.

What one of us might do is not really relevant to you and what you want.

You probably don't have much time to decide, since I am sure initiation is coming up fast.

Do some soul searching and maybe a plus/ minus list of the pros and cons of each choice.

I do wonder about another option... initiate with the GLO that you got the bid from.

Then if you cannot transfer to be active in the collegiate chapter, is there an alumnae organization of that sorority that you can participate in?

I wish you well!
I agree with thetalady, you need time to sit alone quietly and soul search by reviewing all the personal puzzle pieces relevant to your final decision.

Your new sorority sisters may be of service to you with guidance toward your decision. Be not afraid to grasp their hands and engage their minds as you lift yourself toward the future. People join people, and they chose you for a specific purpose.
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  #33  
Old 10-06-2021, 02:05 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASTalumna06 View Post
This is what I was going to say. I believe some orgs - or maybe all? - require an AI to have an undergraduate degree. "Alumna" is right there in the acronym.

I admittedly know very little about the process, but I would think sororities would try to avoid giving AI bids to undergraduate students because it would interfere with the collegiate membership process. For example, if an undergraduate could get a bid and be initiated through AI, what would stop them from going to the active chapter on campus to try and get involved on a collegiate level?
I've read that the AI process takes a long time, sometimes a year or two, so I can't imagine many (or any) undergrad students really trying it or seeing the benefit of trying AI just to go be active at a collegiate level later. I haven't heard of any group that allows an AI to collegiate transfer.

I wouldn't have inquired about AI had I thought I would be an undergrad this fall. Every group I've read about that allows AI requires at least 2 recommendation letters plus a sponsor. Then you have to attend a number of events, have a sponsor, then 'petition' the national sorority for their approval to become an AI. KKG I think only allows 20 AI max per year nationally, so it's incredibly hard of a process with some groups more than others.

I read on Kappa Kappa Gamma's website that they don't require a degree, but do require an alumnae initiate to have attended (but not graduated) a 4 year college. I would probably have to weed out the groups that do require degrees if I don't finish college and go that route.

One sorority I read about that allows AI requires someone to have stopped undergrad 5+ years ago. You don't need a degree for theirs, but need to have attended at some point and been out of school for 5+ years. I can't remember which group that was, but it was one of the AI groups mentioned on this forum. I wouldn't be eligible for that group now that I enrolled in classes this fall. The group that replied to me this week about AI is not that group. I need to reach out to them and make sure they don't have the 5+ years out of school requirement.

I don't believe someone could be an alumna initiate then go back to a collegiate chapter. I don't think any groups allow it-- you can go alum, but can't go from collegiate to alum from what I've heard. I could be wrong, but even if it's not formally banned, I can't imagine most people doing it or it working. I think an alumna initiate candidate who's 18-19 and a student would get rejected for the sorority itself and not get the 2 recommendations/1 sponsor that most sororities that allow AI that I've read about require.
  #34  
Old 10-06-2021, 02:07 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheerio View Post
I agree with thetalady, you need time to sit alone quietly and soul search by reviewing all the personal puzzle pieces relevant to your final decision.

Your new sorority sisters may be of service to you with guidance toward your decision. Be not afraid to grasp their hands and engage their minds as you lift yourself toward the future. People join people, and they chose you for a specific purpose.
I had not thought about talking to my new collegiate sisters about this. I don't want to string them along if I won't get to move across the country anytime soon, but I also really want to be a part of their group if I somehow can.

I do need to do some soul searching and thinking about what's best on a number of levels.
  #35  
Old 10-06-2021, 02:14 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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Originally Posted by newtotheu View Post
I had not thought about talking to my new collegiate sisters about this. I don't want to string them along if I won't get to move across the country anytime soon, but I also really want to be a part of their group if I somehow can.

I do need to do some soul searching and thinking about what's best on a number of levels.
You appear, from some of your posts, to have researched your subject well, and will likely have little problem sorting out a good future.

Best of luck, and if you feel comfortable let us know how your situation progresses.
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  #36  
Old 10-06-2021, 02:20 PM
navane navane is offline
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Originally Posted by newtotheu View Post
I will likely lose my parent soon. I wouldn't let sorority interfere with time with family, but I also want something to look forward to/social support of some level during a hellish time.
Oh no, I am sorry to hear that you are facing the loss of your parent. Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy and it's tough to face so many decisions in what I imagine is a sad time for you.


Quote:
For non-traditional demographics, I'm 23- almost 24 but look older, single, no kids, autistic, work full-time, had a job since I was 14, plus size, have MS, currently a virtual student across the country, part of the LGBTQ crowd, returning to college but have few credits that will transfer in since my new school doesn't have equivalent classes so I've got 3.5-4 years left of college, childhood family is low-income, off-campus commuter student usually, first generation college student, mixed ethnic family, etc.

I know I'm "old" for a sorority and was afraid to post my age out of getting slammed for it, but I still do have a student-focused lifestyle. I've had depression/anxiety and eating disorders, and also didn't know I was autistic until I was an adult. Those things kind of set me back academically for a long time until now. I've lost 2 older brothers already (cancer and heart failure). They were way older than me. My grandma raised me most of the time, so I feel like I'm non-traditional or a bit different in a few ways. I've got 3.5-4 years of college left so I still have plenty of time to experience greek life. Being autistic I've always been kind of socially/developmentally behind so I think I will still fit in to a college crowd in 4 years. I never pursued it before because I couldn't afford greek life and was a commuter student before.
Thank you for being brave and for your honesty!

Ok...there's a lot to unpack here. Thank you for your willingness to let us have a little more insight. This will help us better help you sort out the best course of action. I hope it's alright, but I will be honest with you about my opinions, ok?

Edited to add: Other people were posting replies while I was drafting my response. So, others have touched on some of these discussion points already.

First...without knowing the specific campus you attend, most of these things aren't some kind of major dealbreaker in and of themselves. I think you may be overthinking a lot of these things based on sterotypes of sororities. For example, things like being 23/24 years old, coming from a mixed race family or a low-income childhood have zero bearing to me. Then again, I'm from Southern California. Maybe these factors are a big deal elsewhere in the country or at really expensive universities. (???)

Working full time, plus size, LGBTQ, MS....alone those aren't insurmountable. Adding depression/anxiety and eating disorder in start to make the odds lower. So, putting all those factors all together at once is quite a bit of an obstacle course to get through in terms of getting through sorority recruitment. Now, it's not because sororities are "afraid" of MS, or because sororities are biased against depression, or because LGBTQ is not welcome....No! That is not the case! It's because all of these factors lining up signal that it could be more difficult for you to be a full participating member and to a) contribute to the sorority and b) receive your full benefit of being a member.

Being on the autism spectrum "could" be a factor in that you report some struggles with socializing with large groups, etc. and that is a large part of what rushing and being a sorority member is about. BUT....you are not the first person on the spectrum that Greek life has ever seen!

Here's the kicker - YOU RECEIVED A BID!

There is a sorority that wants YOU for a member! YOU GOT PICKED!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
Most sororities refuse to discuss AI with an undergrad.
Carnation is correct. We need to discuss this AI idea with you.

Alumnae initiation polices vary from sorority to sorority. Generally speaking, most, if not all, sororities require you to be fully out of college (undergrad) before you can be considered for AI. Some don't require any college at all and some require the candidate to have some college completed (2 years) or hold a bachelor's degree. As an undergraduate student, you will likely not be eligible for AI - you are expected to go through sorority recruitment like everyone else. If they sent you the materials, it may be because they weren't aware that you are still an undergraduate student.

Second, there are ZERO guarantees that you will be offered AI. AI is not a situation where you submit an application in the mail and then they write back offer you a bid. Nope. In many ways, AI can be considered more difficult than sorority rush. You will most certainly have to attend in-person events with the alumnae chapter over the course of many months. The alumnae chapter will probably question you about why a 23 year old is trying to AI. All of the factors you mentioned above will still be in play and now you're potentially facing a crowd of 40 to 80 year olds to tell your life story.

Next, alumnae membership is not at all like collegiate membership. Going to a luncheon with older women is not the same as going to a football tailgate party with a bunch of co-eds. If you're looking for the "sorority experience", you will not likely find it in the way you hope with AI.

You said above, "I also want something to look forward to/social support of some level during a hellish time." That's completely understandable. To be honest with you, being approved for AI is a LONG process. It can be as quick as 3-6 months or it could potentially take 3 YEARS once you're eligible.....and you're not currently eligible until you leave undergrad. Your family situation is happening right NOW.....AI is not going to be a support system to you at the present time.


So.......it sounds to me that the dilemma is this:

1) Initiate with the sorority which offered you a bid this semester. Possibly not ever return back to that campus. The sorority would have to put you on alumnae status. That sorority does not have a collegiate or alumnae chapter in your current area. You would be a member, but you wouldn't have sisters in your area to interact with.

2) Withdraw from pledging your current sorority. Wait 4 years to graduate. Apply for AI with a group closer to you. Understand that they may not offer you membership at all.


Honestly? I would probably stick with the sorority that is offering you a bid today. You said there was still a chance for you to return to that campus in spring semester. Even if not, you may be able to work with your sorority to go on some kind of inactive status with a pending return Fall 2022. It is possible that you may not ever receive a bid again. Your current sorority could open up an alumnae chapter near you in the future. There are a lot of variables. However, in your case, it may be wise to take the deal you have right now.
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Last edited by navane; 10-06-2021 at 02:34 PM.
  #37  
Old 10-06-2021, 03:37 PM
andthen andthen is offline
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Originally Posted by navane View Post


So.......it sounds to me that the dilemma is this:

1) Initiate with the sorority which offered you a bid this semester. Possibly not ever return back to that campus. The sorority would have to put you on alumnae status. That sorority does not have a collegiate or alumnae chapter in your current area. You would be a member, but you wouldn't have sisters in your area to interact with.

2) Withdraw from pledging your current sorority. Wait 4 years to graduate. Apply for AI with a group closer to you. Understand that they may not offer you membership at all.


Honestly? I would probably stick with the sorority that is offering you a bid today. You said there was still a chance for you to return to that campus in spring semester. Even if not, you may be able to work with your sorority to go on some kind of inactive status with a pending return Fall 2022. It is possible that you may not ever receive a bid again. Your current sorority could open up an alumnae chapter near you in the future. There are a lot of variables. However, in your case, it may be wise to take the deal you have right now.
First off I'm sorry you're dealing with a lot outside of school at the moment. It does sound like you're juggling a lot of big decisions in life and I also want to commend you for being open and honest, not only with a bunch of strangers here but also your concern for the sorority who offered you a bid and not wanting to feel like you are stringing them along, if circumstances don't pan out that would allow you to move and attend classes on campus.

I think some very valid points were brought up regarding staying with the current group in the hopes that perhaps if you can't attend in person this academic year, perhaps its possible next academic year.

Also, as you mentioned your group doesn't have an active presence near to where your home is at currently but much can change.

As others have mentioned up thread you have to go with what is best for you and prioritize your own health and well-being. I've dealt with ailing family members and during those times I had to scale back other things I was doing outside of work (since my college days are behind me) just so I could keep the focus of my free time to care for that ailing family member.

I think you've clearly put a lot of thought into this and wishing you the best whichever path you find is best for you. I think you've gotten some very sound advice, as these posters are very knowledgeable.
  #38  
Old 10-06-2021, 04:13 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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  #39  
Old 10-06-2021, 04:18 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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What college are you attending virtually? Is the organization that bid you a National Panhellenic Sorority?
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  #40  
Old 10-06-2021, 04:43 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Originally Posted by andthen View Post
First off I'm sorry you're dealing with a lot outside of school at the moment. It does sound like you're juggling a lot of big decisions in life and I also want to commend you for being open and honest, not only with a bunch of strangers here but also your concern for the sorority who offered you a bid and not wanting to feel like you are stringing them along, if circumstances don't pan out that would allow you to move and attend classes on campus.

I think some very valid points were brought up regarding staying with the current group in the hopes that perhaps if you can't attend in person this academic year, perhaps its possible next academic year.

Also, as you mentioned your group doesn't have an active presence near to where your home is at currently but much can change.

As others have mentioned up thread you have to go with what is best for you and prioritize your own health and well-being. I've dealt with ailing family members and during those times I had to scale back other things I was doing outside of work (since my college days are behind me) just so I could keep the focus of my free time to care for that ailing family member.

I think you've clearly put a lot of thought into this and wishing you the best whichever path you find is best for you. I think you've gotten some very sound advice, as these posters are very knowledgeable.
Thanks. I do have a lot going on outside of school right now. I don't want to miss out on spending time with an ill family member so it might work out eventually if I talk to my collegiate sorority that offered a bid and see if they can 'wait' (inactive me?) until next semester or next fall. I still hope I can move there, but fall 2022 is probably more realistic. In the chance I can't move across the country in the next year, I would love to try to help them form some sort of local chapter here if I could. I hadn't realized most groups want people 4-5 years out of college for AI and since I enrolled this fall, I would have to wait years for that (unless I found a group that didn't require a long time out of college). I still have years more of college so I hope I can eventually be active in my collegiate sorority and make their bid to me worth their while. I do feel bad I can't be active this semester, but I suppose it's not all that uncommon for a sister to take a semester off (for family, health, study abroad, etc.). I think I'm going to think things through for a few days then approach my new sorority and see their thoughts on me being inactive (or whatever) if I can't move there soon.
  #41  
Old 10-06-2021, 05:01 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Originally Posted by navane View Post
Oh no, I am sorry to hear that you are facing the loss of your parent. Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy and it's tough to face so many decisions in what I imagine is a sad time for you.




Thank you for being brave and for your honesty!

Ok...there's a lot to unpack here. Thank you for your willingness to let us have a little more insight. This will help us better help you sort out the best course of action. I hope it's alright, but I will be honest with you about my opinions, ok?

Edited to add: Other people were posting replies while I was drafting my response. So, others have touched on some of these discussion points already.

First...without knowing the specific campus you attend, most of these things aren't some kind of major dealbreaker in and of themselves. I think you may be overthinking a lot of these things based on sterotypes of sororities. For example, things like being 23/24 years old, coming from a mixed race family or a low-income childhood have zero bearing to me. Then again, I'm from Southern California. Maybe these factors are a big deal elsewhere in the country or at really expensive universities. (???)

Working full time, plus size, LGBTQ, MS....alone those aren't insurmountable. Adding depression/anxiety and eating disorder in start to make the odds lower. So, putting all those factors all together at once is quite a bit of an obstacle course to get through in terms of getting through sorority recruitment. Now, it's not because sororities are "afraid" of MS, or because sororities are biased against depression, or because LGBTQ is not welcome....No! That is not the case! It's because all of these factors lining up signal that it could be more difficult for you to be a full participating member and to a) contribute to the sorority and b) receive your full benefit of being a member.

Being on the autism spectrum "could" be a factor in that you report some struggles with socializing with large groups, etc. and that is a large part of what rushing and being a sorority member is about. BUT....you are not the first person on the spectrum that Greek life has ever seen!

Here's the kicker - YOU RECEIVED A BID!

There is a sorority that wants YOU for a member! YOU GOT PICKED!!




Carnation is correct. We need to discuss this AI idea with you.

Alumnae initiation polices vary from sorority to sorority. Generally speaking, most, if not all, sororities require you to be fully out of college (undergrad) before you can be considered for AI. Some don't require any college at all and some require the candidate to have some college completed (2 years) or hold a bachelor's degree. As an undergraduate student, you will likely not be eligible for AI - you are expected to go through sorority recruitment like everyone else. If they sent you the materials, it may be because they weren't aware that you are still an undergraduate student.

Second, there are ZERO guarantees that you will be offered AI. AI is not a situation where you submit an application in the mail and then they write back offer you a bid. Nope. In many ways, AI can be considered more difficult than sorority rush. You will most certainly have to attend in-person events with the alumnae chapter over the course of many months. The alumnae chapter will probably question you about why a 23 year old is trying to AI. All of the factors you mentioned above will still be in play and now you're potentially facing a crowd of 40 to 80 year olds to tell your life story.

Next, alumnae membership is not at all like collegiate membership. Going to a luncheon with older women is not the same as going to a football tailgate party with a bunch of co-eds. If you're looking for the "sorority experience", you will not likely find it in the way you hope with AI.

You said above, "I also want something to look forward to/social support of some level during a hellish time." That's completely understandable. To be honest with you, being approved for AI is a LONG process. It can be as quick as 3-6 months or it could potentially take 3 YEARS once you're eligible.....and you're not currently eligible until you leave undergrad. Your family situation is happening right NOW.....AI is not going to be a support system to you at the present time.


So.......it sounds to me that the dilemma is this:

1) Initiate with the sorority which offered you a bid this semester. Possibly not ever return back to that campus. The sorority would have to put you on alumnae status. That sorority does not have a collegiate or alumnae chapter in your current area. You would be a member, but you wouldn't have sisters in your area to interact with.

2) Withdraw from pledging your current sorority. Wait 4 years to graduate. Apply for AI with a group closer to you. Understand that they may not offer you membership at all.


Honestly? I would probably stick with the sorority that is offering you a bid today. You said there was still a chance for you to return to that campus in spring semester. Even if not, you may be able to work with your sorority to go on some kind of inactive status with a pending return Fall 2022. It is possible that you may not ever receive a bid again. Your current sorority could open up an alumnae chapter near you in the future. There are a lot of variables. However, in your case, it may be wise to take the deal you have right now.
Thanks for the advice. I was thrilled to get the bid that I did, and it probably does make the most sense to take it.

Since I enrolled this fall, it sounds like a lot of groups would make me wait years to be considered for AI. I haven't e-mailed the AI group that emailed me this week asking if they, too, require being years out of school but I need to email them back. Years to go the AI route sounds much less desirable than trying to make my collegiate bid work out. Months to years for a chance at being considered for AI is further in the future than I was hoping.

A crowd of 40-80 at a luncheon is a good point. While I feel "old" for a collegiate sorority, I also would probably feel like I stand out at a AI group if ages tend to be 40+. A luncheon sounds like a very different sorority experience than college, too, and honestly I'm hoping for more of a collegiate sorority experience than luncheons/business networking events.

I can also see how these things (autism spectrum, though "mild", a recovered eating disorder, MS - not yet noticeable other than getting a bit tired, and depression- sometimes not as functional) would make organizations feel like I might have a hard time being active or participating in everything. Virtual recruitment really helped with the noise/crowd factor, but once things get back to in-person, I have considered that some large greek events will be hard for me. I'm hoping any group I'm in will understand if I miss events due to health/whatever at some point, but I know it might end up being an issue during busier event weeks where I might not be able to last through endless events like some other people.

I'm going to also think about my overall situation the next few days and reach out to my collegiate sorority to talk to them about my potential moving timeline. That would ease a lot of my feeling like I'm stringing them along, and maybe they have options I don't know about. I'm hoping I can still participate in new member meetings and things virtually but I'm not sure when they plan to go back to in-person. Maybe they could put me inactive until spring or even next fall if I can move by then. I would still have years of college left to be active. I still hope my family situation improves and spring to move works out somehow. If I never get to move, I would love to be a part of this sorority starting some sort of chapter here if that's possible.

My main reason for not wanting to initiate my collegiate sorority was just that they have no local chapters if I can't move across the country in the near future. But I hadn't considered enough that this could change and they start a new alumnae chapter or a local collegiate chapter. I hope my collegiate chapter will be understanding when I approach them about by moving plans/timeline and that I can enjoy some virtual sorority meetings/events while I can. Not being in person there also will probably give me more time at the moment with family too.
  #42  
Old 10-06-2021, 05:12 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheerio View Post
You appear, from some of your posts, to have researched your subject well, and will likely have little problem sorting out a good future.

Best of luck, and if you feel comfortable let us know how your situation progresses.
Thanks. I have tried to research AI and anything I could online but advice here has given me more to think about too. I didn't realize AI could take years, even though I had read it was rare or lengthy for some groups. I wasn't originally thinking of 3+ years for the process. I know it probably seems strange to even think about greek life during my family situation, but my parent's health went south super quick and I had liked the idea of a local chapter for some social support too. It's good to know AI would be years so that wouldn't be what I was looking for, and I still hope I can move across the country to my college for a proper college/greek experience if my family's situation improves.

I plan to talk to my collegiate chapter about moving/situation so I'll update after that.
  #43  
Old 10-06-2021, 05:18 PM
newtotheu newtotheu is offline
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Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
I think maybe she's mixing terminology. Virtual is "traditional" now since the pandemic. And even SEC schools get 20-21 year olds going thru recruitment and getting placed.

I guess my question is - what is it you are looking for in a sorority? If it weren't for Covid and your family situation, where would you be right now?

If you truly believe you won't be in person next semester, you need to sign your papers and move on. Don't drag them along thinking you'll be there and all will be normal...I get the feeling you don't really want to go anyway....just my gut feeling.
I 100% want to move across the country and live on campus, be active in my collegiate sorority, and have a traditional college experience. I'm not sure I can do that unless/until my family's situation settles down and I don't know what will happen with my parent's health.

I want the friendships and memories of a sorority... study nights, charity drives, tailgating, and the usual. I opted for Greek over a random on-campus club because I want to develop lifelong or at least longer, deeper friendships and have more of a close-knit 'family' group on campus. I don't know of other groups that connect a person with both their college and also have the lifelong relationships with the combo of academics/charity/social events.
  #44  
Old 10-06-2021, 06:01 PM
thetalady thetalady is offline
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Originally Posted by newtotheu View Post
I 100% want to move across the country and live on campus, be active in my collegiate sorority, and have a traditional college experience. I'm not sure I can do that unless/until my family's situation settles down and I don't know what will happen with my parent's health.

I want the friendships and memories of a sorority... study nights, charity drives, tailgating, and the usual. I opted for Greek over a random on-campus club because I want to develop lifelong or at least longer, deeper friendships and have more of a close-knit 'family' group on campus. I don't know of other groups that connect a person with both their college and also have the lifelong relationships with the combo of academics/charity/social events.
I will not apologize for saying this. Not one bit of this makes any sense at all to me. I don't believe any of this for a minute. I think the OP is a troll, having a grand time laughing and pulling all of our legs. Autistic, plus size, depression problems, LGBTQ, eating disorder, MS, several years older than most pledges and looks older than that, lives across the country... are there any intersectional boxes that didn't get checked off?
  #45  
Old 10-06-2021, 06:13 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 12,733
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetalady View Post
I will not apologize for saying this. Not one bit of this makes any sense at all to me. I don't believe any of this for a minute. I think the OP is a troll, having a grand time laughing and pulling all of our legs. Autistic, plus size, depression problems, LGBTQ, eating disorder, MS, several years older than most pledges and looks older than that, lives across the country... are there any intersectional boxes that didn't get checked off?

Only that she has newborn triplets.
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