I was a freshman in Fall 2017. Now? I am graduating in May 2021. That’s 50ish days from now. Let me just tell you a little bit about my college experience, and how I have changed as a person.
Like I said, I came to MTSU in the fall of 2017. I was in the marching band and I knew no one. That is because I came from out of town. But I made a couple of friends and that semester was filled with going to football games and failing biology. I know, sounds fun right? I was exhausted by the time winter break rolled around, but once that first semester ended, I finally had a grip on how the college world worked.
That second semester of my freshman year is what defined, and changed, my college experience altogether. By doing what you may ask? I joined a sorority here on campus. If you know me, that is SOOO out of my comfort zone! But let me tell you something. I thrived! I absolutely had the time of my life in that sorority for 2 years! I held many leadership positions, my sisters were the best they could be, and I felt that I had found a group of women who uplifted me and one another.
However, the Spring semester of my junior year is when things started to go downhill. My sisters were becoming more detached from one another, and they fought constantly. The cycle was never ended. They would smile at your face and then talk about you behind your back. That is when I started to shut everyone out. I would pretend that I was still having fun, but on the inside I was miserable! This group of women were going downhill fast. I still don’t know what had changed from the previous semesters. Maybe they had spent too much time together? Maybe they truly didn’t like each other and were just finally showing that for the first time? I don’t know, but it begins to affect me and make me feel things that I have never felt before.
The first semester of my senior year was awful. Because of the lonely feeling and terrible mental state, I became someone who was so angry at myself and all of my sisters. I bullied them. I treated them like crap. I even made one girl cry because I had talked down to her and made her feel bad. That is because I wanted them to feel the pain they were causing me. I hung out with a group of sisters who are just awful people! Because of this, we were feared, and we made people feel uncomfortable. No one wanted to hang around us and that hurt me on the inside. These women became my only friends. Because I had been mean to everyone, I shut them all out and never got to make any more friends beside these women. And that caused my mental health to decline even more.
These sisters that I hung around also were bullies, but I don’t think they understand that to this day. They ended up dropping out of the sorority. I don’t hang around them anymore, and I am so thankful I don’t because they were never my true friends. They did not care what I did and never checked up on me if they did not hear from me for a while. They egged me on when I bullied another sister and laughed at every mean thing I said or did. That made me even more mean and rude to my other sisters because these certain women made me feel “cool” and “loved”.
But that is not how a true friendship is supposed to work. True friends are supposed to tell you when you have gone too far and let you know that it is not ok to say these things to others. However, this group of women did not do that, in fact, they did the complete opposite. They bullied everyone right along with me. And when I noticed that, that is when I realized that I needed to get out of that friendship. I was hanging on to it because it was the only thing I had. I didn’t want to let my only “friends” go, but in reality, the friendship between me and them had ended long before this semester. It just took me a while to come to terms with that. So I left the friend group, even if that meant I had to spend the last semester in college alone. It was better than losing myself to people who never cared.
But you want to know what I realized? Letting them go, and letting go of their negative energy has changed me for the better. It has helped me understand that I have to take responsibility for my actions. It also showed me that friendships can be damaging and toxic as well, and it can turn you into someone you don’t recognize.
I ended up apologizing to the sisters I bullied and made feel uncomfortable and I have never had a friendship that was this uplifting. These new friends actually care about me and they love me for who I am. They forgave me instantly for the way I treated them that semester. No matter what I said, or how I acted, they began to love me and help me see my potential. They opened up their hearts and minds to me and I couldn’t be more grateful. That has strengthened our sisterhood and friendship, and that is the kind of friend you should have. By them forgiving me so easily and putting their trust in me once again, that shows me the type of people they are. Kind and courageous people and that is who I aspire to be. These women showed me that being kind and honest will change my life and open up doors I never thought even existed.
This experience changed me from a cruel person to someone who is kind. Someone who does not judge someone else as soon as they walk in the door. Someone who opens their heart so that others can have a good experience and want to actually be my friend. (Do not let my story keep you from joining a sorority, cause it will truly change your life.)
Overall, college is an emotional rollercoaster that you can not escape even if you tried. There will be many downs, but the ups that you have, will overcome those downs and make the whole thing worth it. I hope that my story helps you understand that who you are and what you do will affect you and the others around you for the rest of your life. You may not think that you will go far in life, but just by being a good person and treating others with kindness, you will go farther than you ever thought was possible!